Dear Lady Gaga,
I know a lot of people are talking about you right now, and calling you names, and tweeting about how #gross your show was the other night. That’s exactly the result you must have been hoping for, and so, most likely, you’re probably just counting your money and congratulating yourself on having been the freakshow flavor of the week. (For now.)
I hope, though, that you’ll take a second to actually hear what people are saying to and about you, and allow yourself to listen, and to learn from your colossal mistake.
I used to really like you and a lot of the things you stood for. You’ve spoken out in favor of gay marriage and anti-bullying campaigns. You’ve broken barriers in fashion and music and sales. You’re kind of funny and quirky and different and you got really popular really fast. Also, your voice is pretty awesome and your songs were really great.
Here’s the thing, though. After the stunt you pulled at your show Thursday night, I think it’s time you heard the truth.
You’re hurting women.
Not just adult women, either. Teenagers. Little girls. Women of all shapes and sizes and backgrounds and with hopes and dreams similar to yours.
Last Thursday, you decided that it would be edgy or cool to have a skinny young woman hold back her hair, stick her fingers down her own throat, and force herself to vomit over your body as you sang for an audience in Austin, Texas. You shouted, “Fuck you pop music!” into the crowd in the midst of the charade, even though, without pop music, I’m pretty certain you wouldn’t be the millionaire you are. You probably thought this was all very unexpected or hoped it would make you stand out from other cookie-cutter pop stars.
You were wrong.
Look, I get that there’s some sort of desperation to hold on to fame. I mean hey, Ozzy Osbourne used to bite the heads off of bats during his shows. God forbid the world isn’t talking about you for sixteen seconds, right? Maybe you’re pissed that everyone’s been tweeting about Amanda Bynes for going crazy or Justin Beiber for getting arrested and you wanted to grab the headlines. Better to have people laughing at you or hating you than not talking about you at all, I guess.
But here are just a few of the reasons why your publicity stunt was damaging to your millions and millions of female fans:
For one, romanticizing the act of a woman, any woman, sticking her fingers down her throat and forcing herself to throw up hurts every single woman who is suffering from a very real eating disorder.
Sexualizing that is inexcusable.
Using it as fodder for your act shows how out of touch you really are, and how little you care for your fans (especially the female ones). I realize that every time a celebrity makes a terrible decision, they start whining about how they don’t want to be a role model, but you lost that luxury the second you started putting on wire-rimmed glasses and advocating for human rights. Not only did you choose to be a role model, but you relished the title.
Before the performance, you appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live in a dress (made of coffee filters, #youresoedgy) which covered you from head to toe. You said of the dress: “I just really wanted to be comfortable for the interview, that’s why I wore it, because I’m really fat right now.”
So first, we have the oh-so-overdone body shaming (“omg you guys, I’m sooo fat right now, but I’m totes gonna take off all my clothes tonight at my show!”), and hours later, we have a women vomiting all over you, on purpose. Good one.
You have admittedly suffered from your own eating disorder, and said in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar just last February,
“I don’t have an eating disorder anymore. I’m also better at not letting people take advantage of me….I should be around people who cherish my talents, my health, my time.”
I’m sorry, I guess I’m confused. How, exactly, do you expect people to applaud your talents when you seem to be so insecure about your ability as a singer and songwriter that you feel compelled to punctuate your performances with actual vomit just to be noticed?
The craziest thing of all is that you actually are a mega-talented musician who’s earned incredible success all over the world. Remember?
So anyway, after the vomiting, you and the apparent-bulemia-sufferer gyrated all over each other in your underwear, because God only knows that a female entertainer is only relevant when she’s pretending to be sexually aroused by another woman.
So, besides making a mockery of eating disorders and society’s strangle-hold on women’s body image, you also used your (disingenuous) sexuality to sell tickets. Wow, how shocking and bold. That’s never been done before.
Apparently, you then rode on a mechanical pig while the same woman pretended to hump you and continued vomiting on you. Since this was immediately following a song that you claimed was “about rape and rage”, Rolling Stone inferred that this charade was supposedly positioning you “as a metaphorical survivor of rape.”
If someone has to explain to you why getting paid millions of dollars to gyrate on stage and generate tweets by having a woman throw up on you on purpose is not like rape, then this situation is much worse than I thought.
You want to be edgy? You want to be different from all the other pop stars? What if, instead of parading around in fishnets and rubbing another person’s vomit all over your breasts, you came out onstage in, like, a pair of jeans, and like…a shirt. And, oh, I dunno, sang songs and played piano. And…this is nuts, but…what if you just performed your music and relied on your talent and ability rather than your ass and midriff.
That would be shocking. That would be radical.
Maybe then you’d stand out from the rest of them, instead of telling the world that even you don’t think you’re worth anything fully-dressed and clean of bodily fluids. And what’s worse: that maybe no woman is.
You don’t have to fill your mouth with bat-heads when you actually have something to say.
Stop hurting women. Please.
A fan. Of women.