Gaga Wants You To Love Yourself (But Mostly Her)Posted: December 23, 2010
It is a confession that does not always go down well in polite circles. But I am Amy. And I am a Little Monster. That is, I am a huge fan of Lady Gaga. There is no other show I would spend £85 to go and see.
It was worth every penny, if you’re wondering. High energy, great set, everyone was dancing and cheering and putting their ‘paws’ up. It was the best show I have ever seen – although I haven’t seen enough to give any kind of reliable data and I suspect Glee Live may give her a run for her money, at least in my eyes.
But what I really like about Lady Gaga is her whole ethos. Or at least, the ethos that she claims as her own. I don’t know how much of it is a marketing ploy, a simple creation to appeal to a mass market. I don’t like to be that cynical.
The tour is called the ‘Monster Ball’. I was under the impression that one went to the Monster Ball when one attended a concert, but that is not the case. The Monster Ball is a state of mind where one feels free, unfettered by social expectations and pressure – where you don’t care if you are pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough etc. As the Lady herself said, ‘For God’s sake don’t go out of here loving me more, go out of here loving YOURSELF more’. And whilst that may be a ploy to create a feel-good mood in the audience to boost merchandise sales and keep people coming back for more, is it not better than any other ploy?
From what I can see Lady Gaga appeals to the ‘freaks’. She is an advocate of gay rights. She’s a free bitch, baby, and she wants you to be too. She used to get bullied, she knows what it feels like to be an outsider. She wear strange costumes, costumes that Girls Aloud would probably never be caught dead in. Yes, she is slim and blonde. But she is platinum blonde, almost a parody of the blonde pop star. She is talented, she can sing and play her own instruments. She has denied feminism in the past, but has since turned around and changed her tune on that front. She admitted to being a book geek on stage. She’s not a bad role model.
And of course, as with all things, there is a flip side. She promotes capitalism and fame culture in her music. But I would far rather my sister idolise Lady Gaga than Cheryl Cole. As it happens she idolises Steve Irwin, but that’s neither here nor there. The message that you are perfect just the way you are, that you need to find a way to feel free and to feel happy in your skin, is a positive one, even if it does not come from a wholly positive source.
And little monsters, myself included – because I am a sucker for any motivational speech with a positive message, ask anyone – lap it up. They want to hear this message. They cheered loudly at those parts of the show, and whether it is purely projection on my part or not, there did seem to be that atmosphere. People were dressed up in top hats, in feathers and corsets and massive bows in their hair, and sunglasses and crazy shoes and tuxedos. This wasn’t a place for judgement.
So, even if it is all a clever ruse to get people to buy singles, I am all for it. There are worse ruses.