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Ariana Grande’s “diva-like” behavior has been greatly exaggerated — and you can blame sexist double standards for the rumors, according to Grande.
“I stopped doing interviews for a really long time because I felt like whenever I would get into a position where somebody would try to say something for clickbait or twist my words or blah, blah, blah, I would defend myself,” Grande explained to Zane Lowe for Apple Music. “And then, people would be like, ‘Oh, she’s a diva.’ I was like, ‘This doesn’t make any sense.’”
Over the years, Grande shot down rumors of her so-called “difficult” behavior. Allegations include that she demanded to be carried once she got tired of walking, and that she would only be photographed on one side of of her face. Grande previously tweeted that these types of rumors had her “laughing out loud” and that she really “can’t take ‘em seriously.”
Still, it’s clear that these allegations have gotten under her skin — especially given that it’s something most men in the entertainment industry won’t ever have to deal with. Grande, an outspoken feminist, explained to Lowe that “when men express their opinions or defend themselves or are directing something and making notes on something, they’re [considered] brilliant.” She added that the rumors and allegations have made her reconsider speaking out.
Other women have come to Grande’s defense. Jessie J, her collaborator on the song “Bang Bang,” defended Grande’s “passion.”
“I’ve met Ariana, and there’s a very thin line between ‘diva’ and ‘survival.’ And a lot of people can’t [differentiate that] — and I’ve had that,” Jessie told Us Weekly in 2014. “I’ve had the diva stuff. And it’s when people can’t cope with how passionate you are, and how much you care.”
Grande has also clapped back against this sexist double standard before, criticizing the labels put on women who dare to have a say in their career.
“A lot of times, women are labeled as a bitch or a diva for having a vision and being strong and using their voice, and it’s just not the case,” she explained to Cosmopolitan in 2017. “You can be strong and be friendly. [We] don’t have to be just one thing.”
In the words of Beyoncé, “a diva is a female version of a hustler.” But given the negative connotation, maybe it’s best if we stop calling women a diva everytime they dare try to take control of their narrative.
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