Dr. Ryan Hediger
December 8, 2011
Lady Gaga: Express Yourself
Lady Gaga represents herself expressively in the styles of clothing she wears. She is very unique and outstanding. Gaga has a very imaginative and open mind. Her style of how she wants to represent herself is that she is very free spirited and an emotional performer. In his book, Looking for Fame. The Life of a Pop Princess: Lady Gaga, Paul Lester quotes Lady Gaga: “I was always an entertainer. I was a ham as a little girl and I’m a ham today” (9). Lady Gaga struggled to get where she is today and with the help and support of her family and friends she became one of the biggest Pop Stars in such a short time in history. Lady Gaga is the first artist in history to hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Pop Songs chart with her first five singles. Gaga thrives on her performances and inspires her fans. Her devotion to her work is endless. She expresses who she, what she represents, and how she wants to be seen, by not only her clothing and style but also in her songs and what they represent. I did find one article that was against Lady Gaga and her style, stating she has no meaning in her songs. It was written by Seth Colter Walls and titled, “The Blah-Blah of Gaga”. Walls does not agree with most others and states his opinion about Lady Gaga and her representation of her music. Walls states, “The problem with Gaga is that she refuses to add any concrete value, while also wanting us to think she has something to say” (57). He clearly does not think Gaga has meaning or that her style represents anything at all. .Walls also states, “The themes contained in her music are neither new, provocative nor philosophical” (57). I clearly do not agree with Walls and throughout my paper will argue the fact that she does represent herself, her performances, and her music, with true meaning. Before I go into detail about my essay I will present a short biography of Lady Gaga. We shall begin with a brief biography of Lady Gaga derived from Paul Lester in his book. Lady Gaga, was born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, in Yonkers, New York, on March 28, 1986. Her father, Joseph, was an internet entrepreneur and her mother, Cynthia, worked in telecommunications. Stefani has a sister that is six years younger than she. Stefani grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Her family was well-off and sent her to a catholic girl’s school called, the Convent of the Sacred Heart. At age four Stefani began taking piano lessons and wrote her first song shortly after that. It was called “Dollar Bills” which was inspired by Pink Floyd’s song, “Money”. Lester states in his book that, “The young Stefani Germanotta would take every opportunity to engage passers-by with her musical and theatrical routines”. ‘As it says on www.ladygaga.com’, “The precious child would dance around the table at fancy Upper West Side restaurants using the breadsticks as a baton. And she would innocently greet a new babysitter in nothing but her birthday suit”(11). Lady Gaga even in her childhood wanted to be different. She wanted to represent herself and stand out in the crowd. Stefani started singing at Greenwich Village clubs on open-mic night and had to be chaperoned by her mother since she was only 13. Around this time she started getting into fashion and making some remarkable fashion statements Lady Gaga was in a number of bands and also performed by herself before her career launched. She attended college for a while at Gallatin School of Individual Study. Gaga dropped out of college and signed a recording deal with Def Jam Records. Three months later she was dropped by Def Jam. She eventually signed with a different record label and out of nowhere Stefani became Lady Gaga. She wore a number of crazy outfits in her shows to represent how she wanted to be seen. As Lester expresses his version of Lady Gaga’s fashion and states, “Since coming to the public’s attention in 2008 she has...
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