Lady Gaga is being grilled in the press for donning a hat, dress, and shoes made of meat at last night's VMAs. But, surely, that was her intention.
There's no confirmation yet as to whether the meat is real or fake. (Although, all it would take is a call to Cher, who had to hug Gaga when she won the award for "Video of the Year," and we could finally lay that conspiracy theory to rest.)
Nevertheless, the getup offended viewers -- many of whom have taken to calling her "Lady Gag Gag" and accusing her of being ignorant and wearing it as a desperate ploy for attention. And, of course, PETA is jumping into the fray with this acerbic statement:
Lady Gaga has a hard time being "over the top," and wearing a dress made from cuts of dead cows is offensive enough to bring comment, but someone should whisper in her ear that there are more people upset by butchery than impressed by it -- and that means a lot of young people will not be buying her records if she keeps it up.
The PETA statement continues with a rather disturbing visual description of rotting meat and maggots. But before we delve into that any further, can we stop for a second and consider if Gaga perhaps was trying to send a message with her outfit? I hate when civilians take the liberty of assigning bogus intentions to celebrities and artists, but in this particular instance, we (sort of) have proof that Gaga was trying to do more than simply shock and awe. As she told Ellen DeGeneres after the show:
Well, it’s certainly no disrespect to anyone that’s vegan or vegetarian ... I, as you know, am the most judgment-free human being on Earth. However, it has many interpretations -- but for me this evening it’s that if we don’t stand up for what we believe in, if we don’t fight for our rights, pretty soon we’re gonna have as much rights as the meat on our bones. AND I am not a piece of meat.”
Say what you will about Gaga's music; but to call her ignorant is simply unfair. She's been socially active on plenty of occasions -- including last night when she protested "Don't Ask Don't Tell" by showing up with members of the military affected by the policy.
Far from simply trying to get us talking about her (we do that enough already), Gaga seems to have been making a statement about how the press treats celebrities and, in particular, female celebrities -- as pieces of meat. If there's any celeb who's constantly bombarded by the paparazzi, it's Gaga. She's been honest in the past about her body issues stemming from media pressure. She's constantly resisting attempts by the entertainment industry to make her into a sexual icon (like it does with many other female artists).
Maybe this outfit was simply her telling us she's had enough.
And, why are animal lovers so up in arms over this particular outfit? It's no more offensive than leather or fur. If anything, the visual of all that raw meat has been burned into our brains and might have even converted a few meat-eaters to vegetarianism. I, for one, am not going to be ordering a burger anytime soon. Are you with me?
Were you offended by Lady Gaga's meat dress? What do you think she meant by it?
Image via MTV.com