Yes, celebrities do have a sort of intrigue about them that I cannot ignore, and I do formulate my own opinions of them based on not only what I hear, but from what I observe as a seemingly dispassionate twenty-something.
When Lady Gaga, informally known as Stefani Germanotta, burst onto the scene, I wasn't remotely interested. Her music? Meh - I like some dance and techno, but nothing that's had a frequency on MTV (and if you're assuming that I'm a pretentious hipster because of this, rest assured....my strange interests are quite unclassifiable.) Then there was the fuss with the clothing and the ridiculous music videos and essentially the martyrdom of a pop idol. Again, not my cup of tea, but certainly interesting to peruse images of a half-naked lady in 5 inch heels and tape on her nipples carrying a cup of tea. That's not something you see every day.
However, as in all my opinions of others, I was hesitant to give in to the "Fame Monster," as Gaga so adequately addressed her obsessive following. I respect...
....those who are giving and thankful....
Miss Gaga is very close with her fans.
....who are kind and have firm moral beliefs....
She is an ardent support of LGBT rights.
....who are true creative artists........
Gaga writes her own lyrics, music, and is involved in every aspect of her performance.
....who are still grounded to their roots.....
She lives still lives in the same NYC apartment and keeps in touch with her parents everyday.
....who are healthy role models......
I don't care if she drinks or does drugs, but I sure am glad the girl still eats her steak.
Well dear lord, you might exclaim, why shouldn't I love Lady Gaga, in all her amazing glory?!
One reason: I respect those who are humble.
Someone who parades around in all her gallantry, covered in meat/lace/nothing at all, commanding those who bow to her with the presence of a queen, all the while proclaiming herself amazing in every aspect of character, is not necessarily humble.
A friend of mine who attended NYU's acting school said they each had a class together a few years ago, pre-fame days. She scoffed at how, on the first day, Ms. Germanotta very simply stated that her voice was superb and proceeded to sing for her new classmates. This didn't surprise me, but it did turn me off. I couldn't imagine being around someone with such arrogance, and I certainly didn't aspire to that attitude, in which someone blazons their talent like a triumphant flag.
But is that really arrogance? A few days ago, while surfing Perez Hilton (don't judge me, you know you do it too), I watched a snippet of Lady Gaga's 60 Minutes special with Anderson Cooper. Pure, dreadful curiosity, was my drive; or was it that a part of me really wanted to like her?
In any case, she said something that has really stuck with me since: "I'm just as delusional now as I was at 18. I was 18, telling everyone around me, I'm gonna be a fucking superstar. And everybody was like, 'Yeah, whatever, she's an egomaniac.' And then...HaHaHa."
This quote, amazingly enough (considering my obvious disdain for arrogance) did not piss me off. In fact, I couldn't stop thinking about what it meant for her, or what it could mean for anybody. Earlier in the clip, she had gotten a little emotional visiting her old apartment and realizing how far she had come. Therein lies the duality of her attitude - she is both solid in her belief that she is good at what she does, yet upon looking back can still appreciate how far that climb was, and what it took to get there.
In that instant, I realized that the reason I hated people who were arrogant, and why I so treasured the self-deprecation of others, is that it's exactly the way I act. I refuse to praise myself, as if it were a sin or weakness to avoid at all costs. Somehow, I have convinced myself that under-estimating my worth and abilities will make others see them more clearly. Perhaps even make them admire my modest attitude. Besides, their approval is what counts, right? I can't get there on my own, can I?
All my life, I have assumed that my desire to appear humble was the most unselfish trait I could have. But in making others responsible for proving my worth, I have been as selfish as one can be. During which time, my experiences in trying to write, make films, socialize, keep relationships and be content, have been incredibly difficult and lonely.
It's quite possible that someone as eccentric and bombastic as Lady Gaga is trying to pass on a very important lesson in emotional health: be proud of the person you are, and confident in where you will go, as it is the truth. There is in fact nothing truer than the love you have for yourself. I believe that it is this passion that allows Stefani Germanotta to be Lady Gaga.
And it is this same passion that I must find in myself, in order to be the writer, creator, the talented Tara that I know (deep, deep, I'm sayin' WAY deep inside) I've always been. And if some people perceive this confidence, this self-awareness that allows one satisfaction, as being domineering and bitchy, then, as Lady Gaga would say, "I'm a bitch."
Lady Gaga, I aspire to be as much of a bitch as you are - the proudest, most energetic, successful and hard-working bitch I can be. You may say I was born that way, but it takes a lot longer to realize that it's okay to be that way - and that it's an integral part of reaching the happiness that all of us deserve.
Honestly, I don't care whether it's all a ruse for publicity, or for the sheer image she may be trying to uphold for her career. In spite of these possibilities, I still think it's a damn good example to set for anyone.
And if you need a tangible metaphor for this steadfast belief in born-that-way beauty; merely gaze upon the nose of Gaga - that wonderful, "silhouetted bump" of an Italian schnoz (much like yours truly) - that has never been altered, regardless of fame. My dear, for all your fellow nosy gals - don't ever change.
....it hasn't right?