Singer Rita Ora Apologizes For “Girls” Song That Some Say Feeds The Male Gaze


On Saturday, singer Rita Ora dropped her new single “Girls.” It features Bebe Rexha, Cardi B, and Charli XCX, who are some of the hottest stars in the game right now. But the subject matter has upset some in the LGBTQ+ community. They are not here for it.

In an attempt to express her love for women, Ora struck a nerve in the LGBTQ+ community when she chose to describe her desire to kiss girls only while under the influence of wine and getting high off “kush.” This herein lies the problem, folks. You can hear a snippet of the track that Ora posted on social media with the following lyrics.

“Sometimes, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls
Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls
Sometimes, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls
Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls
Girls, girls, girls, girls, girls”

Singer Hayley Kiyoko wrote that “Girls” did “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 don’t need to drink wine to kiss girls; I’ve loved women my entire life.” She believes that the song “belittles and invalidates the very pure feelings of an entire community”.

And a line from Cardi B was also problematic when she rapped, “I could be your lipstick just for one night.” If Ora’s intention was to show that love is love is love, then this song missed the mark. It just sounds like random girl-on-girl hookups because alcohol and weed are present. Do those experiences make you a part of the LGBTQ+ community? Fellow industry songbird Kehlani thinks not.

The 23-year-old hopped on social media to give her two cents about the song, and as a queer woman, she echoed Kiyoko’s thoughts saying that “there. were. harmful. lyrics.”

When Ora became aware of how her song was effecting those in her community, she apologized on social media. She explained that while she has had romantic relationships with both men and women, she said she would “never intentionally cause harm to other LGBTQ+ people or anyone.”

Ora’s effort may have fallen flat, so if she attempts a do-over, she may want to consult singer Janelle Monae. Monae recently admitted to being pansexual in an interview with Rolling Stone, and like Ora, they have both been in same-sex and opposite sex relationships.

“Being a queer black woman in America, someone who has been in relationships with both men and women – I consider myself to be a free-a– motherf–ker,” she said.

Monae’s way of revealing her sexuality did not offend the LGBTQ+ community that she belongs. Instead, she presented visuals for her current single PYNK,” which celebrates all women, including those who love women. The video even features rumored girlfriend actress Tessa Thompson.

From the looks of both videos side-by-side, which one feels more genuine, and which just sounds like a catchy pop tune that encourages girls to make impulsive decisions when under the influence?

Renese spends her early mornings writing, her days securing insurance for TV shows, and her in-betweens blogging about the silliness and seriousness of life on her blog. Follow Renese on Twitter: @reneseford