- 25 May 20
The initial statement came in conjunction with news of a new album and two new books of poetry.
Last week, Lana Del Rey took to Instagram to voice her frustrations over critical comments suggesting her early work tends to "glamorize abuse".
In the post, she went on to name several musicians, including Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Doja Cat, and Ariana Grande, who she pointed out have had "number ones with songs about being sexy, wearing no clothes, fucking, cheating, etc", and asked if she could "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 the fuck I want – without being crucified?"
She went on to say "I'm fed up with female writers and alt singers saying 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", before announcing the upcoming release of a new album and two new books of poetry.
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Fans and music critics alike were quick to point out that the perplexing post was at best oddly timed, given that Del Rey's last album Norman Fucking Rockwell! was critically praised almost entirely across the board (and that we are in the middle of a global pandemic), and at worst a racially coded post that took aim at nearly all – with the exception of Grande – artists of colour, and in doing so made her supposedly feminist argument read more like a divisive attack. Laura Snapes, deputy music editor at The Guardian said this: "I understand Del Rey’s resistance to the kind of pop feminism that considers her sometimes submissive and passive stance in the face of difficult men to be a betrayal of the cause...But her concept of feminist solidarity, who owes it and who is owed it, feels off. Her perplexing comments about her peers of colour are as kneejerk and reductive as the characterisation of her submissive lyrics as anti-feminist".
Over the weekend, Del Rey posted another open letter on Instagram, doubling down on her statements and issuing further ridicule to those who she could "only assume are super trump/pence supporters or hyper liberals or flip-flopping headline grabbing critics can't read and want to make it a race war". She then writes: "in fact the issue was with *female critics and *female alternative artists who are dissociated from their own fragility and sexuality and berate more sexually liberated artists like myself and the women I mentioned. But in truth, making it about race says so much more about you than it does about me".
Whatever Del Rey meant by her original post, it seems that she's managing to stir up controversy from the confines of quarantine.
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