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Lana Del Rey criticised for calling out women of colour while defending her lyrics

Lana Del Rey criticised for calling out women of colour while defending her lyrics

Singer Lana Del Rey is being widely criticised for a statement denying claims she glamorises abuse in her lyrics, in which she compared herself to other female musicians.

Lana Del Rey criticised for calling out women of colour while defending her lyrics

Del Rey called out the double standard of other stars being able to sing about “being sexy, wearing no clothes, … cheating” without being criticised, naming stars Doja Cat, Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Kehlani, Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé.

But with critics quick to point out that she mostly named women of colour, Del Rey has found herself facing more criticism as a result of addressing the previous backlash she has received.

The lengthy statement defending her lyrics was posted to her Instagram account, titled “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, … 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?” Del Rey asked.

“I am fed up with female writers and alt singers saying that I glamorise 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.”

Critics have slammed the post for being tone deaf and for suggesting that the artists Del Rey named have not faced the same level of criticism in their careers as she has.

The Guardian’s deputy music editor Laura Snapes said it was “especially depressing that Del Rey targeted women of colour”.

“It is hard to avoid the suggestion, from an artist who has heavily used black culture in her work, that these performers’ sexualised images are more damaging for feminism than her lyrics about violence and bad boys,” she said.

“The malignant characterisation of black women as oversexualised is a historic racist trope – and a persistent one that has seen those performers subject to far greater media derision than Del Rey will ever experience.”

Del Rey has frequently explored ideas of distant and dismissive lovers in her lyrics. She has referenced domestic violence in her track Ultraviolence with the line “he hit me and it felt like a kiss”. She told Pitchfork in 2017 “I don’t sing that line anymore”.

In the statement she said she thinks 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,” she wrote.

“I’ve been honest and optimistic about the challenging relationships I’ve had. News flash! That’s just how it is for many women.”

Del Rey also announced at the end of her post that a new album will be released on 5 September.

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