Column By Cat Tacopina

cat tacopina

People who know me know that I’m a Lorde fan. I haven’t stopped listening to her album since it was released and I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the insights the 16 year old has. Which is why I am going to defend her in the whole Selena Gomez vs. Lorde feud, which is silly on the surface but is actually pretty sinister when you think about it.

Lorde recently said Gomez’s single “Come and Get It” has a poor message for women and then Gomez said what Lorde said wasn’t feminist because Lorde, a woman, is not supporting Gomez, also a woman, as an artist.

To be fair, if Gomez wrote “Come and Get It” herself, I don’t want to invalidate her feelings. With that being said, I don’t think Lorde is wrong and I think Gomez is totally amiss in her accusation that if Lorde were truly a feminist, she wouldn’t insult Gomez solely based on the fact the two are women artists in the industry.

We’ll start with the song. The message of “Come and Get It” is essentially, ‘you can go and do whatever you want romantically, sexually, emotionally, etc., but I’m not going to do anything because I love you so much and I’ll love you forever and I’m going to wait for you.’ I don’t think she articulated it perfectly, but I do think Lorde makes a strong point. She may be taking on more adult roles and maturing, which she is completely entitled to do, but Gomez hasn’t necessarily shed her younger fan base. She is still willing to profit off of them, and performing a song like “Come and Get It” and distributing it to those younger fans is pretty insidious.

What I’m most bothered by, however, is Gomez’s reaction to Lorde’s criticism. All Lorde did was point out that Gomez’s song can potentially have a terrible message. As a camp counselor for girls who are just entering adolescence, I feel so uncomfortable with the idea of waiting— as long as it takes for someone — being constantly reinforced to them.

But then, Gomez made feminism about her and said the reason Lorde’s statement is anti-feminist because the latter isn’t supporting another female artist.

Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but women, including you, Selena Gomez, can say sexist, harmful things and you should be called out when you perpetuate those kind of ideas.

I said before that I’m a camp counselor and there were several times this summer where I was impressed with the girls I look after. Some of them are more self-aware and know how to see past something’s face value better than some of the people I’ve met here. But what I get really worried about is what the celebrities they look up to say and just how much of an impression those celebrities can make on them.

Celebrities who our society deem acceptable to look up to, like Gomez,  Taylor Swift and Katy Perry have all, at some point used their clout as a celebrity to demonize and invalidate women. I’m sure everyone is sick of hearing about Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance, but when are people like Perry going to  stop villifying her for being “so naked.” Even Ed Sheeran jumped on that bandwagon. It’s old and anyone who thinks that that was the offensive part of her performance needs to reevaluate. I shouldn’t need to tell you why. If you do, bye.

What I’m trying to say is, it’s damaging for girls to hear that criticizing something which can potentially be seen as sexist isn’t feminist. It isn’t fair of Gomez to take a criticism so personally that she goes on to villify someone who is several years younger than her. What Gomez needs to realize is that she has a responsibilty as an idol for young girls that she does have a responsibility to them to try and build up their confidence and self-esteem as much as she can. She currently isn’t doing that, and I do hope she can do that soon.

In the meantime, go look to Beyonce for inspiration.