Lady Gaga Is Back And She's More Powerful Than Ever
By Emily Bryce Perkins Posted on 19 Oct 2018
There was no doubt that Gaga could do it, was there? In Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, A Star Is Born, Lady Gaga rocketed from popstar to moviestar in oh, let’s call it 2 hours and 14 minutes. No mean feat. Many have tried before her - I’ll gloss right over Beyonce’s distressing performance in Austin Powers, Goldmember - but Gaga? She nailed it. And in true Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta style, Gaga used her most recent moment in the spotlight to draw attention to some extremely important issues.
At Elle magazine’s 25th annual Women in Hollywood event this week, Gaga delivered a raw and impassioned speech, covering everything from sexual assault to mental health. It was powerful. It was necessary and it was timely. Gaga showed strength and vulnerability and gave hope to those suffering from similar issues to Gaga herself.
All 5 foot 2 inches of her was drenched in an oversized Marc Jacob’s suit. An outfit worthy of column inches without the speech. But that’s not how Gaga works. She wore that suit because she wanted to ‘take the power back.’ She was wearing the pants. The suit gave her the confidence she needed to admit that she is a survivor of sexual assault. Never let it be said that fashion isn’t meaningful.
Gaga wearing a statement outfit is not a new Thing. Lest we forget #meatdress. In 2010 Gaga - an actual vegan - arrived to the MTV Video Music Awards in a dress made entirely of beef. Delicious. The dress was so shocking that parody almost got in the way of the real message - it was a protest against the US military’s nonsensical restrictions placed on the rights of gay soldiers.
Gaga wore that dress to draw attention to that issue. No more, no less. And that’s what Gaga does. She takes her responsibility as public figure seriously and she uses the most creative and artistic route there is to draw attention to issues she feels strongly about. When I wear a statement necklace it means it’s big or shiny. When Gaga where’s a statement piece, it’s a statement of protest.
Despite Gaga being a bonafide popstar with number 1s dating back to 2009, the mainstream audience has always struggled to mentally calibrate if they like her or not. I was mesmerised and confused when I first saw her in 2009 on Jonathan Ross’ chat show. At the time she was only 23 years old. Bantering with Ross. Drinking out of her own teacup. Singing in a sculpted metal dress. From the very beginning she knew she was ‘somebody’ and she held on tightly, shouldering harsh criticism and public judgement until the rest of us caught up.
Gaga understands celebrity and pop culture better than most. Her performance style of Madonna meets Freddie Mercury meets New York Dolls quickly gained notoriety and millions of fans. But in a tale as old as pop stars, her meteoric rise to stardom was incredibly hard to maintain. By 2011, Gaga prematurely appointed herself as ‘queen of gay culture.’ Now - she was an outrageous blonde popstar with amazing pop bangers who supported gay rights so it’s not like she wasn’t going to get that title - however, one must be offered a seat at the table, you can’t just rock up with your own throne.
Gaga’s fan base grew a little tired. Oh and falling out with Madonna didn’t help either (Gaga released Born This Way - absolute banger - and fans quickly noted the similarities to Madonna’s 1989 Express Yourself - classic banger). A general Gaga malaise set in. Despite working her nuts off and releasing numerous albums, it wasn’t until her Super Bowl 2017 performance that Gaga was back on pop’s terra firma.
We’re a fickle lot aren’t we? I don’t know how celebrities do it. Despite our indecisiveness, Gaga’s commitment to what she believes in has not faltered. In her Elle awards speech she said ‘I have a platform. I have a chance to make a change.’ And she meant it. Gaga is arresting. She makes you think. And you can’t look away. She has bite. She has pose. She’s a bloody good popstar (now, moviestar) and she isn’t perfect.. popstars cannot be ‘perfect’. They are real people and the ones who use their platform to speak out should be celebrated. It’s vital to the progress and narrative of us all, especially women. So thank you, Gaga. And happy engagement.
I got engaged at 32 too, y’know. Let me know if you need any help choosing a venue. I know a lovely one in Devon.
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