Lana Del Rey likes to sing about herself, the image and fantasy of herself and the costumes she’ll be wearing -- white bikini, red dress, heart-shaped glasses. Honestly, I like her for it. When it comes to Lana Del Rey and her “passive femininity” (that seems to be the criticism that makes the most sense, at least) I feel similar to the way Chris Kraus felt about Hannah Wilke. "As if the point was not to reveal the circumstances of one’s own objectification.”
Lana Del Rey’s lyrics may not be completely self-aware, but I would have a hard time believing she doesn’t see these characters as somewhat trapped by objectification. Her songs are about heartache, about being femme. I like that Lana Del Rey has created these characters centered around longing for a man and “female passivity.” I feel like she has captured something real, something like ... well... “the circumstances of one’s own objectification.”
I think of all the women attacked recently on the internet, the hatred furled at Lana has been the loudest. In February, I was at a fancy, Manhattan book party and someone was telling me how they’d wound up at a dinner party with Lana Del Rey. They said Lana was very aware of how critics view her (poorly, with scorn) and obviously, felt miserable about it. I felt for her, Lana Del Rey is being torn literally apart by internet commentators (and often under this guise of "pop culture criticism") and I thought, Can’t we do better?