Letters from Rosie 7 – Lana Del Rey and that moment of self-reflection
I’m on tumblr right now, looking at pictures of Lana Del Rey. Lana under the weight of that masterful, grotesque bouffant hairdo. Lana in her yearbook photo. Lana with blood tears in her eyes. Lana smoking a fag. Lana kissing a buzz- rapper who i thot was going out with Iggy Azalea wtf?
She has single-handedly made it impossible for any little girl to look in the mirror and think, “I am naturally pretty… enough”.
Tom Ford said in a documentary recently, when asked what will define beauty in the coming decade (cos it was he who defined it in previous decades), he said “fake beauty will be the new beauty”. We’ve had everything from classical to anti. But fake beauty? No way, I thought. Those fake-tit women look soooooooooooo tacky, and the ribbon-lift women are all sooooooooooooo old – no hipster girl is gonna be into fake beauty.
And then along comes Lana. With the perfect surgery. Restalyne injections? They’re sort of cheap. Cheaper than a pony. Will teens with lip injections start arriving to class? In California probably. In London, maybe…
If anyone ever suited their surgery – it’s her. The rest of her is so great. Amazing hair – total Disney hair! Long neck, perfect nose, perfect jawline…….the lips just really set her off. Maybe she could lose, like, three pounds tho.
Isn’t it so crazy that the fuzz-wuzzy wave thing made it into the real mainstream? Isn’t it crazy that we all thought that if it was on Pitchfork and gorillavsbear for a year it basically WAS the mainstream. We were all sooooo bored of VHS videos already. i liked the Laurel Halo one for ‘Embassy’:
and could not believe Twin Shadow beat me to the punch and ripped off Bruce Weber’s banned CK jeans ad for his ‘Slow’ viddy:
but after that I was like “fuzzy-wuzzy is over”. We forgot there really is a whole other stratum who had no idea any of this was even happening. But then everyone got confused. Thought they had been lied to. They weren’t.
I am glad Lana is a pop star. She clearly wanted it so badly. Oh! To be one of those few lucky artists a major label chooses to put their full marketing muscle behind. For all that went down, I still think it was the surprise runaway success of ‘Video Games’ on youtube that made Interscope get their big money out. I don’t believe she had the deal already, although she obviously had signed something with Universal in Germany. But they didn’t know what was gonna happen. And she did what it took to perfect her brand and distill her vision. Here she is in 2010 with the image totally complete:
I don’t think someone else thought it up for her, she’s into the same shit all nice middle class white girls are into – just look in tumblr! We all want big lips and revenge on that impossibly beautiful ex-boyfriend who rejected us. We chose him not because we really loved him, but because we were looking for a mirror – a version of ourselves. The tiny nose, the blue eyes, the white teeth, the long hair. But it takes a lot of guts before we are able to admit it was all vanity. Instead, we say things like “I will love you til the end of time” and “I wish I was dead”.
This is why her music is no good, really. Because the depth – the moment of true growth, true learning, true experience is not there. Because that moment of self-reflection is in hard, not soft focus and therefore isn’t very glamorous. It’s a humdrum realisation on a rainy tuesday morning while yr wearing a big lumpy sweater and drinking tea. Instead she’s gone on fetishizing the heartbreak and the pain. Saying in interviews that the concept of the album is to “honour love lost” like this chump who dumped her is worthy of such poetic auspices. There is no redemption song on the record – no moment where she says, “Maybe it wasn’t love…. And if it wasn’t, then what does that say about me?”, “I am being pathetic; I am a creature of extensive privilege, I am loved by both parents, it’s time to snap out of this.” Cheezy and ubiquitous as it is, your nation’s beloved Gotye managed to cover more emotional ground in one song than Born To Die does on the entire record. When that bloke talks about being “addicted to a certain kind of sadness”, as the listener, you’re right there with him, until Kimbra kicks his ass and surprises you with that amazing line delivered in her glorious full-voice
You said that you could let it go
…And I wouldn’t catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know
Now that’s good pop. But the video is shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.
Lana’s videos are brill. She’s no feminist icon but I don’t wanna disapprove of her. Lana’s image is…. an absolute triumph. The voice, the performance and the songs? Nowhere near as good. I think after this album she should give up music and become a stylist or something.
We just toured with The Rapture. I was told they usually ignore their support bands, so I guess I’m happy that they talked to us a wee bit. I think I failed some kind of secret coolness test tho. I didn’t know enough about Bob Smith and Medieval Architecture. I know a lot about Nirvana, Cocteau Twins, The Smiths, Feminism. I can play chess. I really do know an awful lot about Nirvana. But there wasn’t a moment of unguarded bonding. Fame is a fucking drag. How famous is famous? Luke Jenner knows who you are, but some mates of mine who are 19 do not know who he is. [Me neither. Who’s Luke Jenner? – Ed] What was the point in all those years of self-consciousness? I didn’t tell him about the time I was 19 and I followed him to his hotel when he played in London (it was the Columbia) and I blagged my way in by telling everyone that I was a rock star (Sharin Foo from The Raveonettes, a modest choice) and I got into the lobby and they were all sitting there with really, really pretty girls so I didn’t talk to them I just hung out with the gay boys and sort of craved proximity until 5am when we got chucked out. It was like an episode of My Fucking So-Called Life. But even back then I could have whipped his ass on the Olympia-band spot quiz.
Please forgive me for not writing sooner. I was just deep in thought. And I am slow and lazy and then I got embarrassed.