Ariana Grande is the focus of an illuminating and entertaining new cover story in Vogue, in which the ubiquitous pop star reflects on the loss of ex-boyfriend Mac Miller, her weird childhood, and last summer’s whirlwind romance with Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson, which enraptured the public and cursed us all with the specter of Big Dick Energy.
Grande is gracious and honest in her assessment of the short-lived relationship, which peaked with the pair getting engaged. “I met Pete and it was an amazing distraction. It was frivolous and fun and insane and highly unrealistic, and I loved him, and I didn’t know him. I’m like an infant when it comes to real life and this old soul, been-around-the-block-a-million-times artist. I still don’t trust myself with the life stuff.”
Of Miller, she says the rapper “didn’t deserve the demons he had.” She continued, “I was the glue for such a long time, and I found myself becoming … less and less sticky. The pieces just started to float away.” The grief over his death, she says, remains “all-consuming,” later adding that she’s “walking this fine line between healing myself and not letting the things that I’ve gone through be picked at before I’m ready, and also celebrating the beautiful things that have happened in my life and not feeling scared that they’ll be taken away from me because trauma tells me that they will be, you know what I mean?” Her fans, she says, help her process the burden. She charmingly says she and her fans are “like fucking E.T. and Elliott.”
One of the more fascinating parts of the interview is Grande’s depiction of her upbringing and her mother, Joan, who she describes as “goth.” Per the piece: “The theme of her third birthday party was Jaws. She loved to run around the house in a Jason mask, and at Halloween, Joan liked to buy animal organs and leave them floating in dishes.” Suddenly that whole donut-licking thing makes a lot more sense.