Coachella's performances of Ariana Grande should not be compared to those of Beyoncé

This weekend, Ariana Grande will become the youngest artist to ever make the front page of the festival. She is also the fourth woman to do it. Comparisons with his fellow headliners – and with Beyoncé in particular – will be inevitable.

But let's hope not.

Look, comparisons can be fun. They create a friendly debate, create blog clickable posts, and are easy fodder for online polls. But this minimizes the unique contributions of each of these strong women. They represent a trope that has proven to be as impossible to kill as a nasty horror film: successful women are unable to support and share a space with other women who have successful.

"Beyoncé is amazing, as is Ariana Grande," said Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo, a Philadelphia-based rapper better known as Sammus. "So I hope people will be smart enough not to buy [comparisons]. "

Even in this culture of fraternity, there are still layers of society that have not yet received the memo that women do not like and do not want to behave themselves to others.

Attack the flames

That's what happened to Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera because they were both pretty naked girls who went from Disney star kids to pop stars who were fighting over the votes. " TRL "in the late 90s and early 2000s. This is what happened to Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, both of whom faced Simon Cowell's critics early in their careers. And continue to arrive to others.

Back in the day, Aguilera and Spears tried to eliminate the rumors of the quarrel.

"It's really sad to see that some tabloid magazines still have to make bad will between Britney and me," Aguilera said in a message posted on his website in 2005. "If some journalists want to highlight their integrity by spreading false information, so be it, but I do not fall for their lies, any more than my fans or Britney's. "

Still, a tabloid has flamed on its cover, "Britney vs. Christina: Why They Always Try To Be The Sexiest!" It was in 2011.

The times are changing.

Last year, country singer Kelsea Ballerini criticized an online poll that asked people to vote for the female artist that they most wanted to see happen at a local event. award ceremony, stating that the "simple and seemingly harmless" issue was doing a disservice to female artists.

"This gives us the impression that there is only one space available," she said in a long post on Instagram. "It's not 'Mean Girls', it's country music, where you CAN actually sit with us."

In his statement, Ballerini also spoke of an idea that women around the world are embracing more and more: you do not have to cut one woman to compliment another.

Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood at an event in 2018

Clarkson and Underwood also stood out when a poll on Twitter asked which former winner of "American Idol" was "the most iconic".

"I think we are both winners in life and rather blessed," Clarkson said on Twitter.

Underwood added, "I hope more publications celebrate women's success without opposing each other … just my thoughts."

All quarrels are not media inventions or fan-driven. Take, for example, the seemingly real animosity between Cardi B and Nicki Minaj, who got stuck at a party at New York Fashion Week last year.
Before the women made peace, the exploitation of their conflict did not hold good to the writer El Hunt of NME, who wrote: "When we see a well-publicized" beef "between female stars taking place the most common cause, we are told, must be envy. "

"While their male counterparts exchange blows and jeers in a wider tradition, we are told that women get angry at each other and make fun of little things," she said. written. "We decide that they just have to hate each other, and look with joy to see who will triumph."

In the hip-hop genre, Lumumba-Kasongo, also a PhD student in Cornell, says that healthy competition can "spur innovation in the field of art." However, when hip-hop female artists are considered competitive or have a healthy ego on their skills, "this is always presented as a kind of cattiness".

Different issues

Male artists are also compared to each other – as groups of boys and every "white man with guitar" who participated in "American Idol" can testify. But the challenges facing male artists are very different from those faced by women in the music industry.
Male musicians are not encouraged to "step up" so that they may have the honor of being recognized by their industry. The profiles of their magazines do not start with descriptions of their bodies and do not degrade their peers. They do not watch the lines of festivals and do not notice a glaring imbalance.

"This idea that a single woman can exist in a space is something that is institutionalized," says Lumumba-Kasongo. "We would not have this opposition between women in there was a multitude of slot machines for women to be part of these spaces."

For example, if women were on an equal footing in festivals, the tendency for women artists to have the feeling of competing for precious slots "would not automatically be part of the conversation".

"It's continually," well, we have our female artists, so check& # 39; So, of course, every year, the person who will occupy this position will be compared to the person who held this position the previous year, "she said.

Lumumba-Kasongo, who will be releasing a new album later this year, says social media and general camaraderie are useful tools to fight against misinformation about her and fellow artists.

"[It] it might not work in an easy-to-quantify way, but I really feel like it pushes the culture forward when people see, you know, a Ariana Grande and a Nicki Minaj lying around or Beyoncé and a Rihanna are in the same area "" This changes the conversation. "

Grande and Beyoncé seem to share their admiration for each other.

Grande pointed out Destiny's Child as a source of musical inspiration in a 2014 V magazine article: "It's there that I discovered my range." I grew up in listening to Destiny's Child.I was trying so hard to mimic all Beyoncé's little exits and her ad-lib stuff they're so accurate.It's like maths … Thanks, Destiny's Child! "
At the same time, Beyoncé has already included Grande in a playlist organized in honor of her own birthday, made up of what Queen B called "some of the great musical talents born in the month of June".

Great, she is Billboard's wife of the year and landed her fourth album in February, but it did not take long for a competition between the two to be at its peak when she was was announced the head of 2019 Coachella.

It is undeniable that Beyoncé gave a sound show, a master class on black culture in layers and a show that some would say impossible to surpass in our lifetime.

The beauty is, whatever Grande decides to do when she comes on stage at Coachella will be a full-fledged creation, truly comparable only to her other performances.

It is time to significantly change the way women are written and spoken of as performers. Enough to encourage animosity between powerful and prosperous women. It leaves a bitter taste – you know, something like lemonade without sweetener.

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