I can’t be the only person who doesn’t think Lady Gaga’s alleged 25-30lb weight gain is either a) a “shock” or b) a victory for ‘regular’-sized humans? Surely there are others who saw pictures of Gaga’s bum cheeks wrestling with her fishnets, shrugged and continued on? I filed the story in the box marked “life stuff that happens to people sometimes”. I didn’t get hyped that a superstar looks “like all the rest of us… ZOMG we can hang at Nando’s”. Neither did I think, I’m not paying money to come see a normal bum with CELLULITE on it. I thought, I’m glad she’s not living off the Bowie diet of cocaine, red peppers and milk because I’d like her to be singing at 70 riding atop a papier-mache horse, operated by lean-muscled male escorts. Then I carried on with breakfast.
Folk gain a few pounds. Weight issues hound us; people psychoanalyse others’ restaurant picks, take a fine toothcomb to friends’ exercise regimes, even theorise mates’ medical complaints. “It’s not ‘lactose intolerance’, it’s… ANOREXIA,” etc. It says more about them than their target. You can read all of this in the tabloids’ conflicting headlines: “Lady Gaga Has No Intention Of Dieting” (Is she insane? TO THE TREADMILL), or “Lady Gaga Shows Off Curves” (Hello internet, give us some hits) and “Lady Gaga Covers Up Her FULL FIGURE” (She must be so sensitive. What the hell is under there?!). This humdrum nitpicking sets a terrible tone for anyone reading. When Gaga appeared a few days later in a plastic neon pink and blue fatsuit looking like Patrick Spongebob Starfish, it highlighted just how ridiculous the tabloid junkies had been. It was majestic. Gaga was saying: “Touch my bum now. All of my plastic neon bum.”
If you do some proper research and Google “Lady Gaga bum” you get a whole history of cheek. She has an arse! She’s not very shy! In fact, these upskirt shots unflatteringly angled towards her nether regions aren’t really all that. Have you seen the Terry Richardson photos of Gaga horizontal, eating linguine in bed with hooker heels on? Have you studied the Marry TheNight video in which she douses herself in Cheerios before checking herselfinto a mental institution? It seems like there’s more interesting stuff that she does? More interesting than enjoying a few nights on the Spag Bol,say. I can’t be arsed with the pictures of Gaga’s arse. I’m moving on.
What I do find remarkable is why we’re still miffed when our female popstars (who are running the show at the moment) don’t also look like Olympians. Marina (of “& The Diamonds”) was upset recently when her label refused to put out a video of hers because she – in her words – looked like a “minger”. Frankly I wonder – Does Olly Murs have this problem? Then I look at all the minging hats he wears in his videos and think “No. No, Olly Murs is not under this much pressure. Olly Murs’ label would not be issuing a DEFCON 4 if he had two extra pints one week.” “What about the tabloid treatment of Gary Barlow back in the day?” you scream. Barlow was dropped because his songwriting didn’t have the same effect when Mark Owen wasn’t doing somersaults shirtless in the background, not because he was F-A-T. Women in pop are definitely getting the, uh, bum deal here.
But sexual inequality aside, the music industry should rest assured that whether Gaga is 20lbs bigger or 100lbs bigger, I’m as unphased by her in a demure dress as I am if she makes a bra out of two Ginsters pasties. If Rihanna put on a few pounds and decided she wanted to be shot in a three-piece suit from Saville Row for a change I’d be just as on board as if she was prancing about a potato farm starkers. The only people with problems here are the ones doing the bitching. Gaga doesn’t have time for that. She’s too busy being the 21st century’s greatest popstar. Can we get the stories related to that? Thanks.
This blog originally ran in the current issue. For all the latest opinions on music and popular culture from our best Talking Heads make sure you pick up NME every week