While he might have broken out as the can't-take-your-eyes-off-him cast member on Big Brother and may be best-known as the older brother of Ariana, Frankie Grande has done a remarkable job of establishing himself as an outspoken fashion and queer voice in media.
Just like he did when speaking about his younger sister's transformation on her new Dangerous Woman album, Grande speaks passionately about his personal projects, which currently include co-hosting Style Code Live, a daily show that streams live on Amazon with fashion and beauty advice that brings viewers real-time community commenting and shopping links. But the 33-year-old also looks to be a model for the LGBTQ community—he has a unisex fragrance—and has choice words for what there is to be proud of this Pride Month.
Check out Fuse's chat with the star below, which focuses on the future of television, why the word "normal" needs to go away ASAP and, at one point, he may or may not have been calling me out for a zit I was definitely suffering from on my lip that day.
FUSE: Do you think a show like Style Code LIve is the future of television?
Frankie Grande: Absolutely. It's like Wall-E. You just sit in your chair, people talk to you and there's things you can click on the right-hand side to buy and you can chat on the left-hand side. You never need to leave this community bubble. I think it's the first step in a fully interactive television show that we saw in science-fiction movies.
What's the best part of being on this show?
Ultimately, the cool thing is that I get to help people feel good about themselves and that's what my brand is: When people throw shade shine brighter. On Style Code Live, we help people that don't understand how to achieve these fashion trends. It's like one thing to open up a Vogue and flip through it—but you don't know what you're looking at. We break it down.
I think a lot of guys in particular like the fact that a show about fashion and beauty is co-hosted by a man.
Men have no idea about makeup! I'm so happy to tell them about it. You don't have to walk out with that hideous zit on your face. Darling, there's something called concealer. And there's a concealer that will dry it out. And it will fix it while it's covering it!
What advice do you have to guys or those who might be hesitant to pay attention to this world?
Men need to step up their fashion, beauty and hair game. I don't care if you're gay, straight or something in the middle, it does not matter: Men need to step up their game. Look at the peacock: The men are the ones that are most adorned. So, men, step up your game.
“We're in the process of redefining normality as nonexistent”
What new trends are you looking forward to for summer?
I'm very excited about metallics. Very excited that the '80s makeup—a pop of neon blue on your eye with a bold red lip—we've gone back to full Dynasty makeup. Like pops of pink on your cheeks? So cool, so much fun, so playful. I think makeup should be playful. Like, last year was about the fresh-faced-I'm not-wearing-any-makeup. That bores me. I don't know want to know about how you're wearing makeup but lying to me. I want to see it!
It's Pride Month this month. What do you think we have to be proud of this year and what do you think we need to also work on for next year's Pride? [Ed note: This interview was conducted before the June 12 Orlando shooting]
I think we should be particularly proud that we are slowly getting rid of the word "normal." I don't want to define me as normal, to wish I was normal, to ask why I'm not normal."
Yesterday, someone tweeted at me, 'Why can't you just be a normal homosexual?' I literally never want to drag people on the Internet, I never respond to hate, but I didn't think it was hate. I thought this was a legitimate, ignorant question. I wanted to education them, I wanted to say, 'I have no idea what you think is normal braces normal is not a real state of mind, it's not a real thing, you can't find normal.' So, I don't know what you're thinking about is normal, even if that was a thing, but the fact that I would conform to it is absolutely ridiculous. I am who I am, and you should be who you are, and everyone will be loved for it. And if people give you shade, shine brighter. Be yourself and if people have issue with it, be more yourself. I think as a culture, we're in the process of redefining normality as nonexistent.
Right, queer doesn't mean "queer" anymore.
Transgender has done so much for that as well—this past year, people have really challenged gender norms. We've moved past a gender-obsolescent society which is fantastic and I hope we continue to move towards that direction where we defy normality.