I wanna know who made this little bunny ribbon. It’s being used all over the world and I think that’s so cool pic.twitter.com/OtB9T9HW0Q
— shawn (@grandeslices) May 24, 2017
Chances are you’ve seen a rather poignant image making the rounds on social media: a black awareness ribbon with bunny ears set on a pink background. It’s a nod to the same black latex bunny ears that Ariana Grande wore on the cover of her latest album Dangerous Woman and performed with during her recent world tour.
In the days following the Manchester attack, this symbol of support seems to have resonated with mourners. As Teen Vogue, Bustle and Refinery29 have both noted, it is unclear who originally created the graphic, but it was quickly picked up by Arianators (Grande’s massive fan base), and has since been circulated all over the world.
Many feel that the image meaningfully conveys sympathy for those who were targeted in this attack: young girls and women, in particular.
No words , just pic.twitter.com/wASShpn0H1
— Sarah Michelle (@SarahMGellar) May 23, 2017
— Sarah Grace (@sarahbearr16) May 23, 2017
— Jessica (@mendesxopurpxse) May 24, 2017
— Hailee Steinfeld (@HaileeSteinfeld) May 23, 2017
The bunny ears on the black ribbon bring together the common ground that was the basis of where it all happened. It’s not promoting Ariana.
— tris (@babvtris) May 25, 2017
this black ribbon with bunny ears are not promo for ari. it symbolizes the support/message for our fellow arianators who was affected.
— le’s (@_lester_B) May 25, 2017
@TeenVogue Who tf is gonna look at that pic and think “bunny ears? oh yeah lemme go buy Dangerous Woman on iTunes real quick”
— send love. (@christiannnn_13) May 25, 2017
But others are not as convinced and have voiced concern that using an image so closely tied to Grande risks obscuring the people whose lives were lost in the tragedy. Some have even gone on to call it “promotion” for the artist.
black ribbon w/bunny ears for Manchester is a NO. black ribbon yes, great, wonderful….the bunny ears NO. it makes it more about the artist
— with luvey (@with_luvey) May 23, 2017
Am I the only one who thinks that ribbon with the bunny ears is utterly and obnoxiously tasteless?? Branding Ariana at a time like this?!
— Jack Moore (@Jack_Moore7) May 23, 2017
— Dr Todd Swift (@toddswift_dr) May 23, 2017
If it’s a terrorist attack, I don’t feel the black ribbon with bunny ears is appropriate. It turns the tragedy into promo for Ariana…
— Brandon (@FrozenGhost) May 23, 2017
It’s always difficult to ascertain what gestures resonate with communities that suffer losses of this magnitude, without seeming tasteless or opportunistic. That said, if the symbol has helped to bring people together, with the intention of honouring lives lost, it’s hard to argue against it.
After Monday’s tragedy, Grande flew back to the United States to be with her family, and has suspended her world tour until her team “can further assess the situation” and “pay proper respects to those lost,” as reported by the Daily Mail. According to her website, the tour is currently set to resume in Paris, France on June 7, 2017, but time will tell.
It has also recently been reported that Grande is offering to cover the funeral costs of the victims of the Manchester attack. This information was first shared through a fan account on Twitter called Ariana Updates! and has yet to be confirmed by her team.
Anne T. Donahue on Manchester & Expecting Too Much from Celebs
“Shows Should Be Safe”: Musicians React to Manchester Attack
Manchester Attack: What We Know So Far—More Details Coming In (Maclean’s)