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Lana Del Rey
Photography Charlotte Wales, styling Robbie Spencer

Lana Del Rey addresses backlash for a post about double standards in music

The musician has been criticised for comparing herself to other female musicians and women of colour

Lana Del Rey recently (May 21) revealed the release date for her new album, an announcement that came at the end of a lengthy Instagram post about apparent double standards for women in the music industry.

Subsequently, the musician was criticised for comparing herself to other women (and particularly women of colour) in the post, to emphasise her own struggles. In the original post, Del Rey mentions “Doja Cat, Ariana, Camila, Cardi B, Kehlani and Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé” by name. 

Now that these artists have “had number ones with songs about being sexy, wearing no clothes, fucking, cheating etc,” she writes, “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??????”

“With all of the topics women are finally allowed to explore I just want to say over the last ten years I think 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.”

Critics have claimed that the focus on women of colour in this post undermines her feminist argument and plays on racist stereotypes of oversexualised black women. Del Rey’s comparison of herself to the artists mentioned in the post has also drawn criticism for seemingly underplaying their struggles within the music industry, which has repeatedly been called out for systemic sexism and racism in the past.

However, Lana Del Rey has responded by saying the original post had nothing to do with race. “Bro. This is sad to make it about a WOC issue when I’m talking about my favorite singers,” she writes in the comments. “I could’ve literally said anyone but I picked my favorite fucking people. And this is the problem with society today, not everything is about whatever you want it to be.”

“It’s exactly the point of my post – there are certain women that culture doesn’t want to have a voice it may not have to do with race I don’t know what it has to do with. I don’t care anymore but don’t ever ever ever ever bro– call me racist because that is bullshit.”

“When I said people who look like me,” she adds, in a “final note”: “I meant the people who don’t look strong or necessarily smart, or like they’re in control etc. it’s about advocating for a more delicate personality, not for white woman – thanks for the Karen comments tho. V helpful.”