Leave Lana Alone: An Opinion On Lana Del Rey’s Instagram Controversy

Did Lana Del Rey have a point worth making, or was her apparent dismissal of Doja Cat, Ariana Grande, Cardi B, Kehlani, Nicki Minaj and Beyonce sheer madness? An op ed investigation.

Ethan Paisley

AfterBuzz TV Host & Writer
Posted On: May 27th, 2020 11:55 pm pst

Maria Menounos
Keven Undergaro
AfterBuzz TV Founders

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.

An ABTV Op Ed on Lana Del Rey

Based on the title, you can probably already guess my opinion on the Lana del Rey Insta-fiasco. Let me start by addressing that I am not a woman, nor a person of color. I will never be able to comprehend the world through either perspective, so apologies in advance if my thoughts seem misinformed. With that said, here is how I perceived the drama at hand, being a thoroughly white and gay Lana del Rey superfan:

Let’s begin with the post that started it all. In my opinion, the first paragraph of Lana’s first post is what set most people off. Here, Lana states: “Now that Doja Cat, Ariana, Camila, Cardi B, Kehlani, and Nicki Minaj and Beyonce have had number one songs about being sexy, wearing no clothes … can I please go back to singing… whatever I want … without being crucified or saying that I’m glamorizing abuse??” There is no question Lana mentioned predominantly women of color (minus Ariana Grande, who confirmed she was Italian-American on Twitter in 2011) while airing her grievances about criticism she’s received from the music industry. 

If one were to stop reading after the first paragraph, I agree it sounds like Lana is begging for recognition despite having the upper hand as a(n) (extremely successful) white, female recording artist. However, the remainder of the post made a lot of sense to me, where she described the need for representation for all types of women, including those who could be considered fragile, within the feminist movement. Here’s what I believe she was trying to say by mentioning the female artists of color that she did, and here’s where I felt she could have been more careful:

In the context of this post, I believe Lana del Rey mentioned artists like Nicki Minaj and Beyonce to exemplify women who are considered bold and outspoken, in other words, the polar opposite of the type of women she’s advocating for within the feminist movement. If you read closely, Lana is confirming that both types of women can be considered sexually empowered, but she feels fragile women are more subject to negative feedback when they do exercise their sexuality. The reason I think readers had trouble connecting these dots was because women of color, fragile or not, are inevitably subject to adversity and negative feedback beyond their sexuality, such as that having to do with their race, socioeconomic status, and more. I also felt Lana’s post ignored the prospect that women of color in the music industry aren’t sex symbols by choice, but as a result of an unconscious bias projected onto them by members of the industry. In other words, as a white female recording artist, she has the privilege to control her expression of her sexuality, or lack thereof. 

Inarguably, Lana could have structured the first paragraph of her post more cautiously. The point of her post wasn’t to minimize the experience of women of color though. The point of her post was to shine a light on a sect of women, white and non-white, who she feels suffer a lack of representation in the feminist movement due to their fragile characteristics. I think if she had left this post alone and taken the initial hit in the comments, then in time, the public would be able to understand her message. Instead, she kept fighting back, which in my opinion is what blew this controversy out of proportion. 

She followed up with a second post echoing her core message. However, in this post, she blatantly stated she wouldn’t be issuing an apology over the miscommunication of her first post and remains in control of her own story. Again, I didn’t feel this helped her. By adding more words to the mix, it added more fuel to the fire. 

The fire blazed and left a burn on Lana del Rey’s Instagram page in the form of a video where she confronted the past two posts. As a naturally-born drama queen, I was on the edge of my seat for this. Yet, as a fan who wants nothing but the best for her, I had fallen off the edge of my seat and I was on the ground praying she would take the video down. Mid-way through the video, Lana confirms her message was never intended to cause a race argument, but was intended to advocate for women who get “f***ked up the ass by the culture” due to their fragility. This was a fine thing to say, except she already said it two posts ago. The rest of the video was full of jargon that I didn’t feel supported her cause. She mentioned everything from her advocacy work with the Navajo community to the mental illness epidemic emerging out of the Coronavirus pandemic, when really all I felt needed to be affirmed was what her original intention was behind the initial post.

Going back to my point, if she had left the first post alone, I probably wouldn’t be here writing about this. At the end of the day, I believe she was well-intended with her first post and she should have accepted the controversial response, knowing she never intended to insult women of color. However, I can understand why she fought back the way she did due to how personal this advocacy may be, and because of how private she usually keeps her thoughts on social media. The solution to this Insta-fiasco? Leave Lana alone. Clearly she miscommunicated her point, and clearly she is trying to make that known. We all make mistakes, and mistakes are magnified under a microscope when you’re Lana del Rey.

But just like Lana, I could be coming across wrong. What do you guys think of all this? Is it strange that Lana has been so defensive since the initial post? Do you think she owes us an apology or do we just leave her alone? I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say!

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About The Author:

Ethan Paisley : You can find me on social media @ethanbpaisley. I make movies and write/host for AfterBuzzTV!

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence

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