ENTERTAINMENT

OPINION: Ariana Grande has changed so many lives

Including mine.

In less than two years, Ariana Grande suffered more pain and loss than most endure in a lifetime. She reacted in horror as 22 fans were killed and more than 130 others injured by suicide bomber Salman Abedi, who detonated a shrapnel-laden bomb after her May 22, 2017, Manchester concert came to a close.

She then grappled with the shocking and unexpected death of her beloved ex-boyfriend Mac Miller, and later called off her short-term engagement to her fiancé, Saturday Night Live comedian Pete Davidson.

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While navigating her way through the unimaginable, the pop star managed to pick up the pieces, showing the world that although life is fraught with challenges, wounds heal. Through her catchy (and ridiculously successful) break-up anthem “thank u, next” – which she admitted was a “huge factor in my healing process and feeling better” – she taught us that moving on from heartbreak might be a process, but it’s possible.

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I admire Grande for knowing and understanding that her unwavering fan base is made up of millions of teenagers who respect her. She knows future change and growth starts with the younger generation.

As a result, she uses her platform to share poignant messages. For instance, after such a torturous year, she revealed in an interview with British Vogue she was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder following the Manchester attacks. The 25-year-old candidly shared her experience, encouraging those who are suffering to no longer do so in silence.

“In all honesty, therapy saved my life. And if you’re afraid to ask for help, don’t be. You don’t have to be in constant pain and you can process trauma. It’s a start to be aware that it’s possible,” the singer bravely tweeted to her 60 million followers.

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In a few short sentences, she destroyed the omnipresent stigma associated with asking for help. She taught me there’s no use
pretending you’re OK if you’re not. Seeking help from a friend, family member or a professional isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. Bettering yourself and your mental health shouldn’t be something you’re ashamed or embarrassed about.

After all, life isn’t always easy.

We’re only human.

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Grande not only promotes love, positivity and acceptance, but she stands up for what she believes in, inspiring others, including me, to be kinder to ourselves and one another. And in a world that is often riddled with bitterness, that’s something to hold on to. The singer-songwriter, who drops her fourth studio album, also titled thank u, next, on Fri., Feb. 8, is living proof that silver linings exist.

Deservingly crowned Billboard’s 2018 Woman of the Year, Grande’s latest tune, “7 Rings”, which she describes as a “friendship anthem” is not only a certified banger, but it rocketed to No. 1 around the world.

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Oh, and the lavish pink-tinted diamond-filled music video that accompanied the song has set the standard for the year ahead, with a massive YouTube debut last month.

It looks like 2019 is going to be a big one for the superstar. 

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