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Lana Del Rey addresses backlash for wearing a mesh mask at a book signing

The singer has also responded to rumours about who she voted for in the 2020 US presidential election

Last month (October 2) Lana Del Rey held a surprise book signing at a Barnes & Noble bookshop in Los Angeles, where she chatted and posed for photos with fans. The singer was primarily there to promote her recent poetry collection, Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass, but the book was soon overshadowed by backlash on social media, with critics and fans alike questioning her choice of face covering.

The mask Del Rey had chosen appeared to be made of mesh (which is thought to do little to stop the spread of coronavirus, due to the fact it’s a porous material) and was previously seen in a cover shoot for Interview.

Del Rey’s sister, Chuck Grant, claimed that Del Rey had “tested negative” for coronavirus before the event. Grant also said that they remained six feet away from other attendees at all times, despite the fact that several photos show fans standing much closer.

“Please wear a real mask. I’m begging you be safe,” read one comment under images shared by the singer on social media. Another user wrote: “Please tell me that there's some sort of see through/sheer, woven (or clear plastic?) liner under the mesh?”

Now, Del Rey has personally responded to the criticism provoked by her choice of mask, commenting under an article in Michigan Daily that seems to suggest the response from fans – and how it could potentially affect her career – is symptomatic of “cancel culture”.

“Great article,” Del Rey responds via Twitter, claiming that the mask did in fact have “plastic on the inside”. 

“They’re commonly sewn in by stylists these days,” she adds. “I don’t generally respond to articles because I don’t care. But there ya go. Same goes for everyone’s masks in my video. I’m lucky enough to have a team of people who can do that.”

While she’s at it, Del Rey has also taken aim at other controversies spread on social media, including a rumour that she supported Donald Trump in the 2020 US presidential election. “Again not that I believe it’s anyone’s business at all,” she writes, “but I made it clear who I voted for.” In 2018, Del Rey called Trump’s election “a loss for the country” and Kanye West’s support for him “a loss for the culture”. Meanwhile, she’s been vocal – among other celebrities – in celebrating Joe Biden’s election win this year.

“And I don’t glamorize tough relationships,” she writes, having already addressed accusations of glamorising abuse in the past. “Relationships can just be tough. Period. Every other singer sings about the same damn thing. Always have, Probably always will.”

Nevertheless, not everyone is convinced by Del Rey’s explanation for the mask. Several replies to her comments raise suspicions about whether the mesh mask had a plastic layer, based on how it appears in the video. One comment also questions why it took her so long to respond to the controversy, to which she replies: “Bro I’m working on 2 albums and excitedly and happily donating a million dollars throughout the nation.”