(Previously in Swedish on this webbsite 2017)
Zara Larsson is one of Sweden’s greatest artists now, both nationally and internationally. This brings bad blood to many, and she suffers criticism for almost everything she says and does. This young woman was now criticized for her acceptance speech when she received an award at the Grammy Awards the other day. She mentions in that speech that she was glad she finally got rid of her braces. For this, she was accused of being self-absorbed. Dennis Dahlqvist, a 55-year-old cultural critic active on SVT (Swedish television, a public service media) said the following:
“I think of Zara Larsson, who is amazing in many ways, but how a young person becomes so famous so quickly, and then just talks about their braces. It can’t lead to anything other than getting sickly self-absorbed.”
My theory to this reaction to Zara is that he perceives her way of putting the Grammy Award in relation to his removal of the braces as a mockery of everything he stands for and have dreamt of. After 55 years, this Dennis Dahlqvist has managed to reach a position as a music critic in SVT. For him and for the entire critics’ union, prizes like Grammys are very important. Zara Larsson, who is 19 years old and has already achieved a position in the music world that this Dennis probably dreamed of achieving throughout his life (but at the age of 55 has only achieved a position where he gets to talk about those who succeeded) trivializes this, according to Dennis’s view. She does not show the expected reverence for the Holy Grail. For Zara, this is probably just another prize (which doesn’t really mean anything) and she has achieved far greater heights already in her career. Just think of her performance at the opening ceremony of the European Football Championship in 2016… Middle-aged men who try to put young girls in place I think are quite disgusting, but at the same time interesting because this also highlights these men’s perception of themselves as failing individuals.
Zara Larsson, I think I have seen this through and laughs a little indulgently at these men, she is career-wise already at the age of 19, on a completely different planet, and can be a guide for other young people.