Rita Ora has used her new single “Girls” to come out as bisexual – but her declarations of lady love haven’t gone down well with everybody.
The song sees Ora team up with Bebe Rexha, Charli XCX and Cardi B to sing about her experiences with both men and women. It’s full of suggestive lyrics too that leave little room for interpretation.
At one point, Ora sings: “Sometimes I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls / Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls girls (etc)”. She goes one step further later in the song, with a line in which she declares that she’s “50/50 and never gonna hide it.”
The accompanying video has already approved popular, racking up over 3.6 million views in just three days. Not everyone is impressed, however, with Ora copping a fair amount of flack on social media over the lyrics.
Singer Hayley Kiyoko, who identifies as gay, hit out at the song in a statement on Twitter. Kiyoko criticised the song for doing “more harm than good” , adding that “belittles” the LGBTQ+ community’s “very pure feelings”.
“I literally have a knot in my stomach right now. To be clear, I fully support other artists who freely express themselves and applaud male and female artists who are opening up more and more about their sexual identities.,” she said.
“But every so often there come songs with messaging that is just downright tone-deaf, which does more harm than good for the LGBTQ+ community. A song like this just fuels the male gaze while marginalising the idea of women loving women.”
“I know this wasn’t the intention of the artists on the song, but it’s the lack of consideration behind these lyrics that really [gets to] me. I don’t need to drink wine to kiss girls; I’ve loved women my entire life.”
Fellow pop star Kehlani was similarly critical over a series of tweets. “Hate to be THAT guy but there were many awkward slurs, quotes, and moments that were like ‘word? Word'” she tweeted in response.
Katie Gavin from MUNA also hit out at the song, tweeting that “the songwriting world is full of people that feel entitled to write about communities to which they do not belong”.
Ora has so far failed to respond to the criticism, instead tweeting plans for an upcoming collaboration with UEFA to promote more female involvement in the beautiful game.
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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.