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Ariana Grande's Ponytail: A Peep Into Her Psyche? Or a Source of Perpetual Headaches?

Illustration for article titled Ariana Grandes Ponytail: A Peep Into Her Psyche? Or a Source of Perpetual Headaches?
Image: Getty

Ariana Grande is known for many things—possessing no tears left to cry, ruining the Titanic alongside Satan herself (James Corden) and, of course, the horse tail that grows atop her tiny head. In a new interview with Popsugar, Grande’s longtime hairstylist Chris Appleton argued that the varying heights and style of her ponytails symbolize different moods, situations, behaviors, etc.

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I think what he was looking for is, uh, that she coordinates her hair for specific events, which is what all stylish people do. Anyway:

“If you have never been snatched, you have not lived. A snatched ponytail is such an iconic look, but there are so many things you can do with it—you can pull it up high or low or half-down. Ariana’s done a great job of showing that off.

With ponytails, it’s all about the placement. The higher you go, the fiercer it looks. The lower you go, the more professional or serious it looks. It can change the whole shape of your face. It can snatch your face upward and lift your eyes, or it can pull your eyes down. If you’re adding hair extensions or details like braids, it gives off a different impression. That’s where she gets to show her personality. But when we’ve worn it down recently, that’s fun as well because it’s just a change.”

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But what if I’m skeptical (true) and Appleton’s right (possible)?? Let’s investigate.

A high pony

Illustration for article titled Ariana Grandes Ponytail: A Peep Into Her Psyche? Or a Source of Perpetual Headaches?
Image: Getty

Not only has Ariana Grande’s ponytail left the atmosphere in this pic, it appears to be bedazzled in the shape of an arrow pointing in the direction of space, as if to scream to her audience, “Up, up, and away, bitch!” Appleton calls it fierce, I call it alien, which is also fierce.

A low pony

Illustration for article titled Ariana Grandes Ponytail: A Peep Into Her Psyche? Or a Source of Perpetual Headaches?
Image: Getty
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Ariana Grande’s ponytail is trying desperately to slide off her head in this pic, taken during her emotive performance at this year’s March for Our Lives rally. I’m not sure it looks sleeker or more professional than her other hair heights, but she’s certainly wearing it during a serious set which gives her noggin a sort of elegant joie de vivre. Perhaps it’s her—not the ponytail—that makes the vibe. Deep.

No pony

Illustration for article titled Ariana Grandes Ponytail: A Peep Into Her Psyche? Or a Source of Perpetual Headaches?
Image: Getty
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At the 2018 Video Music Awards, Ariana Grande went sans ‘tail. I think it’s a wig (the hairline is suspect) but it’s certainly strange to see her going au natural. I’d say this look screams “I’m tired of having the weight of an extra limb atop my head,” but it could also be “I’m an engaged woman now, wow!”

What have we learned:

I’m certain Ariana Grande has a headache, like, all the time. If not from the tight ponytail “snatch[ing] your face upward and lift[ing] your eyes,” as Appleton describes, which sounds fucking painful, by the way—but from the pounds and pounds of extensions on her slight frame. There’s no way she’s not quietly suffering for fashion every goddamn moment of every goddamn day.

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Cute looks, though!

Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands, is out now.

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DISCUSSION

Is anyone else sick. of. weaves. and wigs? Sure they have gotten a lot better in recent years (and yes I am overthinking it) but I’m so tired of this aesthetic based on the premise that women’s actual bodies are not acceptable. Do we really need to be insecure about the quantity and length of hairs on our head?

Also, more importantly, it’s pretty post-colonial to be wearing impoverished women’s disembodied hair on your head to a nightclub.