Ariana Grande has seen an astounding rise to fame in the past year, with millions of people all over the world falling in love with both her and her music. Veteran songstress Bette Midler, however, is not one of them. In fact, the Wind Beneath My Wings singer greatly disapproves of both the 21-year-old’s music and public image overall, stating that she really does not understand the appeal whatsoever.
In a recent interview with The Telegraph, the 68-year-old expressed her discontent with the state of the music business overall, in that she feels that the concept of “sex sells” has been pushed to the limit and that talentless artists are pushed onto the public due to their image. She focused particularly on Grande, who she says is overdoing the sexual image and also is not that talented to begin with. She referenced the Florida native’s recent AMA performance, stating that the way in which the girl performed was ridiculous and over the top in terms of physical exhibition. Midler went on to say that she was both surprised and saddened to witness Grande using a couch as a performance prop, followed up with the accompaniment of her “silly” high voice (which she refers to as wholesome at the same time.)
She referred to Grande’s public image as ridiculous, and raised the question as to who is instructing her to perform in such a manner. She admits that she is aware that sexuality sells in terms of promoting talent and the like, but says the powers that be have obviously pushed the matter too far and have made someone who had legitimate talent be famous for nothing more than their looks and provocative performance antics. She wraps up her rant by giving the following advice to future apsiring singers; have faith in talent itself, rather than the gimmicks pop culture society uses to make an individual famous.
Midler is not the only celebrity to be outspoken about their issue with Grande’s representation in the entertainment industry. Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik voiced her disapproval towards the Break Free singer just a few months ago, stating that her recent photo promotion left people wondering what it was she actually did for a living. In this, she was discussing a recent Billboard photograph in which Grande was wearing less than full coverage clothing, something that Bialik said made her wonder if the singer promoted lingerie or any other kind of sales due to the imagery depicted by said image. She went on to state that the over-sexualization of Hollywood females was a rather large issue, and that women should be able to become famous for the actual talent they showcase to the world rather than how the heavily edited images of them appear to the public in magazines and suchlike.
It remains to be seen what Ariana Grande thinks regarding Bette Midler’s recent diss towards her public image and live performance choices. Neither the singer nor her representatives have yet to give any statement on the matter.
By Rebecca Grace