Friday, April 20, 2012

Love Thyself

Had to write a paper for my Art History Class. it's probably really bad but this is my ode to Lady Gaga:

In our third reading assignment, I decided to write about something that I have become fascinated with ever since I was a teenager: Lady Gaga. I am just going to come out and say: I am a huge Lady Gaga fan. She calls her fans ‘little monsters,’ well I am a ‘little monster.’ Specifically, I have decided to write on a specific photograph of lady gaga as her alter ego, Jo Calderone. Last year, lady Gaga tweeted “you will never find what you are looking for in love if you don’t love yourself” with a picture of herself as a man. It was her single cover for her new song Yoü and I, a song she wrote about her ex-boyfriend. Lady Gaga is known for her extravagant fashion and performances (she wore a meat dress), but dressing up as a man, whether for coping for something that had happen to her in the past or for a publicity stunt, is genius. It is a black and white picture of Gaga wearing a men’s white under-shirt and a black suit jacket. Her hair is short and coiffed/greased-out to look like something James Dean or Kenickie from Grease would do to their hair. She is smoking a cigarette and while the smoke is gracing her face, she is glaring off to the left of the camera lens. The most haunting thing about this picture is that her eyes are so menacing, yet she looks so tired: like a hung-over rock star. Even thinking about it now the picture reminds me of a video that Andy Warhol took of Bob Dylan in the early 60s: an uncomfortable singer who just wants to make music and get stoned. It is a persistent picture that has stuck with me for a while. The first time I saw this picture I thought, “this is the weirdest thing that I have ever seen in pop culture and, somehow, I am eerily in love with it.” This pop singer, who is known all around the world, is dressed up as some greasy man with a New Jersey accent (she gave a performance dressed up as Jo this past September). It is something that I have never seen in pop culture in the sense that it is so raw, but at the same time, it is all fake. Lady Gaga is not a man, even though many claim that she is. If we look sat other stars such as Britney spears, Katy Perry, Madonna, etc., we see that these women are the epitome of beauty and ‘superficialism.’ Yet, Gaga is unattractive, in this photo, wearing makeup not to enhance her beauty but to make her look like a beaten down man. At first it was hard to understand her tweet in conjunction to this picture: to find love you have to love yourself. Ummm ok. Gaga, you look like you are hung-over as hell and the night before you cut off all your hair in a psychotic-break rampage. How does this have anything to do with loving yourself? Over time, I watched the Yoü and I music video and watching her performance as Jo, I somewhat understood what Gaga was saying in her tweet: You have to be able to take all the good and the bad of yourself and embrace it with open arms. This is her alter-ego whom he admittedly calls himself an “asshole.” No one is perfect and that not one what one should be striving for in life. It is about loving who you are. I know this is extremely cheesy but it is true. For someone who has gone through a lot of heart break in my life (and I am only twenty two) it is nice to have someone who is a little crazy, yet has gone through the same stupid-love experiences. This picture is very meaningful to me because, not even looking at it, I can see it ingrained in my head of this beautiful woman that is dressed as a very real-looking man. People can have a lot of “ugly” inside of them, but you embrace it and strive for the “beautiful.”

It's super cheesy i know but I hope that you enjoy!

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