If you are pregnant or have recently given birth, Lady Gaga's new video for "Born This Way" might give you nightmares. In it, she gives birth twice, first as a kind alien who gives birth to a new race, then as an evil alien. You have to hand it to her, just when everyone thinks she is a Madonna clone, she goes ahead and proves she can "give birth" to something highly original all on her own.
But uh, as a mom, holy hell it makes birth look freaky. I don't think she set out to make a video that would replace the Miracle of Life or make us all better understand birth. There is nothing scientific about Gaga's "birth." But there is blood and screaming, a midwife who looks like she belongs in Hellriaiser, and a terrifying sac of pulsating goo. It also has the soundtrack to Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo dream sequence playing in the background. In short, it's creepy as all get out.
See for yourself:
The way births are depicted in modern culture is almost always like this. They are either extreme and freaky -- think She's Having a Baby -- or they are loud and hilarious -- think Friends or Knocked Up. Very rarely are they lovely or transcendent or meaningful or powerful.
We ladies get two choices according to pop culture: Scary or hilarious. We either get to scream obscenities or "almost die." Has Gaga added a third choice? Do we also now get to be kind of trippy, slimy horror movie, too? Oh boy! Lucky us. Somehow it feels like in making in roads toward better understanding and acceptance of homosexuality (an AWESOME thing), she is making birth seem creepy as hell.
Oh I get that it's just a video and she produced it for entertainment value, but the truth is, we get all of our notions about birth from pop culture and Gaga's video makes one thing painfully obvious: she has never given birth.
Birth isn't as scary as people would have you believe. Sure, a lot of things can go wrong, but the vast majority of births are smooth and much easier than you'd think. The fear makes it even harder, so let's not fear it so much. I promise your midwife will not wear chains!
Don't worry dear ladies who have not given birth. You will not give birth to an alien life form with a highly stylized horror movie soundtrack. Your birth will not be like it is in the movies or in any music video. We ladies who HAVE given birth can confirm that whatever it is, it will more than likely be its own individual bit of awesome. No matter how it happens. After all, consider the result. Scout's honor.
Does this video make birth seem weird?
Image via YouTube