While she’s put a lot of work into her music, the way the industry treats women can often be a distraction, she says. Citing tweets from a U.K. radio station — two of which laud the bare bodies of fellow pop stars Justin Bieber and Zayn Malik, while a different set chastise Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian for showing a little skin — Grande says the double standard on sexuality is regressive and hurtful to women. “If you’re going to rave about how sexy a male artist looks with his shirt off and a woman decides to get in her panties or show her boobies for a photo shoot, she needs to be treated with the same awe and admiration,” she says.
With an aunt she noted as the first Italian-American female president of the National Press Club, the “Into You” singer has long been a vocal feminist, posting a Gloria Steinem-quoting essay to social media in 2015, in which she called for the eradication of misogyny in the music industry. “I will say it until I’m an old-ass lady with my t— out at Whole Foods,” she tells Billboard. “I’ll be in the produce aisle, naked at 95, with a sensible ponytail, one strand of hair left on my head and a Chanel bow. Mark my words. See you there with my 95 dogs.”
Though she doesn’t mention any artist by name, Grande scolds the media for associating successful women with the men they’re dating. “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… I saw a headline — draw your own conclusions [on the subjects] 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!” she explains. “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 s—.”
Dangerous Woman is out May 20. Watch Grande’s new music video for “Let Me Love You” (feat. Lil Wayne) now on Apple Music.