This year, Billboard will be honoring Ariana Grande as Woman of the Year at the 13th annual Women in Music event, which takes place on Dec. 6 in New York City. Ahead of the big night, Grande sat down with Billboard to look back at some of her childhood photos and to share words of wisdom for her younger self.
The first photo Grande is shown features her at a very young age, sitting on a couch and doing what, as the singer describes, is a “bend and snap,” which she coincidentally recreated in her “Thank U, Next” music video, which featured an homage the iconic scene in Legally Blonde.
Next, she takes a look at an old picture of herself with her brother Frankie, of which she jokes, “I still look like that without makeup, and hair, and extensions and stuff… For real, when I get out of the shower, that’s exactly what I look like. I swear to God. I swear.”
Another photograph, which features Ariana, Frankie, and their mother huddling together under a blanket with their faces painted as skeletons, was surprisingly not taken on Halloween. “This was like a random Thursday in July,” the singer reveals. “My dad was working late, so my family and I did this together. That’s insane. We need severe help, still, all of us. This is also is still what I look like without makeup on.”
When it comes to a baby picture of Grande holding a bottle and nibbling on a cookie, she replies, “I don’t think there’s any shadier-looking person on the planet. That’s the shadiest thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life… I’m like, ‘Bitch, that’s my cookie, that’s my juice, okay? Carry on. Thank you, next, that’s what this baby picture says.”
As for what advice Grande would want to give to her younger self, the singer says that it would be the same advice she’s giving herself today, which is: be kinder to herself.
“I’ve always been way better at giving lots of love, and chances, and acceptance, and forgiveness to other people, but none to myself,” she explains. “So I think I would try to instill that, or realize that at least a little earlier, ’cause I’m just starting to enter that chapter now, and figure that out.
You can watch the full video interview with Grande, and make sure to tune in to the Women in Music red carpet pre-show live on Twitter from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. EST on Dec. 6.