June 22, 2010

Lady Gaga

I found the photo of Lady Gaga on the cover of Rolling Stones funny as well as confusing. She is wearing almost nothing, what catches the eye is the pair of machine guns she is wearing on her bra and the pair of large shoes. The photo is confusing because it is very feminine but the machine guns are masculine. The two ideas are colliding creating cognitive dissonance for the viewer. Looking at the photo from a symbolic interactionist perspective, she is confusing the audience because she is combining gender roles and symbols. However Lady Gaga says, "I want them to focus on the fantasy of the music." By defining her music and her performance as fantasy it makes the conflicting symbols palatable for the public, becasuse they are only seen as mere "fantasy."

It is fascinating how defining something sets our minds at ease. I found myself trying to analyze the photo, trying to put together all of the content to come to a meaningful conclusion. As soon as she called it fantasy I understood the the reason why it is strange, fantasy is just strange. We are taught as a society to create projections according to the lens of a definition.


thanks to Rolling Stone for the image http://marquee.blogs.cnn.com/2010/06/21/lady-gaga-its-about-the-fantasy-of-the-music/


  1. The video with the scantily clad lady gaga and the pink guns made me think that she was saying woman have power over men through the desires of sex. Men can use guns as symbols of power and control while woman can use thier bodies for control. The guns were actually symbols to bring forth the idea of conflict theory and the equality of women with men remaining a vital issue.

  2. I love to think that Lady Gaga is a sociologist's dream. I suppose any "in" fad is. But especially because, as mentioned above, she certainly has a lot to say about power, among other things. In her song Poker Face, she notes "And after he's been hooked I'll play the one that's on his heart". To me, that is certainly about (gender inequality) power over a man. And of course, look at the costumes. That's straight of a symbolic interactionalist's playbook. She is a performer in more than one sense. I've heard her described as crazy, weird, odd, and a little scary. These are all words to describe confusion over a "botched" performance. Some people are simply not socialized to understand her performances. Last semester, my roommate's father called her, to ask "What exactly IS a lady gaga?" He was merely confused by her performances.