Lana Del Rey wrote a lengthy screed on Instagram addressing criticism that her music glamorizes abuse. The singer and songwriter, who often addresses issues of mental illness, intimate partner violence, and substance abuse in her music, said she was sick of female writers and singers criticizing the content of her music.
“I’m fed up with female writers and alt singers saying that I glamorize abuse when in reality I’m just a glamorous person singing about the realities of what we are all now seeing are very prevalent emotionally abusive relationships all over the world,” wrote Del Ray, whose real name is Elizabeth Grant.
The 34-year-old Del Rey began the letter by referring to other female musicians who have climbed the charts writing about personal material: “Question for the culture: Now that Doja Cat, Ariana, Camila, Cardi B, Kehlani and Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé have had number ones with songs about being sexy, wearing no clothes, fucking, 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 glamorizing abuse??????”
She also clarified (sort of?) that she is “not not a feminist” and argued that there needs to be space for “women who look and act like me…the kind of woman who says no but men hear yes…the kind of women who get their own stories and voices taken away from them by stronger women or by men who hate women.” Later she said her career “paved the way” for other female singers and songwriters.
Del Rey’s last album, Norman F***ing Rockwell, was highly praised by most critics. So some folks are confused about to whom she is referring when she writes about being crucified.
Others on social media took umbrage with the fact that she named women artists of color as the standard she is seemingly railing against, saying that throwing shade at singers like Beyoncé is uncalled for.
At the end of her letter, Del Rey announced that she’s releasing a new album in September as well as two books of poetry with Simon & Schuster.