I used to be a Lanalegric. Now I’m Lana-tolerant, even Lana-positive. And here’s why.
Back in early 2012, every mention of Miss Del Rey would result in my tantrum and angry logorrhea. My most acute responses would occur when someone called her “the new Amy Winehouse” – somebody claims the place of my poorest, greatest, sweetest, craziest, MY-est Amy Winehouse! – or mentioned her in one breath with Adele.
Lana seems to me quite the opposite of Adele. What won the British superstar millions of fans, me included, is her naturalness: she’s fat, she’s funny, she swears when she feels like it, and sings her heart out about her exes. She’s no media personality, it’s the music that’s in the centre of attention. And it’s damn good.
Lana, in contrast, is pure artifice. Everything about her is fake: her name (obviously), her face (most probably), her biography (definitely), her impossibly retro persona (logically – wasn’t she born in, like, 1986?). She’s not Katy Perry-fake, though. Nobody cares if the California Gurl actually kissed a girl, if she ever wears her cupcake bra in private, or if we’d be able to recognize her without make-up. With Lana, it’s a different story. We’d like to believe that she spends most of her time playing oldschool video games, dressed in James Dean’s white shirt, sipping Bacardi and thinking about death. The character she (or her managers) created is too awesome to be a creation of The System.
Lana the simulacrum is not exactly a feminist hero either. She seems to have come straight from the 60s, values and all. This is what makes us girls/ We don’t stick together cause we put love first – seriously? Now I’m starting to question my gender identity. One cannot imagine Lana bossing up like Nicki Minaj or running the world with Beyonce. She’s too busy getting undressed from your favourite sundress and putting your favourite perfume on. (Because It’s you, it’s you, it’s all for you/Everything I do.)
And getting wasted. About a third of her songs (trust me, I did the maths) mentions being beautifully boozed up. At the same time, in interviews the songstress admits to having quit drinking nine years ago due to addiction. The only thing more hypocritical (but still less morbid) is her criticizing consumerism in National Anthem.
The only thing for us to do is accept Lana del Rey as a product; a fake, useless and, also for that reason, an absolutely delightful one. Or as our politically incorrect fantasy, a harmless outlet for society’s desires that should never come true. Otherwise, we’ll be forced to deny the pleasure of listening to her sultry voice singing about being wasted, desperate and naked. And, let’s face it: it’s the sexiest thing since Marilyn in Some like it hot. (Although Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction is not far behind.)