Complex's founder and our new cover girl face off in a game of "M.E. Against the World."
This feature appears in Complex's December 2013/January 2014 issue.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR ADULT SELF WOULD MOST IMPRESS AND MOST DISAPPOINT YOUR CHILDHOOD SELF?
Marc Ecko: He’d be into me living in a castle, but he’d be disappointed to find out that I actually have to manage a castle and hate it. Seeing me running around shirtless, 25 pounds overweight, chasing the bats that flew into my home...It’d be like: Grand opening! Grand closing.
Ariana Grande: She'd be disappointed that I don't see my dad enough because he still lives in Florida, but the fact that I have my own television show on Nickelodeon and a No. 1 Billboard album would impress her. Those were two of my dreams when I was a child.
HOW HAS TECHNOLOGY CHANGED YOUR LIFE FOR THE WORSE?
Marc Ecko: It ruined social etiquette. You don’t realize your ability to be sucked out of a deep and constructive conversation by your email—or worse, the irrelevant vomitorium of social media. People tolerate that heads-down, Asperger’s-style addiction to phones, but it’s terrible. When my family goes to dinner, we ask the waiter for a breadbasket and we put all our devices in it. Then we don’t touch them until the meal is done. I wish we were that good at home.
Ariana Grande: I can’t go an hour without looking at social media. It’s a sick disease. I unfollowed a bajillion people on Instagram because I was spending too much time looking at it. Now my timeline is much more chill and I don’t have to look every 14 seconds to see who is eating what. Also, social media has given all the mean, miserable people out there a voice.
WHAT IS THE RAREST ITEM YOU OWN?
Marc Ecko: The original foam-carved model for Yoda that they cast the rest of the puppets from. I keep it in a climate-regulated environment because the foam could decay. It’s wonky. Yoda without a hand inside his head looks like he’s received blunt force trauma, but the original Yoda had that sickly vibe. I bought it at an auction for 25 or 50 grand and felt it was a bargain. It’s priceless to me.
Ariana Grande: Every item that my friend Kenley Collins, who was on Project Runway, makes for me. They’re all custom-made and beautiful. I complained to her once that I felt I had to wear cool, edgy clothes that I didn’t feel comfortable in, and that I always felt more comfortable dressing feminine and retro. She said, “So dress that way.” Now we have a deal where she designs millions of outfits for me and sends them over.