I know a boy who dresses aggressively
heterosexually and who made it onto the blog, “White Boys in Salmon Shorts.” He’s from the East Coast and I’m not sure he’s aware of this
fact he’s on the site. I probably will not tell him. I attend school on the East Coast but I
spent my formative years on the West Coast, in Seattle and in San Diego, where
it’s bright all day and clear at night and people pretend to be more liberal
than they actually are. I don’t like being controlled, I despise the cold, and
I think the salmon shorts are definitely pink and not Nantucket red. But, at
the same time, there’s a part to me that’s quintessentially East Coast, the
part where I’m permanently on edge, constantly constructing alternative
identities of myself to protect my soft underbelly and that is what Lana del Rey and I have in common.
What is the significance of the
epitome of the East Coast girl, Lizzie Grant, appropriating west coast cool,
all casual smoking clove cigarettes and drinking gross slightly earthy beer and
swaying, as if she’s a native? It’s almost aspirational as if she wants to be
as cool and carefree as the girl in the video. I have a theory Lana isn’t
nearly as hazy or drug addled or mysterious as she pretends to be, because that identity
takes a lot of control to maintain and it’s impossible to do so if one is not meticulous about the practice. She has based her whole life around a
character she is not, that she cannot be because nobody is the image they have constructed for themselves, especially when it’s so extreme and that’s why I believe Lana del Rey is secretly as much
of a control freak as I am. It is fundamentally impossible that a woman who
constructs such a specific identity of submissiveness is truly not in control
because the totality of Lana del Rey is an act, but that doesn’t mean the act is not real.
the last person to scream about her lack of authenticity but the intentional construction of identity means it’s as
mutable as changing clothes. As her next album comes out, I wonder what her
identity will be this time, not the West Coast girl next door or the spoiled
trap queen of “Born to Die” but something new, something we haven’t seen
before. Perhaps she’s going to moonlight as a satisfied wife, akin to a cat licking the cream. What it is, I’m looking
forward to it.
1. Indigo blue–The king. Flattering on everyone. Deep heritage across many cultures. The color of blue jeans, big sky, the Pacific ocean, Robert Redford’s eyes. Name an item of clothing that doesn’t look good in indigo.