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Dua Lipa: Trolling over viral dance video messed with my mental health

Online bullies caused the singer-songwriter to question her pop star status.

By Thomas Stichbury

Dua Lipa has had to develop a thicker skin than most as she sheds light on the anxiety she experienced after being targeted by trolls.

Gracing the front cover of the Attitude December issue, out now to download and to order globally, Britain’s biggest pop star reveals how online bullies shook her confidence and self-belief.

“I experienced a s*** tonne at the end of my first record, and it was definitely something that gave me anxiety and made me upset and made me feel like I wasn’t good enough and made me feel like, maybe I’m not meant to be here and on the stage,” she recalls.

Dua wears top by No.21, necklace by MOUNSER, rings by Hotlips by Solange, cuff earring by Tom Wood (Photography: Jonas Bresnan)

“Even after the Grammys, some people were like, ‘Well, she doesn’t deserve it.’”

Dua – who won best new artist and best dance recording at the Grammys last year – is all too aware of the video of her dancing that went viral, doing the rounds as a mocking meme.

“There were so many things, especially when you start out, like a video of me dancing and they’re like, ‘Ah well, she has no stage presence’ – but they’d never been to one of my shows, they’d never seen me perform.

“They would take one small snippet and run with it and it would become a whole thing,” she explains.

“For a short period of time, it messed with my mental health. You know, I’d go on stage and if somebody was filming me, in my head, I wasn’t, like, ‘Oh, they’re filming me because they want to keep it.’ I was like, ‘They’re going to film it so they can laugh at me or something.”

Dua wears top and trousers by JW Anderson, shoes by Amina Muaddi (Photography: Jonas Bresnan)

However, the ‘IDGAF’ singer refused to buckle and insists the episode made her tougher in the long run.

She continues: “Yeah, it was a tough time, but I’m also so grateful for experience because I became so much stronger. I became so much more confident after that.

“Now I know what I’m good at; I know how to be good at what I do; [and] I know how much work it takes to be good at what I do.”

Dua Lipa talks sexism in the music industry and fighting for LGBTQ freedom in the Attitude December issue, out now (Photography: Jonas Bresnan)

Tackling the cesspool of hate on social media, Dua challenges keyboard warriors to lay down their weapons.

“There should be a communal understanding that people make mistakes, and we should learn from each other’s mistakes and we should try to teach each other,” she urges. “I think there is so much judgement and meanness… cancel culture is so dangerous and toxic.”

Read the full interview in the Attitude December issue, out now to download and to order globally now.

Subscribe in print and get your first three issues for just £3, or digitally for just £1.54 per issue.