Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pop's Diva Daughter as Primal Mother

I have a new post up at Ms.. Magazine's blog (after a long dry spell which was primarily the result of writer's block and lack of time) about Lady Gaga's newest music video, "Born This Way":
I’ve been looking forward to the music video of Lady Gaga’s much-hyped single “Born This Way” for several weeks, so, when it premiered Sunday on Vevo I really wanted to love it. Unfortunately, “Born This Way” just doesn’t have the twisted, Mad Hatter brilliance of Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video or the movie-pastiche playfulness and queer pleasures of “Telephone” (featuring Beyonce).

What “Born This Way” does share with earlier Gaga videos is an unabashed willingness (nay, insistence) to push the already elastic envelope of music video propriety, a penchant for dancing around in her underwear and a clear, but not completely realized, desire to blur the boundaries between pop rock and video art.

“Born This Way” refers to the idea that homosexuality is the result of nature not nurture, something Gaga emphasizes both through her lyrics (“No matter gay, straight or bi, / Lesbian, transgendered life / I’m on the right track baby / I was born to survive”) and with the neon pink triangle that opens and closes the video. But visually, she seems more interested in metaphors of childbirth and Motherhood (capital “M” intended) than in dwelling on images of queer pride.
Read the rest here.

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