Since I wrote my first article anticipating Lana Del Rey’s arrival, I’m struggling to find something to say that, well… hasn’t already been said.  Like here.  And here.  And here.

Her album dropped on Tuesday, and despite the reviews that praise her and scathe her, she’s rising to the top of the charts.

Somebody got peeved at my term Pretty Girl with Problems (PGWP), which really got me thinking about what I’d said and what I truly meant.  Let me reiterate:  Lana isn’t invalidated by her beauty.  I don’t think this is a case of beauty first, talent second.

I just don’t understand why all the female pop stars these days (with some exceptions) have to be “insane.” Or present themselves as, honestly?  Schizophrenic.

Love her or hate her, she looks amazing in this one-piece.

Or make hideously offensive videos showcasing their schizophrenic alter egos like Nicki Minaj.

Even my favorite new female artist, Bat for Lashes, says she has an alter ego.

Gaga is obviously the queen of this reigning “psycho” regime.  I won’t even go into Jo Calderone.

Lana says, "You like your girls insane."

Is this all just elaborate, nouveau-pop theatre, or is there something more at stake here?  Maybe everyone’s problem with Lana Del Rey is that they just can’t figure her out.  Is she crazy like Gaga?  Is she the girl next door?  Did she arrive here in a time machine, from the 1970′s?

My big, unanswerable question today is this: Do all female artists now have to profess insanity in order to be talented? Or is insanity just a by-product of being an artist?

Take Kate Bush for example.  Everyone’s called her just a little nutty.  And you know she is.  You have seen her nutty videos.

Bjork is also someone we might consider nutty.  She made a video in which she is in love with a cat-man.  It happened.

And obviously Madonna has made videos that make her appear just a little off-kilter.

But now the new female artists, like Minaj and even Bat for Lashes, are actually showcasing that they have alternate personas, which they use in order to make their art.  Bjork and Kate Bush, I think, had more authenticity: they were weird not because they were women divided into personas, but because they were just… weird.

The Christmas special where Kate dances with two dudes dressed as giant violins.

I don’t like the trend our female artists are taking with their self-professed alter egos.  The girls I’ve known in my past who have professed “insanity” so they could really be themselves have ended up completely unhappy, and often self-destruct.

Maybe what sticks out the most about Lana Del Rey is her total adoption of this bad girl, “I’m insane” angle.  If I were still a teenager, I completely guarantee that I would be so in love with her music, I would have posters of her all over my walls, and I would worship the ground she walks on.

As it stands, I’m almost 30 now (*gasp!*), and, while I do like aspects of her sound and appreciate her beauty and her videos, I simply don’t feel the heart behind her music and the conviction behind her “act,” which is what will, ultimately, separate mediocre artists from great artists.

But maybe I’m just getting old.

So, what do you think?  Are female artists playing into some strange need for us to view them as  insane so they can “be themselves”… or are they all just, quite frankly, nuts?  And, if they are nuts… is that okay, too?

This ring says it all.

  • http://twitter.com/BetaTotis Roberta Lessa

    Everybody has different personas. Even you do. We’re not the same with our family, with our friends or with our bosses. And every artist have their stage personas, their photographies personas, they all always had. But, nowadays, it’s easier for them to show they have this “duo” inside them.

  • http://twitter.com/BetaTotis Roberta Lessa

    And she has just tweeted a quotation from Walt Whitman: “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large – I contain multitudes.”

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6QSTLBXKCH2WFDBUU6AD5XSQHY John

    Lana Del Rey is clearly a psycho just like almost all the rich born scum-wannabe-better because they have money. Those are privileged people and have no sense of social responsibility.  She had Tat-boy rapped around her finger and then tells him to tat her name on his forehead when she already knows she will be leaving him in the future.  She didn’t just want to leave him, she wanted to destroy him emotionally by encouraging the forehead tat.  That’s what 50k a year boarding school will teach you.  Your death is my life. What a fabulous world we live in.  Einstein was so right about being disgusted with humanity.  Most rich people have no clue and are so pathetic.