Not So Unusual

I don’t get the appeal of Lady Gaga. I’ve tried (a tiny effort, but an effort nonetheless) but I feel like I’ve seen her shtick before, only dressed in a wedding gown and writhing on the floor. My almost 17-year-old daughter loves Gaga. She loves her voice, her song writing ability and most of all, she loves her f-you attitude. I get why Gaga’s ‘tude is attractive, especially to a teenage girl who is into fashion and art. I am just not sure that Gaga really doesn’t give a f. Quite the contrary, I think she cares a lot.

For example, she recently returned to her high school to attend her younger sister’s graduation. Apparently, Gaga, still reeling from the abuse she suffered at the hands of classmates and teachers, decided she needed to make a statement by dressing for the occasion. I realize that it is part of Lady Gaga’s persona to dress in provocative outfits. Just not sure it was Lady Gaga who needed to show up at the graduation–seems like it would have been fine for Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta to have attended in her place, after all it was Stefani’s sister who was graduating and the spotlight should have been on her, right?


Gaga’s graduation attire

This is but one example of Lady Gaga caring what people think perhaps more than she lets on. Her recent outbursts at both Citi Field and Yankee Stadium, are two more that have done nothing but reinforce my opinion. I have no problem with the idea that what other people think of you matters. Most people care, even if just a bit. I just find it interesting that sometimes those who protest the loudest, proclaim they don’t care, actually care the most and are sadly, among the most insecure.

Madonna, who is clearly a role model for Lady Gaga, went down the same path–over and over again. Some people marveled at how often she reinvented herself, I saw her as someone who, while clearly talented, wasn’t yet comfortable in her skin. Yet, she too insisted that she was. Screamed that she was. I was never really into Madonna, and she is barely a blip on my daughter’s radar, so to be honest, I don’t care what she has done or will do in the future.

When I was in high school, Cyndi Lauper was a huge star. I remember believing that she was a free-spirit. That she was so unusual. I admired her for that. Cyndi Lauper, unlike Madonna (who was becoming famous at the same time), and Lady Gaga, appeared to really march to the beat of her own drummer. Maybe I am wrong (always a possibility) but Cyndi Lauper didn’t seem to care as much what other people thought of her. She didn’t seem to crave attention and acceptance the way Lady Gaga and Madonna do. I tried to explain this distinction to my daughter, and while I am fairly certain she was listening, I am not sure I was heard. Oh well, such is life with a teenager.

What do you think? Here’s some classic Cyndi to help you mull things over.

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8 responses

  1. Interesting topic. I agree about Cyndi Lauper, she did not have all of the accompanying hi-jinx that came with Madonna. She did, however, have that manager from the wrestling world. I can’t remember his name. I realize this rises nowhere near the level of “look-at-me” Madonna displayed.

    • She did, that’s true. Lou Albano–think he died recently. Don’t get me wrong, Cyndi Lauper was hardly gimmick free. She was actively marketing the fact that she was unusual. She just didn’t seem to be trying (as the other two do) so hard to convince everyone that she didn’t care what you thought of her. She did her thing and that was it. And, when I’ve seen her interviewed recently, she still seems to be quirky–genuinely quirky–not I am quirky hear me roar–if you get what I mean.

      • I have never been very impressed with Madonna–even when I was a teen and it seemed that everyone loved her. She’s done numerous things (watch Truth or Dare and you’ll see a bunch of them) since her early days to convince me that she is (or was) kind of lost for a long time. A lot of people are, and I might have even felt for her a bit, if she (like Gaga) didn’t keep insisting that she is a free-spirit who doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her or her behavior–because as I said before, she clearly does.

  2. Excellent post! My daughter and I were just talking about Lady Gaga at the dinner table when we were visiting Indiana this week! We had dinner with my son and another Purdue student (a junior) who mentioned she didn’t dislike her altogether.

    Both girls (one 15 and the other 19) were struck by her apparent “I do care” attitude witnessed by them on two separate occasions – which obviously made an impression on them.

    Gaga had a scheduled concert at Purdue University which she had to cancel, but a month later rescheduled and thanked her audience profusely for not getting refunds and instead waiting for her to come back and perform for them. Apparently the singer did this through out the entire concert.

    My daughter watched her interview with Barbara Walters and was equally impressed with her ‘lady-like’ demeanor (pun intended), and apparent genuineness.

    Go figure!

    BTW, you ought to write a guest post for me one day. I love reading your entertainment-related topics!

    • I think Lady Gaga (like most people) has good qualities. I think it is great that she is a vocal proponent for equal rights and tolerance. I also admire that she has shared her story of being tormented and not fitting in as a child/teen, and has used that to reach out to children/teens who might be going through the same thing. No doubt those messages are good ones for everyone, but especially teens, to hear. I just don’t like that at the same time she is doing all of that she is also acting like an insecure ass. And rather than admitting (maybe she doesn’t know) that she isn’t always as secure as she portrays herself, she just continues to insist that she is and that everything she does, she does because she can. I am not a prude, I just don’t think rubbing your breasts in front of baseball players is an empowering act. She is sending mixed messages to the young women who admire her.

      Thanks for the kind words and comment Suzette. I would be honored to write a guest post for you sometime. 😉

  3. I idolized Cyndi when I came of age. Her boldness (and vulnerability) and authenticity. Her art for the sake of art. And hair. (I had to add the hair in there.)

    I also liked Madonna. But for completely different reasons.
    There was a calculated persona there as opposed to Cyndi’s I am who I am.

    As for Lady Gaga, I admire her talent and brashness, but at the same time, agree that it’s been done before. And if you TRY to be different, you’re not that different at all.

    Great post, Jenn.

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