Iggy Azalea just released the album artwork for her upcoming LP, “In My Defense.” This is a big move for Azalea, who hasn’t had a new record release in five years. However, the new artwork provoked an instant and visceral reaction from fans and critics alike. Some found the art shocking, others thought it was thought-provoking. For those who weren’t sure what to make of it, Azalea was ready with an explanation — it’s all about women.
Iggy’s photo leak
Some of Iggy Azalea’s inspiration may have come from the photo leak she recently dealt with. Azalea participated in a 2016 photoshoot for GQ Australia, and photo outtakes in which Azalea was topless were stolen and leaked to the internet. Azalea felt violated, and spoke out about what happened.
“I hadn’t seen other women’s covers leak so I felt comfortable (on a closed set) to model for such a reputable magazine knowing only the images with my hands covering would be considered for print,” tweeted Azalea in messages that are now deleted. “I never consented to taking topless pictures for potential release, period,” added Azalea.
After receiving a flood of negative backlash on social media, Azalea shut down her accounts for a period. “Today I’m a ball of negative emotions. I feel blindsided, embarrassed, violated, angry, sad, and a million other things. Not solely because I did not consent to this ― but also because of the vile way people have reacted,” said Azalea.
Azalea went on to say that she would not remain silent and docile on the matter. “I fully intended on finding out where the leak originated from and pressing criminal charges in regards to this. It’s important to me that someone actually be held accountable for their actions & the way it impacts my life,” she explained.
Fan reactions to the cover
Fan reactions to the album art were varied. Some fans found the imagery disturbing and were upset to see Azalea portraying herself dead. “Please don’t hate me but I don’t like it, you look dead,” said one Twitter user.
Another Twitter user was all for it, however. “[T]he STANCE, THE BLOOD, THE DRAMA, THE FACT THAT YOU’RE DOING THIS ON YOUR OWN…legends only…we have decided to stan FOREVER PERIODTTT,” they wrote.
Azalea herself is pleased with the result, tweeting, “My album cover is the most aesthetically pleasing thing I’ve ever made times 2.”
A statement about women
When addressing concerns and praise alike for her new album art, Iggy Azalea fielded a question from a fan about what it meant. The fan tweeted, “What was the concept for the album cover looks dope my perception of it was that this new era is the rebirth of iggy can’t wait for the album and visuals.”
Azalea tweeted back, replying with, “It’s a statement about women not having the ability to defend themselves under public gaze, not rebirth.”
Given Iggy Azalea’s recent issues with photo leaks and the negative responses she received over social media as a result, it’s easy to see how she might be focused on the male gaze women live under on a daily basis.
Fans were largely positive in response to Azalea’s explanation, with several users tweeting comments like “feminist queen.” One user wrote, “[A] feminist queen, ilysm for doing things like this that happens 24/7, women getting abused in parkings, etc.. you’re the best.”
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