Dua Lipa speaks out on ‘humiliating’ experience after viral meme of her dancing

Dua Lipa has spoken out about the “humiliating” experience of being turned into a meme for her dancing on social media.

A clip of the singer performing at one of her 2017 concerts became a viral video, with fans likening her motions to a pencil in a “pencil sharpener”.

The 28-year-old singer, who has just released her third studio album Radical Optimism, described the deep impact the jokes had made on her in a new interview with The Guardian.

“When people took that snippet of me dancing online and just turned it into a meme, and then when I won the best new artist Grammy and people were like, ‘She’s not deserving of it, she’s got no stage presence, she’s not going to stick around.’ Those things were hurtful. It was humiliating. I had to take myself off Twitter,” she said.

The Albanian-British artist said that the memes led to increased scrutiny as audiences picked apart her talent while she was “still growing up” in her early 20s.

“The thing that made me the happiest – performing and writing songs – was also making me really upset because people were picking everything apart that I’d been working on, and I had to learn all that in front of everyone.

“In the public eye, I was figuring out who I was as an artist, as a performer. All that was happening while I was 22, 23 years old and still growing up. You have to build tough skin. You have to be resilient.”

 (Getty Images/Twitter)
(Getty Images/Twitter)

She shared that the “humiliation” lasted “two years”, until she finished writing her 2020 album Future Nostalgia and completed her first performance of “Don’t Start Now” at the MTV Europe Music awards.

“It never was like I couldn’t get out of bed because of what I thought people thought of me. I didn’t care to that degree. But that’s when it was most heightened for me,” she added.

However, the star added that she felt vindicated after she was able to prove people wrong following her performance.

“It was November 2019 when ‘Don’t Start Now’ came out, and it dawned on me that I’m finally going to get up and dance in front of people after what they have thought about me for so long,” she said.

“And I went back, did that performance, and everyone was like, ‘Oh, we were wrong.’ I got a real kick out of that.”