Note: This post is extraordinarily long given the nature of what I have to discuss, but most posts in the future won’t be so involved. Some will be – oh yes, some will be – but not most :P
It’s surprising to me that for all the attention the public gives Lady Gaga, few people (those who aren’t “little monsters,” I mean) bother to actually listen to her message - myself included. I knew very little about Lady Gaga when I bought tickets to see The Monsterball Tour – only that she makes really catchy songs, fights vehemently for the LGBT community worldwide, and that she’s usually half-naked. Like most people out there, I had no idea there was more of a message to her than that.
When I first tweeted that I was going to see Lady Gaga in concert, I was assaulted by my Twitter followers and strangers alike with replies expounding hate for the woman. I was confused. I only bought tickets for a bit of fun, not to make some statement. Why all the fuss? Although I’m not a huge Lady Gaga fan, I do love her music and crazy style, and when the opportunity came to buy tickets, I thought, why not? After all, the lady is leading an international movement of sorts, and I wanted to be a part of it – even if just so I could say to my kids someday, “I was there!”
You can imagine my surprise when I started getting these anti-Gaga tweets. What? People are insulting me because I am going to a pop concert? I usually just forget hate comments, but these were of a different sort; they weren’t attacking me - just Gaga and my association with her. In the long lead-up to the concert, these twitter replies festered in my brain. I honestly started to think to myself, do I really want to go to this? After all, I hardly knew anything about Lady Gaga, and certainly didn’t want to be a part of anything negative.
On Wednesday, getting ready for the concert, I was both excited for the night out with my friends and full of trepidation for what was to come. I don’t know what I imagined might happen – burning crosses? naked people? too much vulgarity or gore or …? I wasn’t sure what to expect, to say the least. So it was a glorious relief when, three hours later, I walked out of the concert feeling better about myself and life than I had done in a very long time. In addition to the concert being perfectly fine and a blast to boot, Lady Gaga’s message spoke to me – and a very beautiful and perfect message it was.
I’m sure everyone takes something different away from her concerts; here is what I learned from the experience.
This is the big one – the lesson to lead all other life lessons. I know it already, and have preached it forever, but something about the way this message was delivered completely blew me away. All through the concert, Lady Gaga kept shouting to the crowd, “You’re perfect! You’re beautiful! You’re YOU and that’s amazing!”
I have spent my whole life loving myself – it was programmed into my brain by my parents from a very young age (thank you mom and dad!). However, I have honestly spent at least the last six months just beating myself up over stupid shit. After eliminating all $12,000 of my debt and losing 70 pounds in 2008 and 2009 respectively, I felt on top of the world last year. But that was the peak of the pendulum swing to one side, and as all things go, the pendulum has to swing back the other way, and with that swing came all the self-doubt and harsh criticism that I invariably only lay on myself when I forget to love myself first.
I feel as if the veil I’ve had over my eyes for this last half-year has been lifted.
We are perfect! Every one of us, perfect. I am perfect! I am a luminous, brilliant, loving woman who has a strong brain and long tan legs and a heart of gold. I have stretch marks, a foul mouth, and regrets… but that’s ok, and it’s all just fine. So what if I gained back 10 pounds? So what if I don’t have $10k in savings yet? (So what if I’m not even close?!) SO WHAT if my stomach is NEVER flat and my arms ALWAYS look bigger because once upon a time I WAS bigger? So. What. I am perfect.
It’s highly ironic that the moment we accept that we are perfect, a massive bubble of hope and inspiration bursts inside of us, making us want to be better and better [chasing perfect ;)]. I suddenly see – if I am already perfect, I can do anything. Talk about an empowering thought.
I got an interesting comment on Facebook when I was first experimenting with my hair for the concert, something along the lines of, “you shouldn’t wear flowers; nobody dresses like that for a Lady Gaga concert.” Chuckling to myself, I wrote a clever reply about how Lady Gaga was about individuality and so I was going to wear what I wanted to wear. I had no idea how true I was when writing that comment.
At the concert, the majority of people who dressed up were dressed like Lady Gaga, and I was immediately glad I had gone with my gut and not done so. My initial idea for the concert was to dress like her, but I got this overwhelming feeling that it wasn’t for me. Honestly, and I’m sorry, but — no matter how amazing Gaga looks up there under stage lights in her glittering one-piece, fishnets and six-inch heels, on the streets of L.A. in broad daylight, all that makeup and leg and cleavage makes you look like a ho. I’m just saying. And there’s no problem with you looking like that, it’s just not who I am, which is my whole point.
So I went with classy instead of stripper-glam as Gaga is, and – you guessed it – felt beautiful and extraordinarily comfortable in my own skin the whole night long. No, I didn’t feel like I matched everyone else, but who cares? I was dressing as I would ideally dress if, say, I were the type of person who had three hours to get ready every morning and didn’t work at home in pajamas. :P There was enough gratuitous sparkle and volume to my outfit to fit right in, but with a more couture, elegant attitude about it to match ME – not Gaga or anyone else.
The beautiful thing about the “be yourself’ motto is that it applies to anything you want to be, not just to being unique from everyone else. I had a ball people-watching and oogling the incredible getups some people had managed to create (and let me tell you, there were some FIERCE trannys there worth seeing!), and I appreciate their choice to dress up as, or like, Lady Gaga, even if I choose not to. That’s what it’s about – just being true to yourself and not worrying about anything else.
Lady Gaga is a shining example of the “be yourself” motto. Yes, she may be a product of the majorly commercialized money-monster that is the pop music industry, but she’ll be dammed if she’s going to change one thing about herself to please you. I love that attitude. You’d think she’s immune to criticism, the way she takes it with such style. At the end of the day, I just imagine her looking into the cameras, shrugging, and saying, “I am what I am. I trust that.”
Be The Example
As far as being an example goes, I’m sure there’s much to say about whether Lady Gaga is a good one or not, but I can tell you this: she IS what she wants the world to be. Lady Gaga is not only talking about human equality, not only marching for human rights, but she is living the example of someone who just accepts everyone for who they are and what they stand for.
Of course, there were protesters at the concert, holding their signs proclaiming that “fags go to hell” and all that horrible nonsense. However, though I guarantee you that most everyone going to the concert was pissed and offended by these protesters, no one engaged them. While this may be unusual, it was simply what Lady Gaga requested. Before a concert in St. Louis, MO, where the anti-gay protesting was disgustingly lewd and violent and retaliation by the fans was at an all-time high, Gaga immediately begged her fans over Twitter to:
“Pay these hate criminals no mind. Do not interact with them, or try to fight. Do not respond to any of their provocation. Don’t waste your words, or feelings, no matter what you hear or see. [...] Ignore [the protesters'] ignorant message, and feel gratitude in your heart that you are not burdened or addicted to hate, as they are.”
She also went on later that evening to say, “Tonight love and hate met in St. Louis. And love outnumbered the hate, in poetic thousands. Hate left. But love stayed. + Together, we sang.”
If there’s anything I need telling constantly, it’s to stop judging other people so harshly and to simply BE the peace, love, humility, etc. that I so desperately wish they had. Lead by example. Thank you, Gaga, for reminding me.
And so, here I am, several hundred dollars poorer for the tickets but rich with self-love, purpose, and an excitement to share this joy. Were the tweeters right? Did the haters have her pegged correctly as the poster-woman for lust, greed, blasphamy, and sin?
Absolutely not. Lady Gaga’s message is that of unity, equality, love, nonviolence and respect. I say let her push the envelope – let her have her blood and orgy dances and free speech. With a message like hers in a country like this one, I only wish more people would open their ears and listen.
Photos and video of Jason, Nicole, Amber and me at the concert can be found on my facebook page. We saw the concert on August 11th, 2010, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.View Comments / Leave a Comment →