Update: May 25, 2020, at 3:15 p.m. ET— Lana Del Rey has uploaded an Instagram video addressing the controversy again, with the caption “Nobody gets to tell your story.” In the six-minute post, the singer reiterates that her point was not about race but about the media and music industry’s attitude toward fragility. “The difference is, when I get on the pole, people call me whore, but when [FKA] Twigs gets on the pole, it’s art,” she said.
You can watch her statement on her Instagram, below.
So far the new post has inspired a response online similar to the first. “Lana Del Rey seems to think she’s the only female artist to ever face backlash for portraying sexuality,” one Twitter user wrote. “The idea that FKA Twigs [and] other Black female artists don’t experience that response is absurd. Black women have been demeaned and degraded for centuries for our sexuality.”
Update: May 23, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. ET— Lana Del Rey has fired back once again with a new Instagram post.
“Despite the feedback I’ve heard from several people that I mentioned in a complimentary way—whether it be Ariana or Doja Cat,” Del Rey wrote, πI want to say that I remain firm in my clarity and stance in that what I was writing about was the importance of self-advocacy for more delicate and often dismissed, softer female personality, and that there does have to be room for that type in what will inevitably become a new wave/3rd wave of feminism that is rapidly approaching.”
Del Rey insists her target was not women of color, but instead “female critics and female alternative artists who are dissociated from their own fragility and sexuality and berate more sexually liberated artists.” She then goes on to categorize those upset by her words are “super Trump/Pence supporters” or “hyper liberals” or “flip-flopping headline-grabbing critics” who “can’t read and want to make it a race war.” Read the entire post, below:
Update: May 22, 2020, at 7:27 a.m. ET— Lana Del Rey responded to backlash about her recent Instagram post.
"“To be clear because I know you love to twist things,” she wrote in the comments section. “I fucking love these singers and know them. That is why I mention them. I would also like to have some of the same freedom of expression without judgement of hysteria.
“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 fucking people. And this is the problem with society today, not everything is about whatever you want it to be,” she continued. “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 bullshit.
“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.,” she added in another comment. “It’s about advocating for a more delicate personality, not for white [women]. Thanks for the Karen comments, though. [Very] helpful.”
Read all of her responses in the screenshots, below:
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, and 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.
Originally Appeared on Glamour