What Went Wrong With… Ariana Grande (& The Ageist Entertainment Industry)?

Caricature of Ariana Grande by What Went Wrong With - shown as an old woman still trying to look young

Ariana Grande is one of those preppy, perpetual “youths” churned out by the conveyor-belt at Nickelodeon. After leaving the ghastly ‘Victorious’, she seems to have kept the shrill voice that she sported on the show and dragged it kicking and shrieking into the world of Pop music. But with her strange lolita-cosplay style and her weird half-smirk-half-grimace expression; you are left wondering who or what is buying into her celebrity persona now that the kid’s TV Show is a year in the past.

Ariana’s voice (which despite being described as “a four octave light lyric soprano vocal range” by the ginger group at Wikipedia) sounds distinctly average on her bubblegum releases, and her physical appearance isn’t exactly the embodiment of Aphrodite. And yet for some strange reason this all-round average performer is raised to the lofty heights of A-List stardom by the corrupt media. If it wasn’t for outlets such as E! Entertainment none of us would know who she is, and if you’re not some kid who watched ‘Victorious’ (and you judge her solely by her music) it is pretty apparent that her songs and albums are completely and utterly unremarkable.

Making horridly Poppy pith seems to be becoming Grande’s trademark and with her upcoming album “My Everything” her shoddy shit will get even more exposure. The Music Industry with their famous by-numbers approach will of course try to add a touch of fake credibility by adding guest spots from lames like Big Sean, A$AP Ferg, and Mac Miller. But these crappy featured “Artists” will never elevate mediocre to magnificent, and most likely these duets will be similar to Grande’s coupling with the bulbous-yet-lanky Iggy Azalea; embarrassing and cringe inducing. I mean the video to “Problem”, with the pair of them strutting around a stage looking like a mind-controlled slave and her transsexual handler, was a complete joke. The end result was the musical equivalent of a bright tacky umbrella in an Alcohol-free cocktail; artificial, unappealing, and unexciting. Who the fuck buys this trash?

But on top of her hum-drum music, it is Ariana’s strange façade that is the most annoying aspect of her character. Her image which is tirelessly plugged by the mainstream as a weird mixture of virility and virginity, vernal yet venereal; is a strange contemporary oxymoronic construct we have all become accustomed to, especially from ex-children’s-television stars. Grande who looks like she was created in a lab by spicing the DNA of Cheryl Cole with a poodle by a perverted Schoolgirl-obsessed Geneticist, is now pushing this look at 21 and in a year or two it will begin to look ridiculous. But until the public stop buying into a widespread falsity, this aesthetic will remain.

Even though the obsession with extending your youth has always been rife within Popular Culture, in the 21st century it has become utterly caricatured. With the likes of Joan Rivers on one side of the scale looking like a polythene bag filled with rancid offal, and on the other end there’s Ariana dressed like a sexualised tween. These strange veneers distract the public from the truth; that neither are qualified for the position they hold within the entertainment industry.

The age-old ageist idea that adolescence is the pinnacle of physical perfection is alive but not looking so well.

No Es Grande.

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