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thoughts on lady gaga’s new album

June 8, 2011
by

I watched a Lady Gaga interview a few months ago. I remember thinking that she was more complex, intentional, and gifted than I had initially thought. I wasn’t an avid listener and so my exposure was limited to a couple of songs, her in brazen outfits, and Christian outrage at her questionable behavior and controversial lyrics.

Last week I decided to step deeper into the world of Gaga and bought her new album Born This Way. I enjoyed my first listen as I cleaned my house. The music provided the motivation I needed to keep sweeping. Immediately, I concluded that the songs were simply captivating and catchy and, by the sixth song “Hair”, proclaiming a message.

I just wanna be myself,

And I want you to love, me for who I am.

I just wanna be myself,

                                                                                 And I want you to know, I am my hair.

Lady Gaga is extremely popular among teenagers because she provides guidance, comfort, and embodies the attitude they wish they could pull-off. She seems to understand the pressure that all of us, particularly young people, feel to be someone other than who they are. She says what we all want to say (even if she may not mean it): I’m going to be me. Deal with it.

Though this message seems to comfort, I think it lacks imagination and is predicated on a narrow definition of love.

I just wanna be free, I just wanna be me.

And I want lots of friends that invite me to their parties.

I don’t want to change, and I don’t want to be ashamed.

I’m the spirit of my hair, it’s all the glory that I bare.

We live in a world where we are accepted by others if we meet their rules of acceptability. For Lady Gaga, and God for that matter, this is unacceptable. Acceptance should be a gift. But where I believe Lady Gaga gets it wrong is her implied notion that acceptance should be free of having a better vision for another. It seems for Lady Gaga that love is only expressed by accepting one as they are.  Again, this a narrow understanding of love and lacks imagination.

Love, particularly God’s love through the Gospel, says “I accept you no matter who you are or what you do. And, because I love you, I have a vision for a better version of you and will walk with you as you become that person. I will not let you remain as you are.” When I look back on my life and consider those people who have loved me well, it is those who model this sort of love. Love embodied by full acceptance of who I am combined with a vision for who I could become and a willingness to participate in that journey.

For more reading on Lady Gaga, I thought this from The Other Journal interesting and helpful.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 8, 2011 11:26 am

    I don’t think Gaga’s individualist attitude is 100% related to her own beliefs. I’m sure she supports the notion, but I feel like the vast majority of her persona is simply a product of producers and the media. I believe the same of her ‘occult stance’. Then again I do not know the woman, and perhaps her Christian outage is a response to her genuine dislike of religion. But I certainly cannot believe she is in the employ of the Illuminati, and is spreading Satanic messages throughout our culture, as so many blogs seem to suggest.

    Although I find the evidence, and the very notion that Gaga or anyone else connected to mainstream chart music both highly amusing and incredibly fascinating. I simply can’t believe it. I’m unable to accept that Gaga is intentionally trying to sow the seeds of evil through symbolism and Satanic messages. And even if she is, even if it’s working, what effect is she having?

    I think it’s more likely that she, and every other pop star is a product of a media which manipulates their image in order to extract maximum coverage and finance from their situation. If that means ‘promoting Satan’ then that’s what they’ll do. It clearly works. There’s thousands of blogs on the internet that allege Gaga, Beyonce, Rihanne et al are all witches, employed by the Illuminati.

    I’ve wrote a piece for my own blog regarding the presence of Satan within musical forms. It covers both visual symbolism and the musical techniques which could be used to suggest the occult. I’d love someone with a reasonable grasp on the subject to share their opinions.

    Mac.

  2. June 8, 2011 12:07 pm

    I’ve heard a number of times that “God accepts us as who we are, but doesn’t let us stay that way” – I always felt this phrasing was lacking, but yours fills a gap that my heart rejoices at in reading, particularly the part that says “I have a vision for a better version of you…”

    I also appreciate how you point out that this vision of God’s for a better version of ourselves his a creative expression of his love. Good stuff.

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