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Tove Lo: Women are supposed to be sexy but not want sex


Swedish star Tove Lo says she still faces prejudice for talking about sex in her songs and on stage.

She’s been singing about female sexuality since her first big hit with Habits (Stay High) in 2014.

But she reckons attitudes to women who speak about sex have not moved on in three decades.

It’s after she faced fierce criticism for grabbing her crotch during a performance on Swedish Idol.

“I did it really playful and it was two seconds of the performance,” the 29-year-old tells Newsbeat.

“Why does female sexuality feel so dangerous and sinful?”

The star says it was a classic Michael Jackson move and was performed on the same show where two male contestants stripped to their underwear during a performance.

Tove Lo

Image caption Here’s the moment that some Swedish viewers thought was inappropriate for young viewers

She says she was shocked that viewers in Sweden, a place she says is “open and equal”, felt her performance could be damaging to young girls.

“Touching yourself is the least harmful thing you can do,” she says.

“It’s just you and your body enjoying yourself. There’s no harm coming out of that.”

Tove will support Justin Bieber at his British Summer Time gig in London’s Hyde Park in July and the Canadian press has already questioned whether her on-stage routine is suitable for his young fans.

She’s known for performing in clothes that reveal a lot of her body during gigs.

Tove Lo

Image caption This outfit is exceptionally conservative compared to some of Tove’s performance wardrobe

But Tove says she’s sick of being quizzed about how her behaviour impacts on younger music fans.

“You’re only supposed to hint, you’re not supposed to want and that’s the thing,” she says. “You’re supposed to be sexy but you’re not supposed to want sex.

“So many of my male artist friends say, ‘What do you mean? No-one ever asks us if we’re a good or bad role model.’

“If you’re a woman talking about sex you’re automatically a bad girl, which is not true.”

Madonna

Image caption Madonna has faced similar criticism during her four decades in pop

Tove says Madonna broke down barriers to allow female artists to express their sexuality, but says attitudes have barely evolved since the 1980s.

“Madonna paved the way – she did all this hard work for us,” she says.

“She took so many hits for girls in pop music.

“I feel we’re back there again.”

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