Lana Del Rey has always been problematic. Why are we just now realizing it?
Throughout the years, it became evident, that while Lana Del Rey might be a woman who found success within a male-dominated industry, she is far from being an ally to women.
I'm not going to lie, I've been a fan of Lana del Rey's since she seductively sauntered onto the music scene with the introduction of her debut album, "Born to Die." It was a catchy album, so sue me. That was eleven years ago, and a lot has since changed. Including my overall opinion of the songstress, whose real name is Elizabeth Woolridge Grant.
Throughout the years, it became evident, that while Del Rey might be a woman who found success within a male-dominated industry, she is far from being an ally to women. At least, not all women. Only women that look and sound like her. But for those paying close attention - or who prioritize intersectionality - this is not surprising.
It's simply growing more apparent thanks to the release Del Rey's highly anticipated new album, Chemtrails Over the Country Club.
If the album title is anything to go by, Del Rey's latest work will be another addition to the privileged and problematic narrative she based her entire career off. You know, the one that normalizes abuse and culturual appropriation? On Monday, s**t hit the fan for del Rey, when she uploaded the cover art for Chemtrails on her Instagram page, and immediately received backlash for its lack of diversity and inclusivity.
To rectify the situation, del Rey went on BBC One Radio to defend herself, but instead found herself in an even bigger mess when asked about the U.S. Capitol riots, saying they "needed to happen."
"The madness of Trump… As bad as it was, it really needed to happen," Del Rey said in the interview. "We really needed a reflection of our world's greatest problem, which is not climate change but sociopathy and narcissism," she said "Especially in America. It's going to kill the world. It's not capitalism, it's narcissism."
The "Young and Beautiful" singer elaborated further, by saying she believed President Trump had no knowledge of "inciting a riot" and believes him to have "delusions of grandeur."
Interesting. I guess the comments Trump made prior to the riots are lost on Del Rey. The comments where our president bellows to an angry mob of supporters, to "fight," and "take back your country." Then again, these comments are coming from the same woman who believes herself incapable of being a racist because she "dated rappers" in the past.
(Insert passive agressive scoff here.)
Of course, Del Rey took to Twitter and Instagram to back pedal (ahem, clarify) her comments.
"I have something to say, and I don't just show up giggling and talking about my hair and my makeup. I was asked directly, political questions for over 40 minutes by the BBC One Radio, and I answered them, you know. And I said, when someone is so deeply deficient in empathy, they may not know they're the bad guy, and that may be a controversial opinion, but don't make the controversy that I don't think he meant to incite the riots. It's not the point!" Del Rey said in a lengthy Instagram video.
Ok, if domestic terrorism isn't the point, what is exactly?
Del Rey goes on to add how she doesn't appreciate being painted as some "white Republican who has always been given everything," while reminding her fans how she "grew up struggling" and "working her ass off."
This is the same narrative Del Rey portrayed in a video in May, where she defended a 500-word statement she made on women of color within the music industry. A statement where she asks why Black artists like Beyonce, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat and Nicki Minaj get to sing songs about "being sexy, wearing no clothes, fucking, cheating, etc.," when the same curtsey can't be delivered to her, for singing about "challenging relationships"?
To clarify, a song that includes lyrics like, "He hit me and it felt like a kiss" and "He hurt me but it felt like true love," isn't depicting the image of a "challenging relationship." It's depicting one consisting of abuse and toxicity.
I'll say it again I don't appreciate the larger magazines taking my well-intentioned and believe it or not liberal comments out of context. It's actually what I sing about quite often. It's what I've been condemned for saying. You can listen to the entire interview.
— Lana Del Rey (@LanaDelRey) January 12, 2021
Del Rey continued by asking why there wasn't a "place in feminism for women who look and act like" her? Gee, I don't know, maybe because white women benefit more from success than women of color. Or perhaps because that's not how feminism works. At its core, feminism is about making sure all women have a seat at the table, and not only women that "look and act" like Lana Del Rey.
Naturally, her statement received immense backlash for sounding racially insensitive, hence the Instagram video to declare herself "definitely not racist" and "a girl's girl." What the hell does that phrase even mean?
The fact Del Rey needs to ask that ridiculous question in the first place, is proof she doesn't understand the root of what feminism is. To undermine Black artists like Beyonce and Megan Thee Stallion for their success, goes against everything feminism stands for. To be an ally for women, you must be an ally to all women, and not those who fit one demographic.
For centuries, Black, Asian and Latin women have always been marginalized, discriminated against, and denied opportunities. You only need to look at the statistics to understand this. As it is, Black women make 38% less than a white man, and only 21% less than white women. What's more, for every 100 men promoted to manager, only 58 Black women are promoted.
These statistics go on, and on, and on.
So, by painting herself as a doe-eyed victim, Del Rey might as well tattoo the phrase "All Lives Matter" on her forehead, because she's clearly missing the point.
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