Jul 12, 2011 12:00AM

Le Freak

A great cultural transgressor, Lady Gaga is also a very deliberate product of her time.

I'm captivated by Lady Gaga. I don't know whether I love her or hate her, and I can't explain why I'm hanging on every utterance in a Barbara Walters interview. But this doesn't matter. The very fact that I'm tossing around words like 'genius', 'freak', 'icon' and 'phoney' in my attempts to describe her, means that I am just one person amongst millions of people in the world who cannot deny the cult of Gaga.

Lady Gaga is everything we are, and everything we are not. As she plays into the freak within us all, referring affectionately to her notoriously intense fanbase as "little monsters", our role in the creation of the 'celebrity freak' is obvious. For us, nothing is ever too outrageous, too incomprehensible. In fact, if Gaga was to act in any way 'normal', that would be truly shocking.

Placing all negative connotations of the word 'freak' aside, Gaga has several characteristics long associated with the freakish body.

1. She is a figure of excess, testing the boundaries of acceptable, or even comprehensible behaviour.

2. She is a plastic body, constantly changing and evolving. She is also confined to her body, and judged intensely by it.

3. She holds a place of undying public fascination.

Earlier this year, when the 25-year-old, New York-born popstar arrived at the Grammy Awards inside a giant egg, two things sprung to mind. Firstly, "Can she breathe?" And secondly, "Is this Michael Jackson in his hyperbaric chamber all over again?"

MJ's was a drastic publicity stunt, a monument to the immortality of celebrity, and his fear of contamination by the public. Perhaps Lady Gaga's choice to appear in a giant egg-womb was actually a means of communicating a similar sense of being untouchable, immortal, and being always, reborn.

Existing in the in-between, Gaga, like Jackson, has also been the subject of conspiracy regarding sexuality and gender. Did we think that categorising Lady Gaga as a hemaphrodite would explain her intrigue? Did we think that knowing intimate details of Jackson's sex organs would make him any easier to classify? Surely there is something 'freakish' in that desire to know.

As Lady Gaga slept through her first night in Sydney, clutching a string of pearls, complaining of being terribly lonely, a slew of fans - her little monsters waited outside her hotel in the cold.

In Lady Gaga, the 21st century has created a "Monster," and in us, she has fostered something far scarier; our own intense fascination with her. Love her or loathe her, Gaga knows what we want. Shock us, and we will love you. Act like a weirdo and make us all wish that we too could be weirdos. Even just for a day.

If all the world is a stage, and all the men and women are merely players, then who exactly is the freak in this sideshow?

Is it us, or is it her?

After her surprise sets at Nevermind and Arq last night she will play at the Sydney Town Hall this Wednesday. I envy anyone who is attending.

Words: Bianca Georgiou

Latest


Keymoji Translates Your Texts Into Emojis

Using crowdsourced emoji combinations.


Did You Notice What Meadham Kirchhoff Used As Earrings This LFW?

PLUS, our fashion editor's top picks of the week!


Gucci SS15 Show Notes @ MFW

That 70s Gucci.


Backstage: Fashion East @ LFW

Featuring the SS15 collections of Ed Marler, Louise Alsop & Helen Lawrence.


Submit Your Banal Detrius To Nick Cave's Online Musuem

Random ephemera that kind of means something to you, wanted.


The Average Tumblr User Makes $80K Per Year

Money rules everything around them.


Facebook To Meet With LGBT Community Over 'Real Name' Rules

After forcing people to use their legal names on profiles.


LFW Diary: Day #4 & #5 Feat. Ryan Lo, Fashion East & More

Plus backstage images from Ryan Lo’s tropical paradise.


Watch The Bell Knox Documentary Series

The Duke adult film star on being outed and #pornstarproblems.


Ashish Repped Kim & Kanye @ LFW

As well as One Direction, Miley Cyrus and amyl.


Andreja Pejic Did A Reddit AMA

Read the highlights.


Burberry Prorsum SS15 Show Notes @ LFW

Spring time, ring a ding a ding time!


Lena Dunham & Bill Cosby Share Words To Live By

And other things we learnt from her Proust Questionaire.


Grimes Drops Amazing 'Bedtime Mix' On BBC Radio 1

Feat. Aphex Twin, Patsy Cline, Portishead and more.


Frank Ocean Gets New Management

Signs with Calvin Harris and Deadmau5 group.


Snoop Dogg Tweets, Instagrams Homophobic Slur

Then deletes it less than an hour later.


Oyster Playlist: Nicky Night Time

A celebration of cut and paste.


Holly Childs Is Your New Favourite Young Oz Writer [Interview]

We talk to the Melbourne-based writer, editor, internet artist and curator for Oyster #105.


Australian Artist Jonathan Zawada Tattoos Billionaires [Interview]

We talk rainbows, sportswear and Aussies in LA in Oyster #105.