Body Going ‘Gaga’: Lady Gaga, Disability and the Gothic Body

in Bodies in Flux
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Abstract

Controversies surrounding Lady Gaga include not only her fashion choices, but also her representation of the (female) body: sexually objectified, commodified, subject to violence, battered and disabled. In the following chapter the author examines the body imagery used in Gaga’s music and videos, especially images of disabled, modified, and/or monstrous body, as Gothic aesthetic is often used in Gaga’s oeuvre. The subversive potential of faux disability drag used by Lady Gaga, and of the female Gothic conventions present in her art is suggested as a way to represent the blurring of the lines between the Self and the Other. However, the power of Lady Gaga’s work lies not in its political message, but in the artistic one. The author goes on to prove that the images of disabled bodies are used by Lady Gaga to exemplify a wider idea of a queer body and of a fluid, performative identity, which Lady Gaga represents in her artistic persona.