We all love Ariana Grande. From the early days of Victorious and other Disney shows to the pop sensation she has become, Ari has always captured the American heart. She had a meteoric rise to the top and very quickly be came a staple in any vibe playlist. We barely had time to collect our collective jaws from the floor, to realize that the Ari we had been listening to was kinda problematic.
We can all recognize this iconic outfit from her infamous 7 rings music video. But do you know the inspiration for this outfit and hairstyle? If you played the video game Street Fighter, you might be able to guess. Yes this outfit is based of the well know character Chun-Li. She is an iconic Chinese character. Who dresses in traditional Chinese garb. Ari might not know it, but she is actually culturally appropriating when she wears this outfit. She did not have to experience the inter-sectional struggles to earn the right of dressing like that character. Its is honestly gross, and is likely not Ariana First offense.
To many of her white suburban listeners Ari seems to have a style all her own. But for anyone with less whitewashed taste, it is quite obvious that she heavily leans on her Hip Hop influences. This becomes quite obvious when you observe and compare here triplicate flows with a popular African American female artist like Nicki Minaj. She has directly lifted the trappings of African American Hip Hop music and used it for her own purposes. This Columbusing™ of black culture is abhorrent and is probably her biggest sin. She has yet to apologize for her blatant cultural appropriation, but I wait hoping she will come to her senses.
What Can She Do About it
First and foremost, the queen of snark needs to give a real apology to the POCs she has effected. Then she needs to promise to donate a portion of all of her album sales to POC positive causes. She may need to develop a new musical style that does not steal from minorities. Basically she needs to stop being a cultural appropriator.