Ariana Grande Gets To Work Through Her Grief How She Wants, Whether You Believe Her Or Not

There's a person under the ponytail.

Ariana Grande has had a rough couple of years. While she’s more successful than ever, she’s also endured being at the centre of the shocking and deadly Manchester Arena bombing in May 2017, the end of her two-year relationship with rapper Mac Miller earlier this year, his sudden death by overdose in September, and her brief but clearly intense engagement to Pete Davidson, which broke up within weeks of Miller’s death.

She’s still promoting Sweetener, the critically acclaimed album she made while processing all of the above events (except for the breakup, which came after its release, complete with a song named for Davidson) – though she’s muffled the resonance of its four hit singles with another, ‘thank u, next’, a wistful banger about moving on from hard times while carrying their lessons with you that namechecks Miller, Davidson and two of her other exes directly.

One of the hallmarks of Grande’s public persona is also that she shares her apparently unfiltered thoughts constantly with her fans (and non-fans) through her socials. This ranges from cheeky insta comments about Davidson’s junk and sassing random fans about not seeing her favourite movies, to a select few posts in tribute to Miller, who she called “[her] dearest friend. For so long. Above anything else”, and excited promo for her upcoming music or videos.

If you take away around 135 million or so of her followers, it’s about the same as what any woman in her early 20s would be doing on Insta. Her online presence and her increasingly personal, pointed and unapologetically feminine music fit together in a way that feels authentic and real – unless, of course, you’re one of these guys.

Grande has already had to hit back repeatedly at trolls blaming her – particularly her “flaunting” her relationship with Davidson – for Miller’s death, his mental health and struggles with addiction. Now she’s being told that mourning him openly, whether on her socials or in her work, isn’t acceptable either.

She’s perfectly capable of handling this garbage herself, with grace and eloquence:

But let’s be clear: just because she is already massively successful, that does not mean she doesn’t get to work through her grief and pain and heartbreak in her music or in public.

Artists use their personal lives in their work all the time. If she works with other creative professionals in order to realise her vision and shape it into something expressive and emotional and relatable and enjoyable: THIS IS ALSO FINE.

Kanye West made 808s And Heartbreaks following the death of his mother, and people were baffled by the lack of actual rapping, sure – but there was a real lack of “How dare you exploit your heartbreaking personal loss to sell records” narratives being thrown around.

Gang Of Youths’ massively successful debut album The Positions won them a swag of awards and made them one of Australia’s biggest bands – but nobody is going on Twitter to abuse Dave Le’aupepe for using his personal trauma and grief to make successful art that makes people feel amazing, or for talking about it honestly.

What are the odds that some of the people rolling their eyes at Ariana Grande reflecting on the recent and tragic death of a beloved person in her life in a song or a social post are the same people who believe all Top 40 pop is shallow, manufactured and empty of meaning, especially compared to music made with guitars, or performed by, say, men?


There’s a person under that iconic ponytail, and she doesn’t owe anyone a more authentic version of her grief or her happiness, no matter how many #1 singles she has.

If ‘thank u, next’ is any indication, the follow-up album to Sweetener will continue to see her working through the events we’ve watched unfold in real time, however she wants to.

Ariana Grande Got The Real Aaron Samuels For Her "Thank U, Next" Mean Girls Video And He Has Not Aged A Day

The hair is not pushed back, but he still looks sexy.

Forget the Avengers 4 title or even the trailer – the most hyped upcoming release on the internet is the video for Ariana Grande’s post-breakup anthem ‘thank u, next’.

The clip will feature Grande paying homage to four iconic movies: Bring It On, Legally Blonde, Mean Girls, and the movie Australians know as Suddenly 30 (called 13 Going on 30 in the US, which makes about as much sense as pronouncing “caramel” like the name “Carmel”.)

This morning Grande was sharing photos from the set of the Mean Girls portion of the shoot – and so was Jonathan Bennett, AKA Aaron Samuels, whose perfect eyebrows set hearts aflutter and math grades nosediving in the original movie.

Bennett was 23 when Mean Girls came out and is 37 now. I don’t know about you, but this does not look like a 37-year-old man to me.

He may not have had Paul Rudd’s post-romcom-dreamboat career – that’s his current project he’s promoting, a Mean Girls-related parody cookbook called, um, The Burn Cookbook – but he’s certainly got the skincare regimen.

Dorky 2004 hair aside, compare and contrast:

LOS ANGELES – APRIL 19: Cast members Jonathan Bennett and Lindsay Lohan pose at the after-party for Paramount’s “Mean Girls” at the Cinerama Dome Theater on April 19, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Either that, or being a romcom dreamboat in your early 20s is just better than Botox at stopping the ageing process.

An Extremely Scientific Investigation Into Whether Ariana Grande Is Exaggerating About Pete Davidson's Junk Being Ridiculously Yuge


Flip the sign over from A LITTLE CONCERNED THEY’RE MOVING TOO FAST to YOU DO YOU, KIDS, AND WE’RE GLAD YOU’RE SO HAPPY, because the latest update from the Davidson-Grandes is that Pete is packing.

[Update from an older, wiser 2019: Yes, it all went south and we flipped the sign back over to CALLED IT – but they’re both still talking about Pete’s supersized dong, and the science below is sound.]

Ariana spends loads of time answering fan tweets, and devoted a few hours over the last 24 to getting amongst it, as her new single with Nicki Minaj ‘The Light Is Coming’ dropped today. Snippets from other songs have appeared on Grande’s Instagram story over the past weeks, including one last Sunday which she said is called ‘Pete’.

One fan asked Grande “How long is Pete?”

And in a now-deleted but immortal reply, she replied, “Like 10 inches?”

Which could be dismissed as a joke, except for the fact that a paparazzi shot of the couple a few days ago showed Davidson’s shorts creasing in a most intriguing way.

We’re not going to republish the pics ourselves because the paps are gross and we’re a family pop culture news site – but we’re just going to leave this link here, OK?

*Fans self*

Look, that’s just one photo, and it could just be something in his pocket. But it doesn’t completely debunk the 10-Inch Hypothesis.

There’s also this Instagram post, helpfully screenshotted:

Computer, enhance:


Let’s check in with the dick scientists.

According to Kinsey Institute research cited in God’s Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis by Tom Hickman – which is a real book I’m going to buy just to read openly on public transport – ten-inch (erect) penises are relatively rare. Between 10 and 30 men in 1000 can hit the double digits on the tape measure at full sail.

But the penises of homo sapiens’ hominoid ancestors were, on average, “vanishingly small” – and over millennia, the human male evolved to boast the biggest average penis size, by far, of any of the 192 primate species.

So if you think about it, younger men are statistically, evolutionarily more likely to have a very slightly bigger baguette tucked away in the picnic basket.

I’m no evolutionary scientist or statistician, but this would seem to suggest that Davidson, at 23, fits any reasonable person’s definition of “young”, and thus may be more likely than someone who is, say, less young, to be in what we could call the Lexington Steele range.

So there you have it. I’m sure they’re very happy together for reasons unrelated to anybody’s anatomy [sobs in 2019] but if your sweet, smart, successful, funny new boyfriend also has a bigger penis than 99% of the penis-having population, that’s not exactly a drawback.

Meanwhile, I’m off to lower my Bumble age range a year or two.

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