On May 21, Lana Del Rey took to Instagram to slam critics who've accused the singer of glamorizing abuse…if only she hadn't felt the need to tear down other female artists to do it—specifically women of color.
"Question for the culture," singer-songwriter Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, more famously known as Lana Del Rey, began her lengthy post. "Now that Doja Cat, Ariana, Camila, Cardi B, Kehlani and Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé have had number ones with songs about being sexy, wearing no clothes, fucking, 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?"
"I am 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," she continued, before clarifying that she's "not not a feminist."
“But there has to be a place in feminism for women who look and act like me," she wrote. "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.”
You can read the full Instagram statement below.
Del Rey ended her post by promising two new books of poetry and an upcoming album.
Her position that she's been unfairly criticized for her perspective on albums like Norman Fucking Rockwell is definitely worth dissecting, but here's the problem—which doesn't feel so dissimilar to the ongoing Alison Roman drama: Why did Del Rey feel the need to disproportionately reference black artists and women of color in her argument? Many on Twitter and in the Instagram comments had the same question.
"She aimed her question to 'the culture' and then proceeded to name black women specifically (and Ariana/Camilla) who make R&B, Hip Hop and Urban music," one Twitter user wrote. "Why is that? Why not Taylor? Billie? Adele? Gaga? Katy? Dua?… Why specifically the 'urban" girls?"
It should be noted, that Beyoncé, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, and Nicki Minaj just made history by becoming the first four black female artists to take the number one and two spots on the charts with their respective collaborations. Perhaps this is not the time to belittle their efforts and summarize their music as songs about "wearing no clothes and fucking."
Anyway, here are more twitter reactions.
However, some Twitter users would like to point out that not everything Del Rey said should necessarily be discarded based on the backlash. Some didn't even think she was insulting the artists mentioned at all. "Before anyone comes for her, Lana del Rey DID NOT shit on other women," one Twitter user implored. "She is saying that all women should be able to express themselves honestly in music without getting slandered for it. Most of her songs are about the ugly truth. She just don't want y'all to hate her for it."
In any case, Roman critiqued Chrissy Teigen and Marie Kondo, while promoting her own cookware capsule collection while Del Rey seemingly used her speech to announce her next album. Next time any women, especially white women, want to promote their success, they should think long and hard before they criticize other women's work to do it…then just don't.
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