Let’s have some fun, this beat is sick; I wanna take a ride on your paradigm shift.

I confess: I love Lady GaGa. I listen to her music on the treadmill, in the car, and when I’m just dancing around my apartment in my undies. It’s catchy and has a great beat; I just plain have fun when I listen to it.

However, I don’t think of it as a “guilty pleasure,” like I do of some of my other sporadic pop music indulgences (tangent: I think the term “guilty pleasure” is one worthy of further exploration). A friend asked me to explain to him today why it is that everyone likes Lady GaGa so much. I can’t answer for everyone, but I did answer for myself.

For starters, she has identified as feminist. Not often and not loud and proud, but to even just once and quietly chirp, “Yes, I think of myself as a feminist” is, in my mind, worth applauding. Feminism is still very much the “f-word” of our culture, and it seems the backlash just keeps, well, lashing. For someone whose success is dictated by the vagaries of our fickle society, it’s rather brave to align with something that is generally seen in such a negative light. But not only has she said that she thinks of herself as a feminist, she’s actually discussed how she thinks feminism plays out in her music. Oh, be still my heart!

But not only does she brave identifying as feminist, she braves being weird. Again, our culture is one that celebrates and rewards assimilation. Homogeneity is the order of the day, and GaGa absolutely flouts that. She wears ridiculous outfits. She puts on crazy shows. She sings edgy songs. She doesn’t worry one bit about whether or not there are rumors about her being a man or a hermaphrodite or whatever (and, quite frankly, I almost hope some of that is true because to have become as successful as she has concurrently with doing some serious genderbending is just too much; I might pass out from the awesome). She doesn’t compromise her own quirks for the sake public acceptance, nor does she indulge in manufactured faux-quirks to make her interesting without being dissenting. She is, if nothing else, different.

Speaking of what she doesn’t compromise for public acceptance, let’s talk about sex. We are all about sex. Ladies need to have all the appearance of having it (without actually having it, because that makes them a terrible evil slut) and men need to be constantly after it, ideally without treating a woman with any dignity to get it (because that makes them more manly and studly). First off, GaGa’s lyrics are fairly regularly about sex–wanting it, having it, enjoying it. That’s a big taboo for a woman–advertising having a libido and enjoying utilizing it is heavily shamed in our culture. However, she doesn’t just advertise the presence of her libido and how much she likes it, she goes one step further and even talks about how she uses and discards men strictly for sex. She is a playboy! …Except, you know, without being a boy. She defies all the restrictions placed upon women and absolutely owns her sexuality. I can’t help but feel awesome about my own sexuality in the face of her pride and enjoyment.

Plus, when you get right down to it, she is a talented singer. Her lyrics aren’t exactly candidates for Mensa, but she has a killer voice and a great sense of composition. I’m unlikely to be inspired to new levels of mental achievement by her music, but I never get tired of enjoying a talented singer doing what he or she does well.

So I think I’m going to go right ahead and continue to enjoy dancing through my apartment in boxers and a tank top, feeling like some sort of sex goddess every time iTunes dishes out “Teeth,” or running like an unstoppable bad ass on the treadmill whenever “Bad Romance” shuffles up. Rock on, Lady GaGa. I am rocking on too!

02/04/2010. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.