I have a secret, guilty pleasure. It’s not really a secret, but I don’t think I’d just mention it to anyone I met. I’m a forty-four year old Ob/Gyn with a husband and daughter. And I LOVE Lady Gaga. Just LOVE her.
I have all of her albums. Even the remix ones. I think she is an incredibly talented songwriter. And, WOW, talk about building a brand. Before I knew anything about her, I heard her deragatorily compared with Madonna. Not even close. Madonna was pretty good at branding, and has certainly hung in there a long time, but Lady Gaga just makes her look like a piker.
I love her awful fashions. They are basically just a big fuck-off to the high fashion world, and she dresses just as she likes. She dresses like she were a five year old girl who just became famous. It’s every crazy little girl’s dream of fame that she lives. That meat dress? Brilliant? Showing up for an awards ceremony in a giant egg? Priceless. That see-through thing she wore in Paris? Delightfully shocking. Yes, she is totally bawdy and over-the-top hypersexual. I will fully admit that. That is not what I am, but I enjoy her interpretation of it.
Is she a good role model for kids? Well, she does not hold herself out as a performer for kids. She is definitely a performer for ADULTS. Her clothes are raunchy, her songs are raunchy. She is the queen of raunch. And yet, there seems to be a sweet person in there. She has made herself a spokesperson against bullying, a supporter of the LGBT community, and a supporter of straight up originality. She encourages her listeners to be individuals, and not apologize for that. She has a tremendous fan base who LOVES her for that.
And her songs? Just contagious as hell. Yes, my daughter and I listen to them in the car on the way to and from school. I’ve listened to them all before I let her hear them, and yes there are some I just definitely skip. She’s not old enough for those yet. Especially the one that says, “I wanna take a ride on your disco stick.” I don’t see me trying to explain that one. We have had some very interesting Gaga-related conversations. We’ve talked about poker, and boyfriend-girlfriend stuff, and every now and then my daughter asks a question that I am just plain not sure I know the answer to. But she loves Lady Gaga’s music, and that’s just fine with me. We have sung the Telephone Song so many times we have a little routine worked out to it.
She has a new album out, Artpop, and I can’t wait to get it. I’m not really sure why I haven’t gotten out to buy it yet. I know a lot of people disparage Lady Gaga and find her to be disgusting. But there you have it. My secret guilty pleasure. I don’t let too many people know I’m a closet Gaga fan, because I live in the deep South, and people like her just don’t go over really well here.
I also follow her on Facebook. (I know, I know. Embarassing, right?) I have probably lost all respect from my readership by now. But she, unlike many performers, makes her own Facebook posts. And she seems to love a joke that’s on her. She posted a film clip of her in concert in Brazil. Someone filmed her throwing up in the middle of her song. And for some reason, instead of being embarassed and trying to hide it, she posts it herself. She found it hilarious. She also posted a conversation she had over the Christmas holidays. She was at home, with her mom and dad, and trying to persuade her mom to stop calling her Stefanie. “Mom, that’s so eighties,” she said. “Call me Gaga.” Her mom said, “Stefanie, you have been changing your name every year since you were four years old. Now cut the ends off those snap beans.” I found that just hysterical. I could imagine having that conversation with my mom, had I just become a big star and trying to get her to take me all seriously, and then being deflated by being handed a pan of snap beans. Love it.
But seriously. I highly recommend you pick one of her albums and buy it. If you like dance music you will find it just too good to resist. And she doesn’t skimp on the songs. She doesn’t just come up with one hit song and pad the hell out of the rest of the albums with duds. They’re ALL good. And she puts LOTS of songs on every album. She just can’t seem to write a bad song.
The other day I came home from the grocery store with a magazine I found in the check-out lane, all about Lady Gaga. My husband looked at me and said, “Please tell me you didn’t just buy an entire magazine about Lady Gaga.” So I said, “OK, honey, I did not just buy an entire magazine about Lady Gaga.” I caught him reading it later. I also bought a copy of her concert at Madison Square Garden. I would love to for real see her in concert. I’ll be the chubby short chick with the greying hair, loudly singing along.