On July 7, British pop singer Dua Lipa released a video for New Rules. In a recent Vice essay, author Emily Bootle argues the song distinguishes itself from other empowerment anthems: “From Christina Aguilera’s Stronger to Little Mix’s Shout Out To My Ex, there is a whole world of music that celebrates the failed relationship as a character-building experience, and interprets heartbreak with unbridled optimism… But New Rules is different: it’s a song about what we can provide for ourselves. It maintains a neutral perspective, finding empowerment not in optimism, but pragmatism.”
In an interview about the video, Lipa was clear about her intentions: “I had saved pictures on my phone to use as reference points for the video. There was an image I’d saved of Naomi Campbell in the ’80s – I think it was a Versace campaign – where she is basically holding another girl on her back. I loved the idea of girls looking after each other like that, holding each other, that sense of humility, that sense of strength.”
Emily Bootle discusses the track and video on the Switched on Pop podcast.