Dua Lipa on gender disparity and sexism in music: “There is a lot less scrutiny of male pop stars”

"People like to just objectify women"

Dua Lipa has opened up about gender disparity and the treatment of women within the music industry.

In a new interview with The Sunday Times, Lipa discussed ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ – a new track from her ‘Future Nostalgia’ album – which explores men’s treatment of women, saying she hoped the song would start a “conversation” because these were “real things [she has] gone through.”

She continued: “Getting home from school, scared of boys, I put keys between my knuckles. We constantly change the way we are so we don’t get harassed. Cover our bodies so boys don’t say things. From when we are kids we are told the way boys act towards us is completely normal.


Dua Lipa
Dua Lipa (Picture: Getty)

“Like kiss chase. Girls are terrified to get kissed by a boy at a young age. You’re running because you don’t want to get kissed. You’re giggling because it’s uncomfortable. You’re fucking seven years old and teachers don’t do anything because it’s just a game. And it’s difficult, once you’re in a fixed mindset, to change your ways. However, if we talk about this in schools, it would make a big difference to society.”

Lipa went on to discuss the differences in the way she and her male-pop counterparts are discussed.

“There is a lot less scrutiny of male pop stars,” Lipa said, adding: “…the way women are described compared to men, it’s, like, she is wearing shorts? ‘She puts on a leggy display!’ I just feel I’m here because I do music, but when people write articles like that about me, it takes it away from my talent and makes me a thing. An object. People like to just objectify women.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Lipa also opened up about leaving social media. “Online criticism can make you feel like you’re not good enough, so I was nervous.”

She continued: “It felt like a breeding ground for hate and stopped me being proud of my achievements,” she says. “Instead of feeling something was amazing, it made me feel I wasn’t worth it…we have to protect our mental health. I wish social media companies could make it a safer space. It’s just become unkind.”


Earlier this week, Lipa confirmed details of her rescheduled UK and European tour, after the coronavirus forced her to shelve the shows.

The ‘Physical’ singer was set to hit the road in May 2020, in support of her second album ‘Future Nostalgia’, but the dates will now take place in January 2021 instead.

In a five-star review of her latest album, NME said: “When she made this album, the musician couldn’t know just how awful a state the world would be upon it’s released. But that just makes her achieving her mission all the more important. ‘Future Nostalgia’ is a bright, bold collection of pop majesty to dance away your anxieties to… if only for a little while.”

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