Ariana Grande and her army of similarly-short women are coming to save us all.
2018 belongs to pint-size ladies who are exciting and inspiring in their artistic endeavors and graceful in the face of adversity.
I am dubbing this year, the Year of the Little Woman.
Let’s begin with the petite queen bee herself, Ariana. Miss Grande and her ponytail had themselves a banner year. This summer alone, she fell in (and eventually out of) love quite publicly, released her third No. 1 Billboard 200 album and gave a perfect “Carpool Karaoke” performance.
Later this year, in September, Ariana’s ex-boyfriend and frequent collaborator, Mac Miller, died from an accidental overdose. Fans took to social media to blame her and her new relationship for Miller’s death, causing Grande to disable comments on her Instagram. In mid-October, Ariana and her then-fiance Pete Davidson called off their engagement and the comedian has been quick to discuss the break-up on Saturday Night Live.
And despite all that, just last week, Ariana released the first single off her new album, “thank u, next.”
If you didn’t pay attention to the lyrics, the single seems like a sweet lil’ bop. But the intimate lyrics about failed relationships and personal growth demonstrate Ariana’s commitment to self-love and optimism.
“thank u, next” could have easily exploited the drama in the singer’s personal life to drive streams and profit. Instead, this 25-year-old, five-foot woman chose to share her difficult path to self-acceptance, warts and all.
A pop song that concerns itself with growth, self-love and forgiveness is perhaps the perfect 3-minute-and-27-second antidote to this year. A package as compact as the artist who assembled it.
Lady Gaga, towering at 5 feet 2 inches, is Ariana’s sister in shortness. Perhaps you’ve heard a bit about her new movie, “A Star is Born.” Both the movie and the soundtrack are wonderful, but Gaga’s Oscar campaign is what earned her the “tiny queen” title.
Gaga does not shy away from discussing the trauma she has endured after being sexually assaulted and consistently speaks up for other sexual assault survivors.
Before “A Star is Born,” Gaga’s original song, “Till It Happens to You,” featured in the documentary “The Hunting Ground,” was nominated for a Grammy, Emmy and Academy Award. Both the song and the documentary concern themselves with the sexual assault on college campuses. During Gaga’s performance at the 88th Academy Awards, she was joined onstage by over 50 sexual assault survivors.
Gaga’s outspoken support for sexual assault survivors in 2018 has earned her the title of “tiny queen.”
During her appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” she praised Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, after Ford came forward with allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Later, at Elle’s Women in Hollywood event, Gaga opened up about the discomfort she feels in her own body as a result of being sexually assaulted by a man in the entertainment industry. I implore you, nay, order you to watch the full speech.
Like Ariana, Gaga is radically transparent about the difficulties she faces each and every day. I can’t help but feel incredibly lucky that these are the women making headlines this year, for their compassion, honesty, and talent.
There are countless examples of short ladies in pop culture who are making waves like Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga. Cardi B, always hilariously candid, has been extremely open about her own struggles with motherhood since the birth of her baby, Kulture, this year. Whether she’s guest-hosting “The Tonight Show” or dragging Nicki Minaj on her Instagram, she’s delightfully and unapologetically herself. And of course, she’s only five-foot-three!
Kate McKinnon (5 feet 3 inches), an out gay woman and resident impressionist on Saturday Night Live, embodies and satirizes the most powerful people in the country each week. Julia Louis-Dreyfus (also 5 feet 3 inches) bravely shared her breast cancer diagnosis and advocated for universal healthcare in the same tweet! And Reese Witherspoon (5 feet and 1 inch) has made it her mission to produce film and television made by women.
It appears hundreds of small female celebrities put their heads together and decided 2018 was the year that they would become our overlords. Unencumbered by unnecessary inches and led by the smallest (and thus, the most powerful), short women are teaching us to live authentically, honestly and healthily. They prioritize their own mental health, creativity and joy, as well as the health and happiness of the public.
Proudly kneel before your newly-anointed queens of culture, and you’ll probably be the same height as them.