Thank You Thursdays: Lady Gaga

We’ve said it before. We’ll probably say it again: Lady Gaga makes us swoon. (She also sometimes lets us down.)
In any case, awesome high school commentator, Lilly, writes a piece on why she thinks that Lady Gaga is a role model over at Rachel Simmons’ blog. It is not to be missed. An excerpt:

I love that Lady Gaga is not afraid to be weird. As I explained in my blog about Halloween costumes, teenage girls have a hard time being goofy. Remaining cozy and nestled between the Os of “cool” feels safe. Venturing beyond our narrow definition of cool isn’t easy when, as a girl, you’re pretty sure everyone is watching and judging you at all times. Lady Gaga thinks outside of the box and lives outside of those double Os.
From her crazy hair to the odd visuals of her music videos, she does whatever the crack she wants. And what she wants to do is be weird. But paradoxically, because she is so un-cool, Lady Gaga is….cool. She is an oxymoron; the jumbo shrimp of coolness. If that’s not reason enough to view her as a role model, I don’t know what will convince you people.

Join the Conversation

  • JupiterAmmon

    I don’t know. Gaga does tend to reinscribe stereotypical fashions of femininity into her “weirdness.” For example, the giant bow wig, or the sun hat wig? Also, most of her costumes are physically debilitating…that sounds to me like same old $h1t.

  • voluptuouspanic

    I just can’t get on the feminist role model bandwagon about Lady Gaga. I really question whether she is actively resisting or subverting ideas about what a woman “should” be. I view even her language of performance art as an attempt to be ultra-cool. Her art comes from a legacy of women who I think would make better role models, but aren’t mainstream pop (Grace Jones and Laurie Anderson, for example.)
    That said, I think if liking Lady Gaga can encourage young women to stand up for themselves and reject hegemonic ideals of beauty/womanhood, than more power to them.

  • rebekah

    you do realize that she does those things to be ironic right? And honestly what is wrong with wearing feminine clothing?

  • omghaygurlhay

    I disagree. I mean, about her being a role model. Not about her weirdness. I’ve only seen one of her videos, the Bad Romance one, and it’s the same crap as all the other female “musicians” in the mainstream. Skin-tight body suits, lingerie and what looks to be like physically painful shoes all packed into a video, made complete with the male gaze.
    I don’t know what it is about feminists and Lady Gaga, but I think she’s someone some of us want to be feminist when she probably never will be. Amy Lee from Evanescence seems like one of the few (if only) good role model in the mainstream for young girls.

  • hardlycore

    I completely don’t get all the Lady Gaga love in feminist circles. The ableist “cripple drag” stuff she did at the VMAs was bullshit. She’s done stuff like this, which isn’t in any way subversive and is also outright racist. Her costumes may be interesting and different, but they still play up her sex appeal. She’s not subversive in any way in my book.

  • Lissla Lissar

    I’m going to start off here by saying that I’m in no way a huge Lady Gaga fan. But your reading of the Bad Romance video seems WAY off. The whole POINT of the use of those tropes in the video seems to be to question what is expected of mainstream female musicians and the male gaze. It’s metaphor. There is a lot more going on in that video than just a woman in tight clothes and uncomfortable shoes.

  • ronia

    I totally agree. I don’t get how her dancing around in lingerie and impossibly high heels is making some subversive, feminist statement. It just looks like any other pop video by a woman who is trying to be ‘edgy’ – it just seems a bit contrived to me.

  • JupiterAmmon

    I don’t know whether or not she’s being ironic, and I doubt that most of the viewing audiences knows either because all they’re presented with are images…and the images presented subvert nothing. Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with feminine clothing or the people who wear them. What I was responding to is the claim that she’s thinking “outside the box” when its clear that she’s thinking inside the box…just with some added pzazz.

  • Icy Bear

    I love Lady Gaga, but I’m also not really getting the feminist angle here. You say she acts so weird, but in my experience, the whole quirky, confident, ‘being yourself’ image is actually essential to ‘coolness’. Maybe I’ve just been in too many liberal hipster circles, but I don’t find anything unusual or liberating in this definition of coolness. To me, all that quirky ‘being yourself’-ness is just another (sometimes devastating) pressure women have to live up to in our society.