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Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande Share the Same Diva Request

Vanity Fair logo Vanity Fair 10/12/2016 Kenzie Bryant

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Mariah Carey is not Ariana Grande, and Ariana Grande is not Mariah Carey. The fans of either will tell you so much. But is there a middle section to the Mimi-versus-Ari Venn diagram? Absolutely. There lies a particular quirk: they each have a side from which they prefer to be captured in pictures.

In a clip from Mariah’s World, the elusive chanteuse told the full story of when she was 19 years old, and a “record label lady” explained she should be photographed from the right side only. Carey has mentioned the story before, but now the gravity of the memory has been fully realized for the public, it being set to a moving piano progression, and the record label lady understood to be a 60-year-old minor character on the Sopranos.

© Left, by Jamie McCarthy; Right, by Theo Wargo, both from Getty Images.

She’s fought for her right side ever since, like when she nearly broke her neck trying to face her right side to camera through a two-minute interview for American Idol.

Having “a side” sounds like one of those magazine tropes that have gone the way of “seasons,” i.e. “I’m an autumn,” that is, an outdated way to live your life, diva or not. But in 2012, behavioral researchers at Wake Forest found that humans overwhelmingly prefer looking at the left side of the face, saying, “Our results suggest that posers’ left cheeks tend to exhibit a greater intensity of emotion, which observers find more aesthetically pleasing.”

Grande is one of these humans. In 2014, Giuliana Rancic of E! News recalled how the singer diva-ed out (like “Hulking out” but with better eyelash extensions) on her while on the American Music Awards red carpet. Grande’s team asked the E! interviewer to switch sides so the audience would be treated to Grande’s best side, her left side. The left side does have the dimple on it.

The good news is that if they’re ever photographed together, who stands where will not be the point of contention.

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