It has been nearly four years since the indispensible Lady Gaga rose to a celebrity status after the release of her debut album, The Fame. Over those four years I have struggled with how I feel about Gaga – I started out with not paying much attention to her and dismissing her as another wannabe pop-star. I assumed at first that she would be a train wreck after a few years of success and that in the grand scheme of things she wouldn’t mean that much to me. However, since then, I’ve paid more attention to her and realized just how much of an artist she can be.
I was thirteen in 2008 when The Fame first hit music stores. I thought the songs were catchy at best, and, let’s face it; I’ve never exactly been a huge “pop” supporter. I saw her album as shallow and average – the usual music about dancing, sex, and parties that are usually seen throughout the pop industry.
Songs like “Just Dance” were catchy, yes, but I found little to no content in them. I rolled my eyes and waited for the next big pop sensation to replace her.
Then, her album The Fame Monster was released in 2009, and my views completely changed. I discovered what she was trying to portray though her music: the light and dark sides of fame and its consequences, and the ups and downs that artists endure throughout their careers. This gave me a newfound respect for Gaga, and finally made me realize that there was, in fact, content and meaning behind the catchy pop tunes of her first album.
Now, in 2011, her most recent collection of songs called Born This Way has been released, with its lead single “Born This Way” already at #1 on the charts. This album and more specifically this song have given me so much respect for Lady Gaga. I believe that she has helped me come to terms with my own sexuality and she has showed me through her music that love does not need to have a gender. I feel that Lady Gaga is a deeply genuine artist behind her risque dance moves and shocking fashion statements, and that she is a positive influence on the next generation.
Now, as I write this, I listen to her song “Poker Face” off of the album The Fame. I remember how back in 2008 I thought it was a shallow song about sex and drinking. I know now that it isn’t about that at all – it’s a representation of masking one’s sexual identity. For Lady Gaga to write such a catchy dance song about a topic so sensitive is brilliant. All of these things: the meaning behind her music, her fashion, and the way she speaks with eloquence, has given me the utmost respect for this unique woman and her vision of equality for all people – whether they are her fans or not.
I am proud to say that I am a monster. I hope you are too.