“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*cking, cheating, etc—can I please go back to singing about being embodied, feeling beautiful by being I 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,” she said in a written text post on her Instagram.
“Let this be clear, I’m not not a feminist," she continued, "but there has to be a place in feminism for women who look and act like me—the kind of woman who says no but mean hear yes—the kind of women who are slated mercilessly for being their authentic, delicate selves. The kind of women who get their own stories and voices taken away from them by stronger women or by men who hate women.”
“So, I just want to say it’s been a long ten years of bullshit reviews up until recently and I’ve learned a lot from them but I also feel it really paved the way for other women to stop ‘putting on a happy face’ and to just be able to say whatever the hell the wanted to in their music—unlike my experience where if I even expressed a note of sadness in my first two records, I was deemed literally hysterical as thought it was literally the 1920s.”
Del Rey’s comments are confusing. In one sense, there’s truth in the fact she faced scrutiny and unjust treatment but it’s also uncomfortable and problematic that she has previously been thought to glamorise abuse, with lines like “he hit me and it felt like a kiss” in Ultraviolence.
And, suffice to say, fans on Twitter were not happy about the “Summertime Sadness” singer implying that she paved the way for their faves. As Barbz, Beyhives and Ari stans alike pointed out, most of the women she included in the post are women of colour artists (nine out of ten of the performers to be exact), leading some to think this came from a place of white privilege and an attack on PoC. As one fan said, “she could’ve said Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus… like, c’mon.”
Others joke that the artists mentioned are too busy with their own careers and lives to care about Del Rey's comments, with some not even know who the Norman F*cking Rockwell! singer is.
And then there's, uh, this.