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Ariana Grande brilliantly defends Little Mix from Piers Morgan’s “slut-shaming”

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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If only we all had an Ariana in our corner whenever someone tried to put us down.

Thank u, next.

That was Ariana Grande’s brilliant response to Piers Morgan, who took it upon himself to slut shame the four women of Little Mix yesterday. Morgan’s main issue was the video clip for the band’s single Strip, which featured Jesy Nelson, Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards and Leigh-Anne Pinnock completely naked, their bodies painted with the words most frequently used as slurs against them, like ‘ugly’, ‘talentless’, ‘slutty’, ‘bossy’ and ‘stupid’.

It was a powerful video, which featured dozens of other female activists of all shapes, sizes and races, dancing alongside the singers in a glorious celebration of body diversity. 

But Morgan didn’t like it. The Good Morning Britain host called the whole thing a desperate ploy “to sell albums”. 

“What is empowering about this?” Morgan spluttered on his morning show, clearly unable to recognise that women might find something empowering that he, a man, does not. “Get your kit off, airbrush yourself to within an inch of your lives… it’s nonsense. It’s just stripping off to sell records. It’s actually using sex and sexuality to sell records. That’s it. There’s nothing else to this.” 

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He added: “I get insults every single day, I don’t take my clothes off and adorn my body in them.”

And for that we are eternally grateful.

The Little Mix girls hit back on Nick Grimshaw’s show on Radio 1, with Nelson calling Morgan “a silly tw*t” and Pinnock adding “the word she was looking for was ‘idiot’.”

That should have been the end of that, but like a schoolyard bully, Morgan wasn’t able to let it go. The trigger-happy commentator, who had only the day before tweeted criticism about Ellen DeGeneres for “drooling… over famous men’s bodies” on International Men’s Day as “the hypocrisy of modern feminism laid bare”, kept tweeting at Little Mix, demanding they come on his morning show to hash out their beef and alleging that the band “stole” the powerful imagery from the video clip from the Dixie Chicks. (It’s called an homage, mate, look it up.)

Joan Grande – yes, Ariana’s mum – hit back, asking “honestly what is wrong with you Piers Morgan? Didn’t your mother ever teach you, if you have nothing nice to say don’t say it!” 

Morgan then responded to Joan, saying “my mother taught me to speak my mind & never be afraid to express honestly held opinion… as for Little Mix, I’d just prefer they use their talent to sell records rather than their nudity. As your own daughter does… !”

Joan was having none of it. “We all know in America that everyone has the right to speak their minds,” she tweeted back, “but trash talk for the sake of denigrating women doing their jobs is at best misogynistic and at worst undignified and ignorant!” 

But no-one talks sh*t about Ariana’s mum. The singer weighed magnificently in on social media, taking Piers to absolute task for the way he refuses to allow women in the spotlight to be sexual beings.

“I use my talent AND my sexuality all the time because I choose to,” Ariana tweeted at Piers. “Women can be sexual AND talented. Naked and dignified. It’s our choice. & we keep fighting til people understand. I say this w all due respect but thank u, next.”

“Also Piers Morgan, I look forward to the day you realise there are other ways to go about making yourself relevant than to criticise young, beautiful, successful women for everything they do. I think that’ll be a beautiful thing for you and your career, or what’s left of it.”

She then went on to remind Little Mix that “your sisters have your back” and that they should “keep fighting the fight divas”. She also pointed out the hypocrisy in Morgan’s statements, recirculating the 2009 advertisement for Burger King that featured a stripped back Morgan, naked as the day he was birthed into this world, covered in naught but a velvety stripe of fabric.

“Oh god, thought we deleted this image years ago,” Burger King UK tweeted, and, honestly, same. We thought we had successfully erased this image from our collectively consciousness a long time ago, and yet here it is again, ready to bring on a fresh wave of nightmares.

Everything devolved from there: Morgan called on Kim Kardashian, Emily Ratajkowski and Chrissy Teigen to “defend” Little Mix and Ariana Grande, and tried to turn Ariana’s best known catchphrase back on her in a series of desperate tweets.

“Of course, women can do what they like,” he responded to Ariana. “But if they/you use nudity to sell records to impressionable young emale fans. I’ll continue to call them/you out on it. All due respect, but thank YOU. Next…”

And then there was this: “Since I’ve got your attention Ariana Grande – want to come on Good Morning Britain on Monday to settle this like mano-to-womano? We can bring our mothers too, if you like.”

This feud has only been going for 24 hours and already a deep weariness has settled into our very bones. And judging by Chrissy Teigen’s response, we think the whole world agrees with us. 

Thank u, Piers Morgan. Next. 

Images: Getty

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