WTF is Lady Gaga Wearing: A Sociological Approach

Pop stars have mysteriously stopped trying to look hot and started dressing absurdly.  They seem to have a goal of weirding out the public and – more importanty- out-weirding each other.  Women have been winning the spotlight with daring fashion since before spotlights were invented. But is it just me, or have styles been more extreme the past few years? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? And then there’s the petty question that usually comes up: Did Lady Gaga start all this?

It’s getting boring to talk about Gaga’s exciting costumes. It says more about her image to point out that the most scandalous picture the paparazzi could hope to snap of the pseudo-wacko celebrity is one of her wearing jeans and a t-shirt. She holds the title for strangest ensembles, but more and more of the music videos you’ll see on MTV feature singers in outfits that make Cher’s chaps and sparkly jumpsuits look like casual wear. Madonna made waves with her iconic cone bra, but it didn’t shoot out flames (Gaga) or whipped cream (Katy Perry).

When you pair a few disgusting pieces together, the effect is actually…really disgusting. Sorry La Roux! I still loved “Bulletproof.”

La Roux tops off all her outfits-on-acid with a signature swoop of hair that defies gravity. Katy Perry just looks like Zo0ey Deschanel but with boobs popping out of children’s clothes. Rihanna stoops to copying M.I.A. whenever she needs to look edgier. Swedish pop star Robyn sees it fit to dress up like a bumble bee or an astronaut.

Why is it confusing?

The music doesn’t match the image. Their songs are still as painfully mainstream as possible. The truly unique ladies in music are just sitting back and laughing at the spectacle.

(pic from Media Alive) Perry’s dress lights up and is covered in pink ruffles. At least there are no giant fruit props or noxious hair clips.

Why isn’t this effecting men?

Women in the limelight have always had more emphasis put on their appearance than men. They’ve worn less and less clothing over the decades. But naked doesn’t cut it anymore. Entertainment, at least in the U. S. of A., has expended most of its shock tactics. Now there’s nowhere to go but up. There’s nowhere to go but weird.

(pic from

Why aren’t actresses and models doing it?

These are competitive times in the music industry. Perhaps that explains why this phenomenon has had little effect on actresses and models, who are most valuable when they’re blank slates. Only like 5 percent of women have the right age, height, weight, complexion, and nubile alien beauty to cut it as high fashion models. However, most people can sing. Everyone can get a MySpace and YouTube account. Listeners are bombarded with unlimited access to all the  music they want, so musicians have to stand out. Pop princesses are battling to keep your attention in their crazy get-ups.

Stupid or progressive?

This trend looks forced and artificial at best (if I come upon another quote from Gaga insisting her character is “just who she is,” I may have to vomit and subsequently give up reading), sad and depraved at worst. But it’s INTERESTING. It compensates somewhat for the candy-coated candy they produce.

As a girl who enjoys high fashion as a visual art form, I think it’s nice to see anyone wearing Thierry Mugler (he designed a whole tour’s wardrobe for Beyonce) or Alexander McQueen (responsible for Gaga’s 10-inch “armadillo” heels) out of the fashion show context.

It’s good that divas are now commonly choosing their clothes not simply to arouse men, but to spark conversation. Until someone designs a bra that dispenses quality songwriting, it will have to do.


One thought on “WTF is Lady Gaga Wearing: A Sociological Approach

  1. Pingback: Katy Perry Embarrasses Cats « Aesthetic Etiquette

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