Latest Newsletter🍵 Details from Half Moon BayRead


Hayley Kiyoko Slams Rita Ora’s New Song ‘Girls’ For Its Harmful Representation of The LGBTQ+

    Asian America Daily - in under 5 minutes

    Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories, to your inbox daily, for free!

    Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive

    “Girls,” Rita Ora’s new song about girl-on-girl relationships, received criticisms online for its alleged harmful representation of the LGBTQ+ community.

    The track featuring Cardi B, Bebe Rexha, and Charli XCX was first called out by singer/songwriter Hayley Kiyoko via Instagram on Friday

    The former Disney star, whose outspoken support for the LGBTQ+ earned her the moniker “Lesbian Jesus,” said the song provides a “tone-deaf” unrealistic version of queer and lesbian relationships.

    In her post, Kiyoko explained how lyrics such as “Sometimes, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls/Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls,” can be quite problematic.

    “A song like this just fuels the male gaze while marginalizing the idea of women loving women,” Kiyoko pointed out. “I don’t need to drink wine to kiss girls; I’ve loved women my entire life. This type of message is dangerous because it completely belittles and invalidates the very pure feelings of an entire community… We can and should do better.”

    Image via Instagram / hayleykiyoko

    After Kiyoko’s post, several artists have expressed similar concerns against the song, including self-described queer singer Kehlani, who took to Twitter on Friday to berate “Girls” for its “harmful lyrics.”

    “Hate to be THAT guy but there were many awkward slurs, quotes, and moments that were like, ‘word? Word,” Kehlani wrote.

    Meanwhile, Katie Gavin of electronic pop band MUNA tweeted, “I hear the familiar chorus that women’s sexuality is something to be looked at instead of authentically felt. So thanks for the reminder that we still have a lot of work ahead of us.”

    In a recent interview with People, Ora said that the song was inspired by Katy Perry’s 2008 hit “I Kissed a Girl.” which similarly sparked controversy over its own problematic lyrics.

    Asked whether she considers herself bisexual like the one described in her song “Girls,” Ora responded with: “I think the way…If people look at it like that, it’s very narrow-minded, and I don’t think that’s what this record is. I don’t think that that even matters. Yeah.”

    Ora has yet to respond to the backlash her song has received over the weekend.

    Featured Image via Instagram / (Left): hayleykiyoko | (Right): ritaora

    Support our Journalism with a Contribution

    Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

    Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

    However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

    We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way.  Thank you for everyone's support. We love you all and can't appreciate you guys enough.

    Support NextShark

    Mastercard, Visa, Amex, Discover, Paypal