The Mysterious Case of Lana Del Rey
One of my favorite songs at the moment is “Video Games” by Lana Del Ray. It’s simultaneously tender and strong, reveling in the day-to-day joys of a relationship while boldly proclaiming, “I tell you all the time, heaven is a place on earth with you.” Del Ray has yet to even officially release her first single, but she’s already garnering quite a bit of attention.
All this attention, however, could possibly undo her before she even ‘makes it big.’
You see, Del Ray has been positioned to become the next empress of the hipsters. And by all means, they should love her, soulful brunette that she is. The cloyingly lo-fi video for “Video Games” features snippets of young, cool people just hanging out, Del Ray singing against a white background (highly reminiscent of American Apparel ads and Terry Richardson’s photography), and, inexplicably, footage of other hipster darling Paz de la Huerta stumbling drunk after a red carpet event. Everything hipsters love.
Unfortunately for Del Ray, it’s come to the attention of the hipsters that she is not uneffortlessly cool like they all are. Del Ray has a dark secret that has recently been brought to light- a dark secret named Lizzy Grant.
When she first began promoting herself, Grant looked like an all-American girl; she had bleached hair and fresh-looking skin, and frequently wore t-shirts and jeans. Unfortunately for her, listeners weren’t biting. While we don’t know yet if it was her idea or that of a music exec, Lizzy Grant built a cocoon, injected some collagen into her lips, dyed her hair brown and put it up in a retro bouffant, and emerged as the butterfly Lana Del Ray.
When they realized they had been ‘deceived’ by Lizzy Grant, the hipsters were furious. “In a world where Best Coast is celebrated for being ‘pro-women’ and ’empowering,’ Lana Del Ray is a massive step back for the anti-cyberbullying feminist movement within indie rock,” says Carles of Hipster Runoff. “Her career works against the indie ideals that if you are ‘talented enough’, u can make it.”
While I wasn’t aware that there was a “anti-cyberbullying feminist movement within indie rock,” (can someone give me an example of this actually happening?) I do know what the members of Best Coast look like. They look like they’d be friends with Lana Del Ray. And not Lizzy Grant. A quick Google search reveals that Lizzy was making lo-fi videos back in 2008, long before she became Lana. And her music hasn’t dramatically changed. So why do the hipsters insist that they’ve been tricked, and that it’s a reason to be outraged? Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson was not born as the fully formed Lykke Li; I highly doubt Natasha Kahn’s parents intended to name her Bat For Lashes and that she came out of the womb with her bangs in her face. Why, in the age of Stefani Joanne Angelina “Lady Gaga” Germanotta, are any of us surprised by something as insignificant as dyed hair and a new name? Does her career really go against “the indie ideals that if you are ‘talented enough’, u can make it,” if she had to look like everyone else to actually, you know, make it?
The hipsters need to lay off and remember that they were not the first to pick up a pair of Ray Bans at a flea market- someone told them the glasses were cool first. The same as how now, they’re being told Lana Del Ray is cool. They don’t have to like her music, but calling her ‘manufactured’ is a serious case of the skinny tie calling the skinny jeans “narrow.”