Lana Del Rey shares ‘final note’ on Instagram controversy and accuses critics of trying to start a ‘race war’

Roisin O'Connor
Lana Del Rey at an Apple launch event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York: Getty

Lana Del Rey has given what she says will be the “final note” on a backlash she received, after complaining about the way her music is discussed compared to her fellow female artists.

The singer faced criticism for claiming she sometimes feels “crucified” when she is accused of “glamourising abuse” with her songs.

She wrote: “Now that Doja Cat, Ariana [Grande], Camila [Cabello], Cardi B, Kehlani and Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé have had number ones with songs about being sexy, wearing no clothes, f***ing, 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 glamourising abuse??????”

Many branded Del Rey’s remarks as “tone-deaf” and “disappointing”.

In a piece for The Guardian, deputy music editor Laura Snapes wrote: “It’s especially depressing that Del Rey targeted women of colour, in doing so undermining a legitimate argument about contemporary culture’s restrictive insistence on female #empowerment to the exclusion of messier experiences.

“It is hard to avoid the suggestion, from an artist who has heavily used black culture in her work, that these performers’ sexualised images are more damaging for feminism than her lyrics about violence and bad boys. The malignant characterisation of black women as oversexualised is a historic racist trope – and a persistent one that has seen those performers subject to far greater media derision than Del Rey will ever experience.”

Del Rey has now posted a response to the backlash, writing on her Instagram account: “I’m sorry that the folks who I can only assume are super Trump/Pence supporters or hyper liberals or flip-flopping headline grabbing critics can’t read and want to make it a race war.”

She denied her initial post was controversial, commenting: “I want to say that I remain firm in my clarity and stance in that what i was writing about was the importance of self-advocacy for the more delicate and often dismissed, softer female personality, and that there does have to be room for that type in what will inevitably become a new wave/3rd wave of feminism that is rapidly approaching.”

She added her issue was with “*female critics and *female alternative artists who are disassociated from their own fragility and sexuality and berate more sexually liberated [women] like myself and the women I mentioned.”

“My aim and my message are clear,” she concluded, “That I have control over my own story. If the women I mention don’t wanna be associated with me that’s absolutely fine by me.”

Del Rey had previously defended her comments about her fellow singers by saying: “I could’ve literally said anyone but I picked my favourite f***ing people.” She continued: “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 bulls***.”

Del Rey released her latest album, Norman F***ing Rockwell!, last year.

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