Lana Del Rey shared a lengthy rant, or “question for the culture,” to Instagram on Wednesday defending herself from “female writers” and “alt. singers” who have allegedly “crucified” her for “glamourizing abuse” in her music over the last decade.
The brooding pop singer, born Elizabeth Grant, said that it is “pathetic” that her “minor lyrical exploration” — which occasionally touches on the “submissive” or “passive roles” she has played in “challenging” relationships in the past — has resulted in critics accusing her of having “set women back hundreds of years.”
“I’m just a glamourous person singing about the realities of what we are all now seeing,” she wrote, which “are very prevalent emotionally abusive relationships all over the world.”
Writing that she is “not not a feminist,” Del Rey, 34, expressed concern that there simply isn’t a “place in feminism” for women “who look and act like (her).”
She described those women as the ones “who are slated mercilessly for being their authentic, delicate selves” and “who get their own stories and voices taken away from them by stronger women, or by men who hate women.”
Though she didn’t name any of their songs in particular, she suggested that some of her competitors’ more taboo, or “sexy,” lyrical content has often overpowered her “authentic” music in the charts because of its overall appeal.
“Now that Doja Cat, Ariana, Camila (Cabello), Cardi B, Kehlani, Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé have had number ones with songs about being sexy, wearing no clothes, f—ing, 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 without being crucified, or saying that I’m glamourizing abuse?” she wrote.
“I just want to say it’s been a long 10 years of bulls–t reviews up until recently, and I’ve learned a lot from them,” she continued, without explicitly naming any of her denigrators.
On her discography, Del Rey says she feels like it helped “pave 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.”
In contrast, she said, “(whenever) I expressed a note of sadness in my first two records, I was deemed hysterical as though it was literally the 1920s.”
A decade ago, in 2010, Del Rey put out her debut, self-titled studio album. Two years later, her breakthrough record Born to Die (2012) was released.
The overall success and doom-and-gloom nature of her music quickly made her a household name across the globe.
Despite receiving support from fans in her recent Instagram rant, the Summertime Sadness singer was subject to a wave of backlash on social media for her criticism of female musicians — primarily Black women.
“I’ve never really f—ed with Lana Del Rey,” wrote one Twitter user. “I’m depressed enough already.”
Claiming Del Rey was attacking feminism, they continued: “I think that what she said is asinine. Expecting to be famous without anyone criticizing you is unrealistic. Finally, you can’t date cops, denounce feminism and maintain my respect.”
Here’s what some other Twitter users had to say:
I have questions.
What is it with White women criticizing the work of Black women/Woc to elevate themselves?
In what world is there no place for women who look and make music like Lana Del Rey?
And in what universe does her work receive more criticism than Beyoncé’s?
— ✨Doreen✨ (@DoreenGLM) May 21, 2020
from her wording it looks like she's criticizing them for making sexual songs
— ً rik (@BLOODLINEWRLD) May 21, 2020
and don’t think i didn’t realize that lana del rey said “the culture” when everyone with two brain cells and has been outside ever knows that “the culture” has always meant black/poc culture. when’s the last time you’ve heard a white girl say they’re “doing it for the culture”?
— m✿onᵕ̈ (@sqpphc) May 21, 2020
Beyoncé was basically called a drug dealer's whore for wearing leotards and singing about sex with her husband, so maybe Lana should sit her ass down lmao
— Bath & Bella Works 🚿🕯🛁 (@brownandbella) May 21, 2020
beyoncé: if you don't jump to put jeans on, baby, you don't feel my pain
— Paddington Updates (@emamma_mia) May 21, 2020
@LanaDelRey girl I thought I’d never say this to you….but shut the hell up. It’s space for everyone & it’s VERY ugly that you are using Black Women’s success on the charts as a criticizing point for why YOU aren’t on the charts. Work harder because they all did
— 🍋coochiecake (@HeeeresEJ) May 21, 2020
Other fans of the Video Games singer flocked to her defence, however, saying she was simply criticizing the “critics” and “industry” rather than other pop musicians.
Here’s what they had to say:
I didn’t love the name dropping but I Lana isn’t criticizing those artists. She’s calling out the critics and “feminist” writers who’ve been dragging her since video games while celebrating those women’s embodiment of feminist power. Personally, I like all of them.
— Kensington Fag 🌹 (@IrishInSlope) May 21, 2020
what's wrong with y'all thinkin Lana has ANY PROBLEM with these women whose names she dropped singing about sex in their songs? No. Lana has NOTHING AGAINST THEM OR ANYTHING THEY SING AT ALL. She basically clap back what she received from the critics and THATS IT. JUST STOP. pic.twitter.com/rHWtDrWoTy
— ♡ L ' a m a n t ♡ (@naylamoi) May 21, 2020
The way y'all are reactig to Lana Del Rey's post just proves some of y'all have no reading comprehension 😭😭😭. She didn't drag your faves, she's dragging the media for criticising her music and lyrical content while praising other artists who write about the same things.
— Elsa Thee Stallion ➐ (@arendellebitch) May 21, 2020
The fact that y’all ignored everything Lana Del Rey said about emotional abuse because she said “Beyoncé” in a tone y’all didn’t like further proves y’all don’t actually care about ideas, you only stan people
— My Name is Eli (@EliSeeney) May 21, 2020
Del Rey’s rant concluded with the unexpected announcement of her upcoming seventh studio album — the followup to 2019’s critically acclaimed Norman F—ing Rockwell! The untitled record is currently slated for a Sept. 5 release worldwide.
On top of that, Del Rey revealed that she’ll be working on two poetry books in which she will “detail some of (her) feelings.”
Though she didn’t expand on details of the upcoming books, last year, Del Rey announced intentions to release her debut book, Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass, along with a spoken word album in early 2020.
The poetry collection has not yet been released and the accompanying album was not released in late February as scheduled.
Whether either of the upcoming books, or her Sept. 5 album, pertains to the previously announced Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass project is currently unclear.
For additional information, you can visit the official Lana Del Rey website.
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