The singer explained in an interview with Elle UK, "I find it so frustrating that female musicians are constantly defined by the men they have or haven't dated. It's something I've talked about with [Taylor Swift] a lot. She definitely feels that. She gets bothered by it. It's like, you can be a great artist, you can write great songs, but the thing that everyone is going to talk about is some relationship they think you have had or not had. It's definitely something we both think happens to female artists over male artists."
Goulding experienced this firsthand when rumors surfaced that she inspired Ed Sheeran's song "Don't" after she ditched him to date One Direction's Niall Horan.
"I did go on a few dates with Niall but I was never in a relationship with Ed," Goulding said, clearing the air. "I have absolutely no idea where that came from and why it was turned into such a big thing."
Sheeran also confirmed the purported love triangle had been blown way out of proportion, "I never let it slip," he told Entertainment Weekly in May. "What happened was one of the newspapers in England just printed that it was confirmed when it never was. We got in touch, and they took the story down. But obviously the damage had already been done by that point because every other newspaper picked up on it. So I never actually confirmed it."
Although, Sheeran did confirm that he had a brief romance with Goulding.
It is a fine line between expressing yourself creatively and being exposed to uninvited invasiveness as an artist. For example, Swift loves to sing about her love life but she, rightfully, still wants to be in control of the details that are released to the public about her personal experiences. It's understandable Goulding would want the same thing, but finding that balance can obviously be tricky when you're in the limelight.
"When I started out, I couldn't cope with it," Goulding said of fame. "I felt embarrassed by it. I didn't quite know who I was supposed to be. I was never confident in my looks. I hated my chin, my nose, my eyebrows. I was told by people at my record company to watch videos of other girls, like Little Boots, and Elly Jackson from La Roux, and try and look like them. I had panic attacks so bad I couldn't leave my flat; I couldn't bear people looking at me. I would worry that I would never be able to sing because I couldn't even get up. I was also horribly ashamed of myself because I felt like some sort of drama queen and all I wanted to be was strong."
You can read the full interview with Goulding in Elle UK's July issue.
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