Ariana Grande has addressed the “concerns” about her physique, serving as a timely reminder of the futility of making judgments based on someone else’s appearance.
The “Positions” singer, now 29 years old, responded to recent criticism of her physical appearance in a video posted to TikTok in which she said, “you never know what someone is going through.” With over 66 million views and 12.2 million likes, the video quickly went viral.
The person “probably is working on it or has a support system that they are working on it with,” Grande said, adding that “even if you are coming from a loving place and a caring place,” they will likely still need help. So, have compassion for one another and on yourself.
She went on to say, “There are many different ways to look healthy and beautiful,” calling the version of her body that others are holding up as an example “the unhealthiest version of my body.”
“When I looked the way you consider my healthy,” she added, “I was on a lot of antidepressants, drinking on them, eating poorly, and at the lowest point of my life.” But that wasn’t good for me at all.
Both favorable and negative comments on people’s appearance are generally discouraged by experts.
According to Elizabet Altunkara, director of education at the National Eating Disorders Association, “making comments about physical appearance has been so normalized in our society that it is hard for some to understand why this could be problematic and should be avoided.” A person’s outward appearance tells us nothing about the inner turmoil going on in their head or body. When you make a comment on someone’s physical appearance, you increase the likelihood that they will internalize it and use it to reinforce negative beliefs about themselves.
Commentary on a person’s body is also not welcome since it is “heavily influenced by the appearance ideal promoted by our culture,” as Altunkara puts it.
She continues, “Body diversity should be celebrated because it represents the richness of humanity.”
And even if Grande or the other public celebrities you criticize don’t hear your comments, their fans will.
Hearing others talk about famous people reinforces the idea that it is acceptable to judge others based on how they look. As Altunkara points out, this can be especially problematic for people who already have issues with their body image or have eating disorders because it draws attention to cultural standards that overvalue looks.
Grande is not the first famous person to address the issue of body shaming. Jonah Hill said in 2021 that he “doesn’t feel good” when his admirers comment on his body in social media and he begs them to stop.
The actor, who has been candid about his battles with weight and body image, has urged his Instagram followers to refrain from commenting on the topic, whether positive or bad.
The 37-year-old added, “I know you mean well but I kindly ask that you not comment on my body.” Whatever the case may be, I’d like to kindly inform you that it’s neither useful nor pleasant. with utmost regard".