First we had Lady Gaga the librarian; now we have Lady Gaga the editor-in-chief!
Folks who commute via public transit got a healthy dose of Gaga on their way to work this morning, as today was the day the pop icon served as guest editor for Metro, a free daily paper handed out at bus and train stations in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and about 100 major cities worldwide.
Call me a sap, but I was delighted to open up the paper and read, "Be yourself, love who you are and be proud. You were born this way, baby," on my way to work. Who couldn't use a little shot of love in their morning coffee?
Gaga brought her trademark mix of affirmation and wackiness to her stint in the editor's chair, and it was a refreshing addition to the usual local news, crime and gossip items the paper regularly features (Umbrella attack!). The content focused on equality, social justice, anti-bullying and self-acceptance, covering advances in LGBT rights both globally and locally. A photo sampling of just a few of Lady Gaga's famous outfits formed the outré fashion froth on top.
I can never quite make up my mind about Gaga, which, I'm sure, is by design. Is she good-hearted and sincere or outlandish and superficial? Is she really putting herself out there, or hiding behind a larger than life, Wizard of Oz-like persona? I think the answer is yes. She's known for being provocative and bizarre, yet she inspires fierce loyalty from her fans by making them feel she's just like them, and they can be just like her. In answer to a fan's question, "If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?" she says, "That humanity could find togetherness. We are all different, and it is that which makes us the same." Clichéd? Maybe, but I think I heard everyone who ever looked in the mirror and went, "WTF?" say, "Amen!"
Several months back, my husband McDoc and I watched the video for "Telephone" together. He thought it was a brilliant piece of performance art; I was rather dubious about the cartoonishly depicted violence and sexuality. However, I was pleased to discover that Lady Gaga and I share a fondness for churros, so I was inspired to ponder what else we have in common:
- We both play the piano. I'd like to see her do more of that actually; I've had the good fortune to see her perform live at the Grammy awards two years in a row, and hearing her play a real-live instrument alongside Elton John was far more exciting to me than the whole giant egg thing.
- We have goofy made-up names we chose for ourselves.
- We're both partial to hair colors that don't occur in nature. I stick with a rather demure purple streak, but I do find her wigs impressive.
- We both have a theater nerd past, which explains a lot. While it's tempting to be skeptical of the humility she sometimes claims, I know from my own life that it is possible to be by turns a self-conscious introvert and a total ham.
In the end, of course, I can't quite keep up with someone who confesses to struggling with self-esteem, yet seems perfectly at ease walking around with no pants on. I can only admire her from afar as she urges us to "push the boundaries of love" while she pushes the boundaries of what constitutes clothing. A tip of the nerd glasses to you, Lady Gaga!