I’ll be the first to say it - I’m a Lana Del Rey fan. I have my copy of her album Born to Die. I like her songs for the most part, no matter how cheeseball that makes me.
But in her cover story with Fader magazine, promoting her new album Ultraviolence, Lana has now (infamously) stated that, “the issue of feminism is just not an interesting concept…Whenever people bring up feminism, I’m like, god. I’m just not really that interested.”
That just makes me so sad. I know that our favorite pop stars aren’t always famous for their revolutionary ideas, but it’s kind of disappointing to know that because Lana has so many fans looking up to her that they might think feminism isn’t worth their time either.
So, as a feminist fan of Ms. Del Ray, I’ve compiled a few things that bore me just as much feminism bores her. Hey Lana, maybe you'll even relate to a few of these.
1. Articles talking about Lana only in relation to men. Here are a few choice quotes from the aforementioned Fader article:
“She gives the impression of a young lumberjack’s date the morning after prom.”
“Voilá, she looks like somebody’s girlfriend.”
“Shortly after the release of “Video Games,” she started dating another musician, Barrie-James O’Neill. According to a profile of her in Nylon, he first phoned her out of the blue after his manager sent him the video with the caption ‘Your future ex-wife.’”
“The men change but sex is constant; Lana Del Rey embodies searching for yourself in someone else.”
Okay - just because she sings about the love she feels (in most cases, for a man) does not mean she’s only worth something when she's involved with a guy.
2. Critics claiming that Lana is fake, or that she is a product of music execs. Would this be happening if she were a male artist? Let’s not kid ourselves here - One Direction and The Wanted are huge pop groups that would be nothing without the support of huge record labels. Yes, they have their fair share of issues, but no one really focuses on their supposed “lack of authenticity.”
3. Romanticizing violence. Okay, Lana, including lyrics like “he hit me and it felt like a kiss” is sorta offensive unless you’re speaking from an autobiographical point of view, even if you justify it by claiming you "like a little hardcore love." Florence + the Machine’s “Kiss with a Fist” is also totally not okay. Although that song is about psychological violence, any sort of violence in relationships is not acceptable!! Let’s try not to teach young fans of music that it is.
4. Girls not having an equal standing in the STEM or tech worlds. Yes, Lana, we are interested in “you know, SpaceX and Tesla, what’s going to happen with our intergalactic possibilities,” too! And wouldn’t you like to see some of your female fans going into those fields, maybe because you inspired them to pursue it? Thanks to groups like Girls who Code, our intergalactic possibilities could be equal for men and women!
So Lana, I could go on, but I think my point is clear. To say that feminism is “uninteresting” is to misunderstand the ways in which it helps women and girls around the world. I believe that with time you will discover that we don’t all dress up like Susan B. Anthony and preach on soapboxes to the masses. It can be cool, which I hope your fans already know. If they don't, I hope they will disregard your comments and discover the joys of feminism and equality by themselves. Maybe they will even inspire you to learn more about how rad it is to be a feminist, and that talking about it really isn't so bad. We have faith in you, Lana!
In truth, I'll probably still buy your new album. Too hard to resist. But know that you need work a little harder to prove yourself this time around.
Images courtesy of Fader, Pitchfork.