Lana Del Rey took to Instagram to announce plans to release a new album on September 5, but the post has sparked an online debate with the singer slammed critics who’ve accused her of “glamorising abuse”. Rey mentioned other female artists Doja Cat, Camila, Cardi B, Kehlani, Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé in her written statement – all women of colour, which Twitter was quick to point out.
“Question for the culture,” she 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.”
She also claimed that people called her “hysterical” after her first two albums before going on to add that she will detail these feelings in two new poetry books.
Read the full Instagram statement below:
While it’s fair to see how Rey has been criticised on her previous albums, including Norman Fucking Rockwell!, where she detailed an abusive relationship. Lyrics like “He hit me and it felt like a kiss” lead TIME to question whether the song glorified domestic violence.
The question many are asking is why the artist needed to single out women of colour to make her argument.
What’s perhaps most disappointing to fans, is that her comments come a week after Doja Cat, Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé and Megan Thee Stallion landed the top two positions on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making history as the first black female solo artists to do so.
Others were quick to defend, with one writing: “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.”
Lana defended her comments. “To be clear because I knowwwwww you love to twist things. I fucking love these singers and know them. #that is why I mentioned them. I would also like to have some of the same freedom of expression without judgment of hysteria. There you go.”
She added, “By the way the singers I mentioned are my favourite singers so if you want to try and make a bone to pick out of that like you always do be my guest, it doesn’t change the fact that I haven’t had the same opportunity to express what I wanted to express without being completely decimated and if you want to say that that has something to do with race that’s your opinion but that’s not what I was saying.”