Ariana Grande is speaking up about the “concerns” over her body – and setting a good reminder on why it’s best to refrain from comments about someone’s physical appearance in the process.
After an influx of recent comments about the celebrity’s appearance, the “Positions” singer, 29, shared a video on TikTok to remind followers “you never know what someone is going through.” The clip has since gone viral with more than 66 million views and 12.2 million likes.
“Even if you are coming from a loving place and a caring place, that person probably is working on it or has a support system that they are working on it with,” Grande said. “So, be gentle with each other and with yourselves.”
She added “there are many different ways to look healthy and beautiful,” adding her previous figure people are comparing her to was “the unhealthiest version of my body.”
“I was on a lot of antidepressants and drinking on them and eating poorly and at the lowest point of my life when I looked the way you consider my healthy,” she said. “But that in fact wasn’t my healthy.”
Experts agree that it’s best to skip comments on people’s bodies – regardless of if they’re meant to be positive or negative.
“Making comments about physical appearance has been so normalized in our society that it is hard for some to understand why this could be problematic and should be avoided,” says Elizabet Altunkara, director of education at the National Eating Disorders Association. “We cannot know what a person is going through physically or mentally by just looking at them. Commenting on someone’s physical appearance can perpetuate issues, such as negative body image, low self-esteem, body dissatisfaction, that the person might already be dealing with.”
Body comments are also inappropriate because they are “heavily influenced by the appearance ideal promoted in our culture,” Altunkara says.
“Bodies are diverse, unique and beautiful, and body diversity should be celebrated,” she adds.
An even if Grande or other public figures don’t hear your comments themselves, those around you do.
“Hearing people commenting about celebrities’ continues to send out the message that it is OK to talk about and make assumptions based on physical appearance. This can be especially harmful for those who may struggle with body image or disordered eating as this highlights the cultural norms that overvalue appearance, which we know is a risk factor in the development of eating disorders,” Altunkara adds.
Grande isn’t the first celebrity to call out body commenters. In 2021, Jonah Hill shared it “doesn’t feel good” when his fans on social media commented on his body, asking them to stop.
The twice-Oscar-nominated actor, who has been open about his struggles with weight and body image, asked his Instagram followers to not say anything about it, regardless of whether it’s positive or negative.
“I know you mean well but I kindly ask that you not comment on my body,” the then-37-year-old wrote. “Good or bad I want to politely let you know it’s not helpful and doesn’t feel good. Much respect.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with body image or eating concerns, the National Eating Disorders Association’s toll-free and confidential helpline is available by phone or text at 1-800-931-2237 or by click-to-chat message at nationaleatingdisorders.org/helpline. For 24/7 crisis situations, text “NEDA” to 741-741.
Christopher Brito contributed to this report.