It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that becoming a part of Justin Bieber's inner sanctum can have lasting effects on your career trajectory. There is no one more aware of that than Selena Gomez. Since breaking it off with the recently insular pop star, she has waged a very public uphill battle to be seen as her own person and not "Justin Bieber's ex".
Now, fellow pop star Ariana Grande is speaking all the way up about that same issue. In the past she has made similar comments, mostly about her musical identity post Big Sean, but it's super important that she is speaking on it as it pertains to her peers.
Ariana and Selena are very much competing for the same demographics, but here's what she had to say about the former Disney star.
I'll never be able to swallow the fact that people feel the need to attach a successful woman to a man when they say her name.Ariana Grande
I saw a headline—draw your own conclusions [on who she is referring to] because it'll be so much drama that I don't want—they called someone another someone's ex, and that pissed me off. This person has had so many great records in the last year, and she hasn't been dating him forever. Call her by her name!Ariana Grande
I hate that. Like, I'm fuming. Sorry. You opened up...I need to take a sip of water and breathe. Don't get me started on this shit.Ariana Grande
Ariana doesn't mention Selena and Justin by name, but the interviewer for the story makes it clear that Grande is making reference to the former couple.
After having been through a similar situation with Big Sean, Ariana's criticism of this practice may be personally motivated. She is right, however. After working on a great record, reinventing herself, performing sold out shows and getting prime time performance slots at major award ceremonies, the fact that Selena Gomez still gets called "Justin Bieber's ex" is appalling.
It just goes to show that, sometimes when you're a young woman working hard to make a name for yourself, the media and other powers that be will refuse to let you be your own person without attaching a man's name to yours.
Either way, here's a video of Ariana Grande going HAM on the issue after an interviewer only wanted her to talk about boys.
Hey interviewers, here's a tip: next time you have a gorgeous, talented, interesting pop star in the seat across from you, try and see whether or not you can ask her about something other than boys.