Musician, Lana Del Rey, caused major outrage online when she took to Instagram to post her thoughts on the double standards in the music industry, which she feels have put her at a disadvantage compared to some of her fellow female artists.
Del Rey began her statement, “question for the culture,” and continued by stating, “Now that Doja Cat, Ariana (Grande), Camila (Cabello), Cardi B, Kehlani and Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé have had number ones with songs about being sexy, wearing no clothes, f—ing, cheating, etc — can I please go back to singing about being embodied, feeling beautiful by being in love even if the relationship is not perfect, or dancing for money — or whatever I want — without being crucified or saying that I’m glamorizing abuse?”
The name dropping of these top female artists followed after collaborations between Nicki Minaj and Doja Cat as well as Beyoncé and Megan Thee Stallion both held number one spots on the Billboard charts.
While Del Rey’s most recent album, “Norman F—ing Rockwell” received critical praise as well as a nomination for album of the year at the Grammys, her statement referenced the criticism her earlier work received by top female music critics for having “anti-feminist” lyrical themes.
“I’m fed up with female writers and alt singers saying that I glamorize abuse when in reality I’m just a glamorous person singing about the realities of what we are all now seeing are very prevalent emotionally abusive relationships all over the world,” Del Rey stated.
She continued, “with all of the topics women are finally allowed to explore I just want to say over the last ten years I think it’s pathetic that my minor lyrical exploration detailing my sometimes submissive or passive roles in my relationships has often made people say I’ve set women back hundreds of years.”
Many believe these comments stemmed from a 2019 review of Del Rey’s most recent album by NPR writer, Ann Powers.
She continued by stating that she is “not not a feminist,” but she does not feel entirely supported by modern feminism, explaining “there has to be a place in feminism for women who look and act like me — the kind of woman who says no but men hear yes — the kind of women who are slated mercilessly for being their authentic, delicate selves, the kind of women who get their own stories and voices taken away from them by stronger women or by men who hate women.”
She ended her post with the announcement of two poetry books and an album to be released in the fall.
Del Rey’s statement sparked debate online with many confused by her choice to name drop other female artists, primarily women of color.
Singer, Jesse Williams stated in a since deleted comment on Del Rey’s original post, “black women have been singing about sex, abuse, being submissive and aggressive in relationships, and being glamorous for DECADES. Know your history. millie jackson, betty wright, betty davis, mary. j blige….SO MANY. you were far from the first to write and sing from these places. this post sounds very much like a white privileged girl who is mad because she “feels” like she hasn’t had the freedom to be herself and say what she wants. no one is stopping you. so stop the damsel in distress routine.”
Actor Megan Fox also spoke out in an Instagram post which she quickly deleted, “There is never a need to compare yoursel to other woment. I know the struggle of being a woman in the industry. I know the feeling of being constantly scrutinized and degraded. But I would never invalidate the struggles other women have faced in order to give voice to mine. Especially when those women have most likely faced worse. I’m on your side, but please accept that your struggle is not a singular one.”
Following the backlash, Del Rey posted some clarifications to her Instagram stories, stating, “bro. This is sad to make it about a WOC issue when I’m talking about my favorite singers. I could’ve literally said anyone but I picked my favorite f—ing people. And this is the problem with society today, not everything is about whatever you want it to be. It’s exactly the point of my post—there are certain women that culture doesn’t want to have a voice it may not have to do with race I don’t know what it has to do with. I don’t care anymore but don’t ever ever ever ever bro- call me racist because that is bulls–t.”
Another of Del Rey’s comments said, “By the way the singers I mentioned are my favorite singers so if you want to try and make a bone to pick out of that like you always do be my guest, it doesn’t change the fact that I haven’t had the same opportunity to express what I wanted to express without being completely decimated and if you want to say that that has something to do with race that’s your opinion but that’s not what I was saying.”
She continued, “and my last and final note on everything—when I said people who look like me—I meant the people who don’t look strong or necessarily smart, or like they’re in control etc. it’s about advocating for a more delicate personality, not for white woman—thanks for the Karen comments tho. V helpful.”
She later posted a follow up statement to her Instagram stating that she is remaining “firm in [her] clarity and stance.”
Photo Source: Pitchfork