Apart from one of her idols, Amy Winehouse, few chanteuses have been as openly into the subject of an Electra complex as Lana Del Rey. Even with Winehouse, her fatherly love was more about the literalness of lauding her dad, Mitch Winehouse, as opposed to exploring an obsession with older men in her work.
Del Rey’s lyrical content has consistently dissected having “a taste for men who are older.” Whether or not this truly stems from a sexual desire for her own father is at your discretion. Like Madonna, Del Rey’s enforced Catholicism (she had to go to a Catholic high school, one year of which her mom was a teacher there) caused her to rebel, and she was soon being sent to Kent School in Connecticut, another strict Catholic educational system that was intended to quell her alcoholic tendencies. The fatherly repression was undoubtedly a contributing factor in her later musical explorations, including “Cola,” in which she states, “I pledge allegiance to my dad for teaching me everything he knows.”
Thus, the appropriateness of her thirtieth birthday falling on Father’s Day this year is almost eerie in nature. Whether or not she truly suffers from an Electra complex is irrelevant. The strength of her daddy issues lie completely within the canon of her work. Even her Nabokov literary references allude freely to her wish fulfillment in being the youthful and desirable Dolores Haze, lusted after by her daddy figure, Humbert Humbert. In many ways, the song and music video for “Ride” is the pinnacle of her patriarchal obsession. Offering images of her being caressed, combed and generally fondled by older biker men, Del Rey urges, “You can be my full-time daddy.” Furthermore, her intro to the video explores the notion of seeking some sort of fatherly validation when you’ve chosen to renounce a conventional life and lead a nomadic existence. She states, “I belonged to no one who belonged to everyone who had nothing who wanted everything.” Thus, her susceptibility to falling prey to any older man who pays her the slightest attention is relatively simple to understand.
Her love of this motif continues on Ultraviolence, with the video for “Shades of Cool” proving that she’ll never abandon her adoration of the older man archetype, this time a silver fox, mechanic-esque beau who also happens to be affluent and have a pool that Lana can show off in for him. This unshakeable need to please a man greater in age undeniably harkens back to her desire to please her real father. And so, one supposes it only makes natural sense that such a milestone birthday of hers would end up being on Father’s Day 2015. Was it by mistake or design?