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2011
June 08

Thoughts on Lady Gaga's New Album

Michael Subracko

Last week I decided to step deeper into the world of Gaga and bought her new album Born This Way. I enjoyed my first listen as I cleaned my house. The music provided the motivation I needed to keep sweeping. Immediately, I concluded that the songs were simply captivating and catchy and, by the sixth song “Hair”, proclaiming a message.

I just wanna be myself,
And I want you to love, me for who I am.
I just wanna be myself,
And I want you to know, I am my hair.

Lady Gaga is extremely popular among teenagers because she provides guidance, comfort, and embodies the attitude they wish they could pull-off. She seems to understand the pressure that all of us, particularly young people, feel to be someone other than who they are. She says what we all want to say (even if she may not mean it): I'm going to be me. Deal with it.

Though this message seems to comfort, I think it lacks imagination and is predicated on a narrow definition of love.

I just wanna be free, I just wanna be me.
And I want lots of friends that invite me to their parties.
I don't want to change, and I don't want to be ashamed.
I'm the spirit of my hair, it's all the glory that I bare.

We live in a world where we are accepted by others if we meet their rules of acceptability. For Lady Gaga, and God for that matter, this is unacceptable. Acceptance should be a gift. But where I believe Lady Gaga gets it wrong is her implied notion that acceptance should be free of having a better vision for another. It seems for Lady Gaga that love is only expressed by accepting one as they are.  Again, this a narrow understanding of love and lacks imagination.

Love, particularly God’s love through the gospel, says “I accept you no matter who you are or what you do. And, because I love you, I have a vision for a better version of you and will walk with you as you become that person. I will not let you remain as you are.” When I look back on my life and consider those people who have loved me well, it is those who model this sort of love. Love embodied by full acceptance of who I am combined with a vision for who I could become and a willingness to participate in that journey.

For more reading on Lady Gaga, I thought this from The Other Journal interesting and helpful.

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