Lady Gaga

Like Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk, Lady Gaga’s hit I Was Born This Way is something we seem to know about simply by virtue of living on this planet. It’s a bright, edgy song, its message one of accepting who you are (I’m on the right track baby, I was born this way), which Lady Gaga’s fans, in the main adolescent females, find empowering. So far so good. But…

It’s striking that, after a good deal of publicity associated with her visit to this part of the world, I still don’t have a clear idea of what she looks like. She frequently makes herself available to be photographed, but always seems to be got up in a pose of some kind (and some of the ways in which she presents herself, like some of the lyrics to her hit song, are disturbing and suggest avenues likely to lead to long-term disempowerment.) The confrontational, in-your-face style in which Lady Gaga tells her followers not to be afraid to be the people they really are offers them possibilities beyond those suggested by the parents and teachers she resembles so little. Adolescence is naturally a time of life when people try various possibilities. But Lady Gaga seems to exploit the instincts of her fans, and while exhibitionism is doubtless appropriate in those of a certain age, it’s a phase best left behind quickly. Let us never forget the tragedy of Michael Jackson.

2 comments

  • Well said John! Your observations of`Lady Gaga’ are sadly spot on. I read that she grew up listening to Cindy Lauper- shame her unique style of `girl power’ didn’t rub off on LG!

  • Thank you, Eleni! Perhaps the Spice Girls are another example of a girl power movement that may take more than it gives.

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