Gaga for Gaga

I am going to preface this one by saying that I really don’t like to talk about music with anyone outside of my inner circle. There are a few reasons for this. The main concern is that I feel music is a topic much like religion or politics that can bring on heated debate in a moment’s notice, leaving one party feeling wounded, attacked, or on the defensive. When really the whole point of music is to escape these types of feelings. Thus, I try to avoid the topic and just turn up the volume and dance.

That said, my boyfriend and I walked in on a conversation last weekend that truly disturbed me. We were meeting up with friends for some drinks and the girls were discussing their severe disdain for Lady Gaga. Some of the things I heard flying around the room were, “She’s an affront to the fashion industry!” [So easy to disprove. Not only does she make everything shine from Chanel and McQueen to the hotly debated meat dress, she has served as fashion muse for such bona fide designers as Nicola Formichetti of Mugler.] AND… “She’s such a slut!” [Really? What do you know about her personal life? And what makes her any different from any other pop star strutting her fab abs and dying the locks blonde?] The list went on to include her recent horn implants –“creepy and disgusting”– the booby-covered top she wore in the recent Bazaar spread — “gross and crazy” and beyond. However, not once was the music brought up. I was pissed.

Harper’s Bazaar, May 2011

Here’s the thing. You don’t have to go gaga for her. You don’t have to love her, or even listen to her. But you have to respect the girl. She writes her own music, she’s inspired a generation with her devil-may-care edge, and she is not only living the American dream but turning it on its pretty little head. Gaga’s music is honest, catchy, and fun, yet deep. There is this moment at the end of her recent HBO concert special when they reveal a clip of her singing “Born this Way” a capella and it literally brings chills. Pop music hasn’t seen this kind of raw, sexy, true talent in a long time. And as for the clothes, I personally tend to love what she’s wearing, but even if you don’t… isn’t it time we look around and realize that not everyone feels comfortable in the mold? It is so important for today’s youth to have a role model who doesn’t give a crap about pleasing others or living up to stoic standards but instead just does what she wants.

A capella “Born this Way”

And really, at the end of the day, the girl’s a genius. She knows exactly what she’s doing when she throws on a crazy outfit or flips the bird at a Met’s game. I guess my point is this. When Warhol started doing his thing, and later Michael Jackson and Madonna, and earlier Coco Chanel, not everyone got it, and not everyone loved it. But everyone was affected by it. Very few people in history have had the kind of magical, crazy stamp that these geniuses of the past have. I just happen to believe that Gaga is the next one. You don’t agree? That’s cool, but I’m just turning up the volume.

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