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

“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.

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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.”

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“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.

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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

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