Pop singer Hayley Kiyoko speaks out against the new single, saying it “does more harm than good.”
Pop singer Hayley Kiyoko is not a fan of Rita Ora’s new song, "Girls," claiming the track’s lyrics actually marginalize "the idea of women loving women."
Kiyoko — the openly out "Girls Like Girls" singer/star of "CSI:Cyber" and Disney’s "Lemonade Mouth" — shared a lengthy message on Twitter Friday shortly after the song dropped, taking aim at the chorus. The lyrics include, "Sometimes I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls / Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls."
Kiyoko feels the track — which features Cardi B, Bebe Rexha and Charli XCX — insinuates that women need to be intoxicated in order to kiss girls, which Kiyoko feels is a "dangerous" message "because it completely belittles and invalidates the very pure feelings of an entire community."
"It’s important for us artists to use our platforms to move the cultural needle forward, not backwards," she wrote. "There is a new song that came out today featuring a handful of well-known pop artists that has me overwhelmed with thoughts."
"I literally have a knot in my stomach right now," she continued. "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. But every so often there come certain 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 marginalizing the idea of women loving women."
"I know that wasn’t the intention of the artists on the song, but it’s the lack of consideration behind these lyrics that really get me," she concluded. "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. I feel I have a responsibility to protect that whenever possible. We can and should do better."
Speaking with PEOPLE, Ora said the song was "a real gender-fluid freedom record" inspired by her own sexuality, which she hoped would become a bisexual anthem.
"I definitely want it to feel like it’s an anthem to somebody," she said. "I want there to be a sense of freedom for anyone who listens to it."
In her opening verse, Ora sings, "I am excited, I’m open-minded / I’m 50/50, and I’m never gonna hide it." When asked if she would consider herself bisexual, Ora replied, "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."
She added, "I’m not hiding what I am, who I am, if I wanna do this, if I wanna do that. That’s just how it’s gonna be."
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