Ariana Grande has pretty dark skin for someone who is white. So is her skin naturally like that or does she tan?
Ariana Grande does get spray tans. She comes from an Italian family and tries to have a spray tan that matches her natural skin color if she were to go tanning every day. The fact that she spray tans has brought a lot of criticism from some fans calling her out for ‘blackfishing.’
Read more below about Ariana Grande’s Italian family roots, who provides her spray tan and their tips, and the criticism she has received.
Ariana Grande is Italian-American
This may come as a huge shock to some readers, but Ariana Grande is actually Italian. She is often mistaken for being Latin because of her darker complexion and the fact that she is from Florida, an area with a heavy Latin population.
Her parents are Joan Grande and Edward Butera, both of whom have an Italian heritage. Both of Grande’s parents and her grandparents are all American born, making her Italian roots a lot further back than you would think.
Despite that fact, Grande refers to herself as Italian-American. She has noted to her fans that her families come from the Sicily region and the Abruzzese region of Italy.
Interestingly enough, Sicily is the area of Italy most famous for its ties to the mafia. Although we doubt the ‘Thank U Next’ singer has ties to the crime syndicate at all.
Grande’s Spray Tan
If Ariana Grande is of Italian descent, then why is her tan so dark? Well, for one many Italian’s do have naturally darker skin tones.
Italy is closer to the equator and living in a sunnier climate often means that people’s bodies will produce more melanin to help protect their skin from UVB exposure. Melanin is the protein that the body produces to absorb UVB rays and protect the skin from radiation.
Melanin also appears darker in color, so if your skin is darker then you have a lot more melanin in your body. The production of melanin is passed down genetically.
Ariana Grande’s family has probably had a lot of sun exposure throughout the generations spent in Italy so her skin naturally produces more melanin. Her spray tan artist has said that she matches the spray tan to Grande’s natural skin tone.
Kristyn Pradas, Ariana’s spray tan artist, told Glamour magazine all about her products and the tans that they produce. She even gives spray tanners tips on how to have a great spray tan and avoid breakouts, rashes, and keep the tan even.
Some of these tips include: exfoliating 2-3 days before the tan, checking your razor for a moisture strip that can cause spray tanning issues, not to over-moisturize, avoid tight clothing after, and pat yourself dry after a shower.
You can be sure these are all tips that Ariana Grande follows post-tan herself. You can see her tan in action in the below music video for the song ‘Positions.’
Backlash and Criticism Over Her Tan
Even though Ariana Grande has said that she is of Mediterranean descent, she has received a lot of backlash and criticism over her spray tan. A lot of people, especially within the black community, have said that her spray tan is an attempt at ‘blackfishing.’
Blackfishing is a term that was coined by Wanna Thompson and combines the words catfishing and black to make blackfishing. It is when a person of non-African descent tries to appear like they are through the use of cosmetics, hair extension, tanners, and sometimes even surgery.
Ariana Grande received criticism for doing this because of her photo on the cover of Time magazine showing just how white she actually is and accusations of cultural misappropriation sprung up. One area that was really criticized was her music video for ‘7 Rings’ where she raps and was accused of ripping off artist 2 Chainz.
However, some people were a little more suspicious stating that Time magazine has been notorious in the past for pushing a certain narrative in order to fulfill a stereotype that is trending at the time.
In an article published to Medium by Paco Taylor, they point out that in 1994 Time did a similar thing to OJ Simpson’s mugshot.
They said “But in that instance, Simpson, an African-American man, apparently wasn’t dark enough. So the photograph was drastically altered in a way that would offer the very visceral fulfillment of one of America’s oldest cultural myths: that of the ‘scary’ black man.”