Lena Dunham called it the "most revealing act of female rebellion you will ever witness". Hyperbolic, perhaps, but the new Netflix documentary is an incredibly revealing look at what it's like to be one of the biggest female pop stars on the planet. Personal, inspiring and deeply moving - whether you consider yourself a Little Monster or not, 'Gaga: Five Foot Two' delves deep into one of the most talked about pop icons of the last decade. Here are some things it taught us.
1. Even if you’re Lady Gaga, you still have to battle the patriarchy
You’d think when you’d achieved Gaga-levels of fame you might get a little respite from the patriarchy bringing you down, but apparently not. Whether it’s through the break-up of her relationship with ex-fiancé, Taylor Kinney, or the inherent sexism she faces in the music industry, 30-year-old Gaga is sick of your shit.
She explains: “When producers – unlike Mark [Ronson] – say ‘you’d be nothing without me’, for women especially, those men have so much power so they can have women in a way that no other men can. Whenever they want, whenever they want – the cocaine, the money, the Champagne, the hottest girls you’ve ever seen. Then I walk in the room and eight times out of ten I’m put in that category when that’s not what I have to offer at all. That’s not why I’m here. I’m not a receptacle for your pain.”
Mark Ronson, who produced her most recent album Joanne, was an exception that. “So many men that I worked with and also dated have made me feel like I wasn’t good enough on my own. I don’t feel that with Mark”.
2. She wishes Madonna would just say it to her face
Comparisons between Lady Gaga and Madonna have been made since Gaga first appeared on the scene in 2008. Madge remained fairly tight-lipped on Gaga until 2011 when she deemed her single ‘Born This Way’ “reductive”. In Five Foot Two, Gaga calls out Madonna for not speaking directly to her: “telling me you think I’m a piece of shit through the media is the same as a guy passing me a note saying ‘my buddy thinks you’re hot’.”
3. She lives her life in chronic pain
For anyone frustrated with the rescheduling of Gaga’s recent European tour dates, this documentary shines a light on the bravery the megastar has shown for years while battling an incredibly painful hip injury and the Fibromyalgia – a muscular disorder that causes all over body pain – that affects her daily life. “If I couldn’t afford all these people to help me every day, I don’t know what I would do”, Gaga says through tears as she receives daily massage and physiotherapy to help her cope with the agonising condition.
4. She wants babies
…But she has no intention of hanging up her pink Gaga hat. Several times in the documentary she talks about having children. In a personal moment, she is seen at a Christening, watching on with love as the priest wets the baby’s head. Later she is seen asking for a hold of the baby. But fans can rest easy that Mama Gaga will be still be performing for decades to come. “I want to be doing this until I’m an old lady”. She’s just earned a well-deserved break.
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5. The Super Bowl meant everything to her
This documentary details the run-up to Gaga’s legendary performance at the 2017 Super Bowl half-time show. To witness the joy, stress and hard work that went into it, it’s clear just how much it meant to her. “This is what I’ve been waiting for my whole life. It’s almost sad. This is as big as it gets. What do I do next?”. For now, we’ll have to wait and see.