Lana Del Rey Slams Critics Who Say She ‘Glamorizes Abuse,’ Digs at ‘Sexy’ Female Singers

Jem Aswad
·5 min read

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In a long statement posted on Instagram early Thursday, Lana Del Rey slammed critics who say she “glamorizes abuse,” took a dig at Doja Cat, Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Kehlani, Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé who “have had number ones with songs about being sexy, wearing no clothes, fucking, cheating,” and revealed that she is releasing a new album, presumably the follow-up to her critically revered 2019 album “Norman F—ing Rockwell,” on Sept. 5.

Okay! From the top, Del Rey’s always-complicated relationship with critics has grown more contentious in recent years, particularly in a surprisingly barbed exchange with longtime NPR music writer Ann Powers, who in her “Rockwell” review described the singer’s “persona as a bad girl to whom bad things are done.” Del Rey responded angrily, “I don’t even relate to one observation you made about the music. There’s nothing uncooked about me. To write about me is nothing like it is to be with me. Never had a persona. Never needed one.”

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After dragging the above-named artists at the beginning of Thursday’s broadside, she continues, “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 glamorising abuse???????

“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 abusive relationships all over the world,” she continues.

As it was with her public battle with Powers, Del Rey’s broader point — “I’ve been honest and optimistic about the challenging relationships I’ve had. News flash! That’s just how it is for many women.” — may be obfuscated by her aggressive comments about fellow female artists, most of whom are people of color, and music critics, rather than the cultural syndromes behind the situation.

“Let this be clear, I’m not not a feminist – but 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.” (read the full post below).

The album in question is presumably the prolific artist’s follow-up to “Rockwell,” which she has said will be called “White Hot Forever,” rather than a spoken-word album whose planned release was sidetracked by the coronavirus pandemic.

The written post was followed by a pair of photos, one of two young children playing with their backs turned to the camera, and another of Jack Antonoff, who cowrote and coproduced much of “Rockwell” and is presumably involved with the new album as well.

Question for the culture:

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 glamorising abuse???????

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 abusive relationships all over the world.

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.

Let this be clear, I’m not not a feminist – but 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.

I’ve been honest and optimistic about the challenging relationships I’ve had.

News flash! That’s just how it is for many women.

And that was sadly my experience up until the point that those records were made. So I just want to say it’s been a long 10 years of bullshit reviews up until recently and I’ve learned a lot from them but also I feel it really paved the way for other women to stop ‘putting on a happy face’ and to just be able to say whatever the hell they wanted in their music —

unlike my experience where if I even expressed a note of sadness in my first two records I was deemed literally hysterical as though it was literally the 1920s.

Anyways none of this has anything to do about much but I’ll be detailing some of my feelings in my next two books of poetry (mostly the second one) with Simon and Schuster. Yes I’m still making personal reparations with the proceeds of the book to my choice of Native American foundations which I’m very happy about. And I’m sure there will be tinges of what I’ve been pondering in my new album that comes out September 5th.

Thanks for reading

Happy quarantining

A post shared by Lana Del Rey (@lanadelrey) on May 21, 2020 at 12:26am PDT

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