From what I read, Lorde had called out a few musicians by saying their music had no message of value to the listeners, etc. You can look all this stuff up. There were a lot of congratulatory comments from fans on standing up and speaking out against the media machine, which seems to promote an unrealistic idealism in our self image and to promote shallow and materialistic objectives in life. I tend to agree with Lorde on this. However, by simply calling singers out, she invited retaliation. Not that speaking out was inappropriate, but it was perhaps ineffective. I think there is a better, more productive way to invite change than to call it out (most of the time-there are situations where a spade just needs to be called a spade).
Let me give you an example. Let's say I had a girlfriend who was upset because she no longer fit in her favorite clothes. To me it might be obvious that she had gained weight. One approach might be to simply say that she looks great and I love her just how she is. Hopefully that is true, but it isn't helping. That is, a truth is being avoided, and weight gain is an actual health issue which perhaps should be addressed. On the other hand, it is of no use for me to simply point out that she is getting fat and needs to lose weight. I think this is obvious to most of us. Although the statement may be technically true, it is hurtful in a way that is not likely to inspire her to improve. If anything it may move her to an eating disorder, as well as add a strain to our relationship.
Now here's what I think is an effective approach. I might say something like 'You know, honey, I've been growing a bit tight in my old clothes as well. How about we take half an hour every evening to go jogging together until we can fit in them again?' In this way the truth is acknowledged, no one is hurt, and in fact I am strengthening my relationship by allowing us to deal with the problem together and in fact spend more time with each other.
How might this strategy work with celebrities? Why, they are people too. They have feelings. For the most part, I bet they want what's best for their fans. They may have different priorities than their critics. Lorde accused Selena Gomez of having lyrics that were anti-feminist, for example. I don't know if that's true, but if I were Lorde and wanted a change, this might be an opportunity to write a great song that I feel promotes a positive feminist message, and invite Selena to feature in it. If that's too much, just keep working hard at making hit songs with positive messages. Most people, and I'd wager most celebrities, like positive messages. Write something inspiring that makes other people want to be inspiring as well.
Anyways this is the type of thing I think about at 3am when I can't sleep.