Bette Midler's Apology For Ariana Grande Diss Is Less of an Apology & More of a Problematic Justification
I'm still wondering what Ariana Grande did to Bette Midler that justified such a completely unwarranted burst of slut shaming as the one the actress expressed in an interview with The Telegraph. According to Midler, Grande doesn't need to whore herself out to be famous — implying, of course, that the pop singer is whoring herself out to be famous and not simply wielding her own sexuality by her own choice as is her right as a lady and human being. The former Sam & Cat star seemed equally surprised when Grande responded to Midler's comments in a classy (though passive-aggressive manner) on Tuesday. However, if you thought Grande's classiness would push Midler to apologize, then you were both right and wrong. Mostly wrong.
Midler responded to the entire controversy late Tuesday evening, after the story had gone viral on news sites and Grande had tweeted her promise to continue being a fan of Midler no matter what. (This was done alongside a picture of Midler herself in a similar outfit to the ones Grande often wears on stage, because, like I said, the message was a touch passive-aggressive.) In Midler's answering tweet, the words "I'm sorry," "sorry," or any synonyms thereof weren't used. In fact, it doesn't really seem like Midler is all that sorry.
From this tweet, I gather that the actress' words are supposed to be taken with greater gravitas because she herself is a "reformed whore" and thus understands what she imagines that Grande is going through. Or am I supposed to gather that her words are supposed to be taken with a grain of salt because of that aforementioned "reformed whore" title? The thing is, I take issue with Midler calling either Grande or herself a whore just for dressing in a provocative or revealing manner. That doesn't make you a whore. Considering the actual definition of a whore is a prostitute — a profession that neither Grande nor Midler are known to be involved in, and a callous and insensitive term for the profession to begin with — then casually throwing that word around is wrong.
In the second place, Midler owes Grande an apology for her statement not a justification for it. There is no justification for slut shaming. Nine times out of ten, it comes from a place of insecurity on the part of the slut shamer — and, as Mean Girls tells us, putting another woman down won't make you look or be any better. So, while it's great to know that Midler wasn't being hypocritical — but instead allegedly sympathetic — in her comments about Grande's career, the fact that she doesn't understand that she was being rude and expressing unnecessary concern is really disappointing. Hopefully, this is the last that Grande or Midler will say in regards to one another, because this is one celebrity feud that just plain isn't worth it.