Dua Lipa, 26, says reaction to her viral dancing video impacted her mental health: 'Of course it got to me'

·3-min read
Dua Lipa spoke with NPR about having self doubt. (Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
Dua Lipa spoke with NPR about having self doubt. (Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Dua Lipa says her dance moves becoming a meme impacted her mental health.

The “Levitating” artist spoke to NPR this week about the video of her 2017 performance, in which her choreography was criticized.

“In the beginning, when I first started, the response was like, ‘Oh, this is so good.’ Then, all of a sudden, there was like a turning point, and it just completely shifted and changed. Social media just kind of took over,” she explained. “There was this one little dance routine that I did when I was performing, and people took that one little snippet and decided to base my whole stage presence and who I was as a performer on stage.”

She added that at that point, there were “moments of self-doubt” despite the fact that people who sent in hurtful messages about the performance “hadn’t been to a show” to see her perform.

She admitted, "Of course it got to me," referencing the onslaught of negativity directed at her. "I was at a point where I was so happy, I was doing everything that I wanted to, but then there were people who made me feel like maybe I wasn't good enough or I didn't deserve to be there, I wasn't cut out to be a musician." The 26-year-old continued: "I realized that what anyone says doesn't actually matter. It was something that I learned during the period of writing Future Nostalgia — I was able to shut people out. Now, if anybody says anything, it doesn't even bother me. Nothing even cuts through, because I realized that if you're passionate about something and you're good at your job and you write from the heart, no one can take that away from you."

“Social media is kind of run on this toxic currency of 'who can make people laugh at the expense of others,’” she explained, adding, "I had to take myself off Twitter, but if that's going to help me and my mental health and allow me to thrive in whatever way I choose to, that has been a saving grace."

Lipa has spoken about being hurt by the backlash to her performance before. In March, she appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where she revealed she performs the dance on her Future Nostalgia tour as a way of reclaiming her moves and the narrative.

"There was a moment where it actually caused me a lot of grief, like I was being bullied online, it wasn't very nice," Lipa said. "But now I can look at it from a different perspective. I look back at it with such fondness because it helped me grow into the artist that I wanted to become, it made me work harder."

In 2019, she opened up to BBC Breakfast about having to deal with haters on social media.

"Social media can be such an amazing tool and it can be so fun to share things but at the same time it's almost a breeding ground for hate and anxiety," she explained at the time. "People feel like they can say things because they're hiding behind a computer screen and for me it's important to use social media in bite sizes — as long as it makes me feel good, and the second it doesn't, I like to take some time away from it."

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