Sunday, September 4, 2011

Gaga's new persona.

As the curtains lifted and the smoke settled, audiences were greeted with a figure dressed in an Elvis-impersonating-black-pants-and-white-shirt, greased-hair, and thank-you-very-much attitude. After the first, poorly attempted manly masking of voice, the audience meets “Gentlemen Gaga,” as many on Twitter have dubbed the character. The character is that “cool, Nebraska guy” from her quintessentially masculine jam “You and I.” The fourth single from the Born This Way album, “You and I” is an expression of love from a “New York girl” to a “cool, Nebraska guy.” The song flips gender roles from every bound of classic, head banging, Southern, and Hair rock. In a quick explanation, the song is deconstructive of bands from Queen to Journey, the manly embodiment of music. Gaga uses the stomp-clap line from Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and its guitarist Brian May in exclamatory fashion. What sport-loving, hairy-chested man can’t recognize the stadium anthem’s signature stomping? However, by using the classic sing-a-long “Don’t Stop Believing” theme of small-town girl and city boy reversed into a “city girl, small-town boy” motif, Gaga takes possession of the chase. She takes the masculine go-get-the-girl role for herself, but still allows her alter ego to yell emphatically “sit back down where you belong” to the female Gaga. She completely blurs the lines of control and desire, and she uses herself, in the video, to play both roles. She took on the persona of the whiskey-breathed male for the MTV Video Music Awards further extending her gender-blurring masculinity to the “real world.” Her message, as she’s been trying to do for years, finally reached a main-stage audience, and soon enough, ripples will reach those who are still simply writing off the behavior of Gaga over the years to her “weirdness.” There is a goal, and from imaginative to reality, Gaga will slowly turn gender from the he-she-it mentality. However, there is criticism. As one Camille Paglia claims in an article from the Sunday Times, Gaga and her gender-blurring behavior will cause, as the title claims, the “Death of Sex,” a sexuality that Madonna, Bowie, Elton John, and Warhol all worked desperately to create. What will Gaga’s new masculine image, her mainstream attempt at gender redefinition do for the he-she-it world?

1 comment:

  1. First of, I will make a couple of corrections about this entry before I respond. Joe Calderone is Gaga's alter-ego and emerged in Japanese Vogue weeks before anyone finally figured out who it actually was. The "Nebraska Guy" is actualy her long-time love Luc Carl. For her to sing this song about a man whom she is in love with and has loved for a long time borderlines on homosexuality. She is trying to blur gender lines and focus more on androgyny. She does this in attempts to perpetuate her gay rights activism. While many believe that she only give a facade of feminism and progression within the "Born this Way" video, others feels that she is merely taking control of her sex by wearing a leather bathing suit. Either way, she is getting discussion going on gender topics within pop culture.