Lana Del Rey fandom is just like pro wrestling fandom

Courtesy of the label

Most of the world has given up on Lana Del Rey. Her tomb was built when Born to Die's gothic white-girl rap was a little too weird, and a little too macabre for critics looking for her to cash in on the assigned narratives. Instead they got an unabashedly cinematic menagerie of sugar daddies, cars, sunsets, and indulgent moroseness. Most critics wouldn't be caught dead recommending something that so gleefully takes the piss, and it's pretty much a guarantee that her next album, Ultraviolence, replete with track names like "Fucked My Way Up to the Top" and short films that cast her as "Eve" opposite an albino model's "Adam," will serve up some of the smarmiest hounding this side of the Killers greatest hits album.

But here's the thing. Pretty much every cultural authority that has spoken on Lana Del Rey has missed the point. Lana has never really been able to exist independently in what she thinks makes for good entertainment. She will continue to work for her significant fanbase, and she will continue to be entirely misrepresented by mainstream media. Lana Del Rey has become the pop-star equivalent of professional wrestling.

There are a lot of aesthetic correspondences. Much of the WWE roster seem like they could be cast as love interests in Del Rey music videos, and I'm sure Lana romanticizes the golden days of pro wrestling just like she does every piece of bygone Americana. But they share a core philosophy too. In wrestling there are "mark" fans, and there are "smark" fans. Marks are the dying breed of people who believe everything in wrestling to be the cold, hard truth. Right now they're reeling from that horrifying Shield breakup and cursing Triple H's name.

In this day and age, this demographic is mostly reserved for 11-year-olds. The much more common smarks are people who enjoy wrestling for its unique combination of athleticism, storytelling, and mic work. There are few things more enjoyable then watching a perfectly executed match, or seeing the company push an under-appreciated talent into title contention. Smark fans aren't cursing Triple H's name, they're instead interrogating his selflessness in putting over younger guys like the Shield and Daniel Bryan so thoroughly.

Similarly, there are mark Lana fans and smark Lana fans.

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All of the entertainment industry is akin to some fairytale... Either we believe it or we don't. The more real we let it become, the more real it continues to be. Don't blame Lana if you can't believe it. I'd love to know who in the music industry these days is truly devout of what they dish out.

Chris Early
Chris Early

Superb analogy: Lana as Triple H. Haha. But I adooooore Lana; hate wrasslin'....

Andrea Eiken
Andrea Eiken

Someone finally got it right: "We can appreciate her storytelling, her guile, her false ego, we can appreciate her gloppy, Technicolor atmosphere while knowing that she, like us, doesn't take all this too seriously."

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