So let’s talk about last night. No, not the big game; the big game’s half-time show. There are a lot of Monday morning quarterbacks (that’s a football reference) who want to weigh in on how Gaga’s performance could’ve been more “political.” I feel like those folks weren’t paying attention. These are likely the same folks who have difficulty reading subtext (a certain portion of the Supernatural fandom, I’m looking at you). She didn’t need to hold up a giant RESIST banner to be political. Lemme break it down for you.
How was this performance political? Let me count the ways:
1. Lady Gaga is a woman. Simply being a female headliner in this male-dominated space might not be subversive in and of itself. If that woman were quiet and submissive and there primarily for the male gaze. But Gaga is not a quiet, demure woman who takes up no space; she is a bold, loud woman who literally dove off the top of the fucking stadium! She took up space and she owned that space. That shit’s political.
2. Lady Gaga is a queer icon. Her very presence as a queer woman in a #nohomo space was important. She could’ve toned down the gay, but that isn’t her style. She sang songs focused on the inclusion of queer people as well as general inclusivity. Her dancers are diverse and so very glittery. And she did this at an event attended by VP Mike Pence. That shit’s political.
3. Lady Gaga has a body. In the final act of her performance, Gaga switched into a crop top outfit that showed off her bare belly. This exposed a soft stomach rather than chiseled six-pack abs. As I watched this with my husband, I remarked aloud that I hoped she didn’t get a ton of haters. But of course she has. How dare this woman have a body and use that body however she wants. Showing up and showing off the body that is hers right now, unapologetically, and absolutely slaying. That’s fucking political.
You, the way you live your life, the way you show up in the world, are political. Let’s slay this week Mat Monsters.