Her Thoughts Exactly
Lily Allen has graced us with her strong and bold presence in the music industry for over 12 years. Best known for her songs like “Smile” and “Fuck You,” the 33-year-old singer-songwriter has now penned a candid memoir My Thoughts Exactly. She says she’s too young to write a memoir, but believes whenever she is creating anything, the whole point is to scrape away bravado and bullsh*t. “When I released ‘Smile’ at the age of 21 and became a figure for consumption, I always felt like I was keeping secrets, and at any minute, somebody was going to tell my darkest thoughts. That is something that followed me around for the last 10 or 12 years, and I kind of had enough of that,” says Allen. She goes into great detail in her memoir about gut-wrenching moments in her life: a stalker entering her home, being sexually assaulted by a record industry executive, and losing her son George who passed away in the womb six months into her pregnancy.
She has been processing a lot of grief and trauma, but feels that she is entering a different phase in her life. Allen is wanting to set a few things straight, not necessarily for other people, but for herself. That is how she approached last year’s No Shame. “For the first time in a long time, I've been able to go up on stage and really connect with the songs that I'm singing,” she says.
“It shouldn't feel like I’m going through the motions. This is the first time I've done what I want.”
Allen has dedicated her song “Fuck You” to Donald Trump in recent performances. If you tell her our lives don’t depend on who's in the White House, she doesn’t agree with you: “I think that's bullsh*t. I think it's really important to be interested and active. That is democracy. People have fought for that right for us, and we must partake in that. The bad guys are partaking in it, and they're winning so we can't disconnect, that would be a disaster. We can’t just look the other way,” she affirms. This is a time in our current political climate where people feel more divided than ever but Allen has openly discussed being sexually assaulted by a record executive in the music industry. Yes, all these women have shared their stories, herself included, but she says no one really cares. “Everyone is sort of a bit like, ‘Yeah, yeah, that happened, but what do you expect?’ I think that's the danger with the #MeToo movement,” she shares. “So many people are coming forward and sharing their experiences, and no one seems to be reacting. It's news, and then people move on. It's an interesting time.”
Allen wants us to remember, though, women in Hollywood and in music have been coming forward and sharing their stories, but there are women from all walks of life having experiences like this. “That's the issue, people want to talk about these things as if they are sensational and exceptional. They're not! They're happening to everyone all the fu*king time,” she asserts. “Men especially just don't want to believe it, you know, whether it has something to do with themselves or accountability, or I don't know what it is – oh, to be a rich white man.”
Writer: Dylan Worcel
Photographer: Elton Anderson
Stylist: Apuje Kalu
Stylist Assistant: Germanee Gerald
Hair: Jake Gallagher
Makeup: Lysette Castellanos
Editor: Eiko Watanabe