By: Farrah Richardson
It always seems that just as the music industry’s main artists are fading out and sweeps in is a new, fresh, and innovative artist. Today that artist is Lady Gaga (a.k.a. Stephanie Joanna Angelina Germanotta). When she first stepped out onto the scene with her hit “ Just Dance” she was able to grab our attention immediately with her massive shoulder-pads, male dancers, funky style and intricate dance moves.
As the buzz surrounding Lady Gaga grew, so too did people’s interest in who she was, what she represented and her talent. There is no doubt that she is one of the most influential artists in the music industry thus far. From her pop/dance music to her innovative costume designs to her theatrical videos, Lady Gaga is proving to the world that a single woman can have many sides, talents and personalities.
My own respect for Gaga grew when she was on the Oprah show in mid January. During Oprah’s interview with Gaga, there was one distinct comment Gaga made that truly made me respect her even more. As she spoke to the audience she said for all of her fans to always love their parents and to always maintain the relationships that they have with their parents. I was so impressed with this quote from her. I have never heard any artist, during any interview; ever say something such as this. Some artists thank their parents when they win an award, but I have never heard an artist saying to love their parents and maintain a healthy relationship with them.
As Gaga’s persona continued to take over the radio and music video stations, so did her position on feminism, sexuality, and music. For Gaga, every song, every costume, and every video is a theatrical interpretation of the messages she is trying to release to the world. These messages usually fall under the categories of loving yourself for who you are, loving yourself for the flaws that you have, and being proud of your individuality. One of the ways Gaga can be viewed as strong role model for women is the fact that she is multi-talented, heavily creative, sexually aware of what it is to be a woman, and does not rely on her managers to manage her image—she does that on her own. Because there is no other artist to compare her to currently other than maybe a VERY early version of Madonna in her “justify my love” stage, Gaga keeps our society guessing as to what exactly she represents and who she is.
Coming from a background in competitive dancing and being a woman myself, it is easy to appreciate Gaga’s creativity toward her music and especially her music videos. It is refreshing to see a female completely dominate the music industry writing songs and designing costumes from her own visions and interpretations. When it comes to gaga, you know that there really is no industry exec telling her what to wear- cue to the MTV movie awards when she was wearing red lace literally from head to toe!
Although most women respect Gaga, she is heavily respected and praised in the gay community. One of my best friend’s is gay and upon interviewing her about Gaga, she made it very clear that Gaga’s image, message, and theatrical performances are well respected by the gay community as someone who is able to cross boundaries and appeal to a vast audience comprised of people varying in age and gender.
There is no doubt that Lady Gaga will be the woman to watch for the next few years whether it is her song lyrics, her colourful costumes, or her music videos—she will always have a message…as her audience we just have to sit back and think about what that message might be.