It was inevitable that someone who did the exact opposite of what has become the norm in pop princess culture — nudity, sexuality and consumerism over substance — would hit a nerve. That is exactly what 16-year-old Lorde has done with her quiet and subtle domination of Miley Cyrus and Billboard's Hot 100. Lorde's chart-topper "Royals" takes a not-at-all subtle jab at the undertone of so much of pop culture today — Grey Goose, gold teeth and tripping in the bathroom.
Instead of worshiping at the feet of the almighty dollar, Lorde's "Royals" lyrics profess, "My friends and I, we've cracked the code. We count our dollars on the train to the party, and everyone who knows us knows that we're fine with this — we didn't come from money."
While Lorde has been revered by many for her refreshing attitude, the naysayers have jumped on board, with one blogger calling Lorde's lyrics racist because the things she condemns (according to the blogger) all stem from hip-hop. Evidently, that blogger hasn't heard Cyrus sing about tripping on "purp" in the club, seen the "tiger with a gold leash" around its neck in Katy Perry's "Roar" video or heard Britney Spears tell women if they want to party in France and drive ridiculously expensive cars, they better "work b****."
Might it be too much to hope for that a young, beautiful woman will show our daughters that you can be at the top of your game with your clothes on? Lorde told Rolling Stone, "I love pop music on a sonic level. But I'm a feminist, and the theme of [Selena Gomez's] song ["Come & Get It"] is, 'When you're ready, come and get it from me.' I'm sick of women being portrayed this way."
Sing it, sister. Literally.
She's also not been shy about commenting on the seemingly perfect Taylor Swift. Lorde told Metro Magazine, "Taylor Swift is so flawless, and so unattainable, and I don't think it's breeding anything good in young girls." Of course, Swift's fans freaked out and Joe Jonas tweeted, "Hey @lordemusic you say call me Queen B but you shouldn't be attacking all the true Queen Bitches's #respect." Insert eye roll here. How is calling someone "flawless" an attack? Until Jonas is either a young woman, or is raising a young woman, he should consider taking one step back.
In the Becoming Lorde video, Lorde talks about her songwriting (while she swims under water because she's deep — get it?). She likens her craft to being a parent. "I have a super-demanding, high-achieving child with a cry that sounds really cool on the radio." Who thinks things like that, especially at 16? We're hoping that the super-demanding child is here to stay, that she keeps saying what the rest of us are thinking and that she doesn't fall prey to the pop princess syndrome.
But can the girl sing? Oh, this girl has more talent in one wave of her enviable head of hair than most possess in their entire body. We'd liken her voice to another talent, but it is so uniquely her own. In the "Royals" video, our heroine is once again fully clothed, seducing us with her voice and lyrics as opposed to swinging naked from the rafters. Notably, the only person shaving their head in the video is one of the boys.
We get that Cyrus is growing up, transitioning, yada, yada, yada, but we're weary of her doing it daily and being so in-our-face about it. Lorde is such a welcome respite from Miley Nation, where it's beginning to feel like it's Cyrus' world and we just live in it.
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