Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Lana Del Rey’s New Song ‘A&W’ is the Definition of “Female Rage”

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TAMU chapter.

Lana’s new song ‘A&W’ is a 7 minute story about her life from her childhood to today and how she views her own sexuality. It highlights young girls’ confusion from being sexualized as children to then continuing to being sexualized as adults.

This past Valentine’s Day, Lana Del Rey released her new song ‘A&W’ to get fans hyped for her new album Did you know there’s a tunnel under the Ocean Blvd set to be broadcasted this March. Now, upon hearing the song title ‘A&W’ my mind went to root beer and the song being similar to her Born to Die album that incorporated themes of Lolita and innocence. However, I was definitely wrong as ‘A&W’ stands for “American Wh*re”. This song leads the listener through Lana’s life experiences from childhood to adulthood. We are given the agony of lost innocence and youth with the line, “I haven’t done a cartwheel since I was nine/ I haven’t seen my mother in a long, long time”. Lana was sexualized as a young girl and had to play up to the role of the flirty “girly-girly” which stripped away her ability to just be a child.

Her light and heavenly vocals are a stark contrast to the lyrics of women being sexually oppressed. She claims the derogatory term that has been used to undermine, blame, and victimize women for her own as she’s not afraid to use the word to feel sexually liberated. She sings the iconic line, “I’m a princess, I’m divisive/ Ask me why, why, why I’m like this” expresses the feminine rage of her sexuality being turned against her and her experiences.

“I mean look at me / Look at the length of my hair, and my face, the shape of my body / Do you really think I give a damn?”

Her song is leading people to speculate if the meaning also applies to how she has been treated by the music industry. She’s been in the game for years (since 2005) and has pushed the boundaries of what a pop song can be. However, with her long career in the industry, she has been criticized in the past for singing about touchy subjects such as abuse, domestic violence, drugs, sex, and money. Lana has been made out to be someone who “romanticizes abuse” and underage girls being romantically involved with older men. Her lyric “American Wh*re” can also be applied to how the industry has mistreated her and has twisted her own experiences against her. She is taking these judgements that have been made about her and using them to express her frustration with how media distorts women’s sensuality.

I am, to say the least, obsessed with Lana’s new song, and I am looking forward to listening to her new album! I hope to see her take on these controversial topics and turn them into meditative melodies. Lana is officially in her Orchestra Era, and we are here for it.

My name is Analese Vondrak and I am an Environmental Studies major at Texas A&M. I am passionate about sustainable fashion, trend cycles, and pop culture. I have experience in PPC marketing and explorative fashion creation. I am propelled to create conscious media that is not only healthy to consume, but sparks people's imaginative side.