Should Ariana Grande's Bunny Ears Be Used As A Symbol To Show Solidarity?

Photo: Michele Eve Sandberg/Corbis/Getty Images.
Fans and followers of Ariana Grande are probably familiar with the tall, black latex bunny ears that have become part of the artist's look since the release of her 2016 album, Dangerous Woman. Now, in the wake of the explosion at Grande's concert in Manchester last night, some fans have started to change their social media profile pictures to an image of those ears fused with an awareness ribbon, similar the pink ones used to symbolize breast cancer awareness, or yellow for veterans.
This graphic is meant to express sympathy for victims of the bombing and anyone affected, including Grande.
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As noted by Bustle, it is unclear who first created the image. But the symbol has started to gain traction among some of Grande's fans.
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Other people, however, are questioning how appropriate it is to use a symbol that's associated with a celebrity in remembrance of people who lost their lives.
"Is the meme using #Ariana's trademark bunny ears really the way to commemorate the many dead in the #ManchesterBombing? Seems star-centric," wrote poet and critic Todd Swift.
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Some are also questioning whether such a symbol, while meant to memorialize the victims, ends up inadvertently boiling their lives down to a concert. Blogger Abra Belke wrote, "Astoundingly tacky that the #PrayForManchester logo is @ArianaGrande bunny ears. Should victims lives/deaths be defined by one concert?"
In the hours and days following a terrorism attack, people often look for ways to demonstrate their solidarity online, especially if they aren't able to help more directly.
It's fair to question the tone such image, which could come across as "tacky" or opportunistic to some. It's also understandable that finding the right thing to say, in light of an event that could leave anyone speechless, is extremely hard. Grande (who does not seem to be behind the creation of the ribbon), has expressed just that herself.
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