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It’s obvious to me, because of things Grace has been saying these days in interviews, that she has a vision and a plan of where she wants to be as an artist and the kind of art she wants to make, but she knows she can’t right now, at 15. Disney has been a media force for her, “Stargirl” hasn’t even come out yet, and she has a huge following of very young fans. I think she cares very much for them, and understands that she still has a kind of responsibility to them right now. She’s going to have to be patient for at least a few years, and not get ahead of her world. It must be difficult for someone who is in some ways so mature for her age, and so creatively ready to reach higher. By that I don’t mean to diminish her current work in any way; it’s perfect.
I think it will be fascinating to see what kind of lines she draws, as she moves through the tumultuous teenage years, between the deep emotional honesty at the core of her best work and the moral constraints that vary so wildly across America. She could quite possibly lead a paradigm revolution we have not seen since Elvis appeared on TV shaking his hips and singing ‘vulgar songs of sin.’ Probably best not to take the risk though, because of the deep double-standard in this country. Young male artists have far more leeway and are able to express themselves freely without worrying about social ostracism, or labeling, but the same can’t be said for girls…I can’t even think of an acceptable way to complete the thought.
Maybe I can just say that as there are certain accepted ages for driving, voting, and drinking, there is also an unwritten “acceptable” for a young woman’s owning of herself and her right to self expression, and that Grace is aware of this. She mentioned Jessie Reyez recently as an artistic ideal and an example of how she would like to express her art. Ask yourself how old Grace will have to be in order to be as brutally honest as Reyez, or even to utter the ‘F word’ in either song or public speech. Again, given that so many of her fans are so young, it will surely be a tough line for this artist to draw.
I can tell that she sees all of this and seems to have a handle on it, but is rightfully reticent to discuss it to too great an extent. So we won’t know what she has planned for the future. We can only be sure it will be so much more than this.