Saturday, 19 June 2010

Lady Gaga

I just wanted to articulate how I feel about Lady Gaga.
I'm not sure why... I suppose because she's such a 'controversial figure' for some and these days I find it more and more satisfying to be totally honest about my opinion on controversial things!

A little disclaimer: I'm not actually interested in the world of celebrities. I find it boring, superficial, pathetic, quite a dangerous culture... elaborate with any other negative adjectives you can think of. However, I think it's almost impossible to avoid - you always come across something online, or see the headlines of papers when you're out shopping or, as in my case, when I'm at home my parents buy The Sun (*shudder*) and it's all that is around to read when I'm eating my breakfast so sadly I scan through it! This is just as context because a) I really want to point out that I'm not like most people my age who immerse themselves in that culture. I don't think it's healthy and I think it's sad that people would rather read about the lives of other people instead of live their own b) I'm about to talk about how Gaga is represented in the tabloids and it'd be a bit ironic if I said I hated them but I knew what was in them ;)

Anyway, to start, I'm going to throw it out there. I love Gaga, I think she's awesome. So, here are my main reasons:

1) I don't normally like pop music much - not out of principle as such, if I like a song I like it, simple as that. I tend to prefer music that has depth, something like Tori Amos - but music isn't just about meaning, it's about entertainment as well which is why I don't rule out pop or rap or other genres that tend to be a bit emotionally empty. Most of it is conformist and superficial and irritating which is why I don't tend to like it. But, Gaga is one of the exceptions :) she is what I would consider 'pop', but I like the music, and I think that instead of going along with everything else in the charts, she is extremely individual and I massively respect that. Many people are afraid of doing something different so just go along with what everyone else is doing. Musicians are afraid of being made fun of in the papers, afraid of doing something different in case they get criticised. I love Gaga so much because she makes a point out of being different. At the same time, I don't think she tries to be different for the sake of it, I think she actually stays true to herself. I think papers find it impossible to criticise her because she makes it so clear that she doesn't care and is not going to let 'criticism for the sake of it' get to her.

2) She's been really clever in a sense - from the very start of her career she's been outrageous, so whatever she does next won't be a surprise. That's another reason why it's difficult for the media to criticise her - they can't really report a crazy outfit because we're all used to the fact that that's what she'll wear. She can come out half naked, wearing a telephone fascinator on her head and no one will think twice. It's a very cool position to be in when no one is surprised by what you do, it really can avert that constant 'OMG!'-type attention away from you.

3) What makes it even better is that even though we all have to admit she wears some crazy shit, it almost ALWAYS looks good. Anyone who can make lavender and yellow hair and a telephone headpiece look stunningly beautiful is right up there in my books.

4) I'm not going to lie, I sometimes find her videos quite uncomfortable to watch. HOWEVER, I can always see the artistic principle behind them and I think as a person, Gaga is incredibly artistic to the point where just looking at her inspires me and makes me smile because it's lovely to see how creative she's been and how much effort she puts in to looking amazing. Again, anyone who can make a dance routine with crutches look cool is very imaginative!

5) When I've seen her interviewed, I've always been inspired by how respectable her morals are. She strikes me as a very honest and genuine person who really does care about others. That is a rarity in society today, especially amongst 'celebrities' and the Hollywood A-list.

6) She has such passion and energy for what she does. Instead of being in it for the fame or the money, you can tell she loves doing it and loves making others happy through it.

7) She is an incredible performer who clearly brings such vitality and energy to the stage and puts on an amazing show for her fans.

8) She's ACTUALLY TALENTED! Holy crap, I mean in the day in age where a lot of music is just auto-tuned to make up for the lack of singing talent people have (*cough* Cheryl Cole and Britney Spears *cough*), Gaga can ACTUALLY SING amazingly well. She has a strong, lovely voice. She's a fantastic dancer, singer, and all-round performer... that's what her status is all about. Britney made it to that status when yes, she was/ is a good performer and dancer but the singing wasn't all there. So it's nice to actually see someone rise to 'superstar' status who actually deserves it because all the right talents are there.

9) I saw her on Jonathan Ross... I don't think she really 'gets' English humour, haha! But, she said on there that she likes to keep her private self separate from her performing self, if that makes sense. As in, she never goes out dressed down, she'll always enter the public sphere looking immaculate and presents herself as Gaga, always in 'character' if you like, rather than showing her private self. I think that's actually a very good idea because she's able to maintain that sense of dignity and keep certain aspects of her life to herself rather than putting up with the press infiltrating it in every way. She likes to be a performer all the time rather than show herself as a regular human being because it's then constant escapism for the fans, it's more exciting, fans are able to see her as an artist rather than as someone who you can see pictures of taking out the trash or something, which makes it all so unglamorous and seem so fake.

I think a couple of years ago, if I heard someone saying that I'd automatically think 'oh my god... how superficial'... but that was when I had convinced myself that music was all about meaning and depth. It's not at all. It's also about performance, escapism, art, entertainment, enjoying yourself, expressing yourself in more ways than one (i.e. not just your 'deep' side, but also your happy side, your fun side, your 'I'm so tempted to dance to this!' side).

10) I massively admire her lack of self consciousness. She can go out in an outfit which to us would be ridiculous, the thought of going out like that would never cross our minds. And yet she is so confident in whatever she wears, even if on first glance we think 'ooooooh... are you really wearing that!?'... you always end up thinking 'actually, she rocks that and makes it look damn good!' because her confidence shines through, and the fact that she doesn't give a crap if people don't like it.

She encourages all of her fans (and everyone else) to feel good about being themselves and stay true to who they are. That is what we need in a disposable conformist society like we are. It's so refreshing to be given a positive message by someone in such an influential position. I respect her so much for that.

On top of all that, HER MUSIC JUST MAKES ME FEEL GOOD. I never used to look for that in music believe it or not but after years of being ashamed of the fact that I like one Girls Aloud song, for example, I've really just realised I don't care, haha. We like what we like and there's nothing to be ashamed of. Especially when it's Gaga!

I could elaborate even more on this and put so many extra points in but I thought I'd leave it at 10 so I look less obsessive! I hope that if you're still not a Gaga fan after reading this, it at least gives you reasons to respect her :)

So, that is my 10-point summary of why I'm a Gaga fan :D hope you enjoyed!


Arkangelus said...

Its funny, a few months back I actually posted some sort of thing about why I thought she was symbolic of the downfall of western society :p However, she's won me over for the simple reason that there's substance behind it. She doesn't NEED to do all the wacky stuff round about it because I think the talent and the music would stand up on its own, but I suppose you can't really dictate the direction that you think art and creativity SHOULD go. If her whole character and persona comes with a lack of inhibitions that allows her to experiment with new creative directions and depths, then its all good.

If her persona was pasted onto some random poptart for attention and marketing reasons, I'd be decrying it as the single worst thing in the history of everything, but so long as its another layer of the substance I'll let it go. Ignore it, be a bit bemused by it probably, but let it exist. I'm sure she'd be thrilled to have such a tepid approval from me :p

chemilyx said...

Hahah! I quite agree with all of that ;)