Ariana Grande has one thing to say to people who feel the need to comment on her clothing: Thank you, next. On Wednesday, Grande defended her right to use her sexuality to her advantage in her career, after Piers Morgan criticized her and British girl group Little Mix for embracing their bodies and their sexuality. The singer began sparring with Morgan on social media after her mother, Joan Grande, criticized the TV presenter’s disrespectful comments about a recent Little Mix photo, which featured the singers naked, with insults painted onto their bodies. In response, Morgan claimed that the group uses their "nudity" to sell records, "as your own daughter does."
From there, Grande stepped in to defend her decisions and her right to show as much or as little skin as she chooses, as well as the fact that women are allowed to have multiple dimensions. "I use my talent AND my sexuality all the time because i choose to," Grande wrote on Twitter. "Women can be sexual AND talented. naked and dignified. it’s OUR choice. ? & we will keep fighting til people understand. i say this w all due respect but thank u, next."
She continued, "also @piersmorgan, i look forward to the day you realize there are other ways to go about making yourself relevant than to criticize young, beautiful, successful women for everything they do. i think that’ll be a beautiful thing for you and your career or what’s left of it."
The "Thank U, Next" singer also sent a message of support to Little Mix — and its members, Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall, Jesy Nelson and Leigh-Anne Pinnock — in a separate tweet, encouraging them to "keep fighting the fight divas … your sisters have your back."
Grande also made a point to call out Morgan’s hypocrisy, by sharing a photo from a shoot in which he posed in next to nothing for an advertising campaign. (Morgan recently shared the photo on his own Twitter page, along with a link to an article he wrote for International Men’s Day.)
"When u do it, it’s okay tho, right?" Grande fired back at Morgan. Of course, when the presenter attempted to clap back, by asking if the photo in question was Grande’s screensaver, the singer proved that she’s not one to mess with by responding simply, "nah and it ain’t ur girls’ either i can promise u that."
Her social media fight with Morgan is far from the first time that Grande has fired back at the "double standard" of criticizing women for showing skin and shown her support for gender equality. In September, during her BBC special, the singer revealed that she doesn’t consider herself to be a "perfect" role model, and that she’s happy to let her fans see the real her, and all of the ups and downs that entails.
"If I’m going to be a role model, the last thing I should be is perfect, because that’s not realistic," Grande told BBC host Davina McCall, according to People. "As long as I’m honest and genuine and I share with my fans my truest self, that’s the best that I can do, because that’s allowing them to do the same thing."
And though some critics — including Morgan — feel that her position as a role model means she should cover up more, Grande told Billboard in 2016 that she considers that mindset to be reductive. “If you’re going to rave about how sexy a male artist looks with his shirt off, and a woman decides to get in her panties or show her boobies for a photo shoot, she needs to be treated with the same awe and admiration," Grande declared. "I will say it until I’m an old-ass lady with my tits out at Whole Foods. I’ll be in the produce aisle, naked at 95, with a sensible ponytail, one strand of hair left on my head and a Chanel bow. Mark my words. See you there with my 95 dogs."
A month earlier, after the April 2016 release of her "Dangerous Woman" music video, Grande responded to a critical Facebook comment with a similar sentiment, writing, "When will people stop being offended by women showing skin / expressing sexuality? Men take their shirts off / express their sexuality onstage, in videos, on Instagram, anywhere they want to… All. The. Time. The double standard is so boring and exhausting. With all due respect, i think it’s time you get your head out of your ass. Women can love their bodies too!!"
And Grande is determined to make sure that women everywhere know that they should be able to present themselves however they feel most confident — and if you have a problem with that, Grande has a comeback already lined up for you. Thank you, next, indeed.
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