Lana Del Rey Isn't Interested In Your Feminism

lana_embed1Photo: Geordie Wood/The Fader.
Lana Del Rey has constructed a career out of submissiveness. "It's you / It's you / It's all for you," she sings on her runaway hit "Video Games." In "Off To The Races," she embodies the daddy figure with demands like "Be a good baby / Do what I want" before switching into the sugar-baby role, begging the man to "Keep me forever / Tell me you own me." It's a feminist's worst nightmare, but she couldn't care less.
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"Whenever people bring up feminism, I’m like, god. I’m just not really that interested," Lana Del Rey said in an interview for The Fader's upcoming annual music issue. Her oeuvre, however, begs to differ.
Del Rey's writing is riddled with themes of selling one's self to get by, daddies, pleasing men, and old-Hollywood ideals of femininity. On "Gods & Monsters," she calls herself an "angel looking to get fucked hard" and wanting "innocence lost." Yet, according to her, those are just a part of being a girl. "Honestly, I feel like it’s more of a girl thing,” she says referring to the various roles she's played. "For me, being this way and dressed like this isn’t different than being out in a wig. It’s all the same to me. It’s all nothing, it’s all everything. I could really go any way. I’ve lived a lot of different lives. I lived down in Alabama with my boyfriend, I lived here in Brooklyn and in Jersey. I’ve been a lot of different people, I guess.”
lana_embed2Photo: Geordie Wood/The Fader.
That's where the feminism she doesn't care about lies, though. Unlike the over-the-top, fantasy-like characters her contemporaries play, Lana Del Rey comes off as hesitantly authentic. The Fader makes known the world's obsession with her appearance (the lips, the nose, the hair) — all of which she's claimed to be real. It's because of this authenticity that her submissiveness rings so many alarms. It's too Girl-Next-Door — as opposed to the over-the-top, whipped-cream-blasting-bra caricature.
"My idea of a true feminist is a woman who feels free enough to do whatever she wants," Del Rey said, following up her dismissal. Whether that falls in line with the still-muddled definition is irrelevant. At the end of the day, she's the one submitting to us, the audience. It is, to hark back to "Video Games," all for us.
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The Fader's June/July music issue hits stands July 8, but the full interview can be read here.
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