Mother Monster. Fashion Icon. Total Wierdo. Musical Genius. World’s Most Powerful Celebrity. There are many titles that trail Lady Gaga like toilet paper stuck to the bottom of a shoe. No matter what you may think of her as a person, her music, what the world is coming to if she is the most powerful celebrity we’ve got, or her fashion, Lady Gaga inspires millions around the world and more importantly, drives action, all by simply being who she is.
In a recent interview held in New York during Fashion Week, Lady G said she thinks the reason she resonates with so many people is because she is who she is. She is not different on stage than she is sitting on her couch in her apartment in New York. She has no filter. She says what she wants and doesn’t care if people don’t like it. She is only concerned with voicing what she feels at the moment. Must be nice. Us mere mortals have to worry about everything we say because God forbid we offend anyone, even unintentionally.
The genius of Gaga lies in the fact that having the world’s largest stage and having no auto censure, she could have made many gaffes and been ridiculed for them by the press and everyone else, yet, that hasn’t happened. She speaks thoughtfully, even deliberately, and hasn’t been caught in too many contradictions, or even negative thoughts. Either she is sincere in her effort to spread of message of love and acceptance or she is the queen of self-control.
Gaga has often stated that one of her goals in life is to ‘encourage the youth, or people of any age, to find who who they really are and simply be that person. Find a way for people to love themselves more and stop judging others because with true love and acceptance comes authenticity’. Sounds beautiful, even poetic. However, those who most adore Gaga (her fans, affectionately known as “little monsters”) don’t seem to heed her message. After all, what they appear to take away isn’t a message of being themselves, but rather, trying to be her. A few illustrations to drive home the point:
Although there are millions of other examples to show, you get the point. The question is, why is the woman who most promotes authenticity and self-acceptance also producing the most look-a-likes around the globe? It is arguable that she inspires people to feel free. She is a free pass to do, what under normal circumstances, people wouldn’t dare for fear of judgment. And frankly, with the excuse of “hey, its a gaga costume”, no one is saying anything other than, “Oh my gosh, I love your outfit.”
I wonder if Mother Monster would be more proud of her fans if they stopped dressing like her, dismiss their fears, embrace creativity and put on what they think is awesome and daring. In the bigger picture of fashion and identity, the same question takes on more power given the larger context. Each season, billions of dollars are spent (and earned) on developing fashion trends, accepted ways of dressing common among the masses, and every Susie, Linda and Tom embraces them in their own way. But isn’t this the opposite of being oneself? Trying to look like everyone else? Where does the line get drawn between being authentic, having personal style, and participating in the fashion trends promoted by designers, editors, bloggers and retailers?
What do you think? Send over your comments and we will post them.
Until next time, be you. Be great. Or, just try to emulate someone you think is.