Yesterday’s post was all about how bodies don’t come with a comment button, and that we are under no obligation to make our bodies look the way other people want them to look. As you might guess, if ordinary people feel pressure to comply with societal standards about visual appearance, celebrities also feel a great deal of pressure. That’s why I was somewhat excited to read about Lady Gaga’s response to the recent uproar about her “getting fat”.
Recently some photos and nasty articles were released that showed Lady Gaga looking a lot heavier than before. There is a lot of discussion about the apparent distortion of these pictures, making Gaga appear shorter and heavier, being caused either by squishing them in Photoshop or because of the flattening effect of certain camera lenses. In other photos and videos from these exact same appearances, Gaga looks notably thinner. However, Gaga readily admits that she has gained about 25 pounds. She says that she is “dieting now” and that she has gained weight because “she loves to eat” her Dad’s amazing Italian cooking. But before you start wondering why I’m talking about her on my blog let me share with you that she also states, “I really don’t feel bad about it, not even for a second.”
Yesterday, Gaga shared on her site, LittleMonsters.com that has been dealing with anorexia and bulimia since she was 15. She also included some photos of herself (with her eyes closed) wearing just a bra and panties. And she launched a new subsection of her site called the BODY REVOLUTION. Some copy on the new section reads:
My mother and I created the BORN THIS WAY FOUNDATION for one reason: “to inspire bravery.” This profile is an extension of that dream. Be brave and celebrate with us your “perceived flaws,” as society tells us. May we make our flaws famous, and thus redefine the heinous.
She also popped up this past weekend in Paris wearing this dress.
Now don’t get me wrong. I can’t hold Lady Gaga up as an unflinching paragon of size acceptance. Not that long ago she was criticized for her “pop stars don’t eat” twitter post. One might wonder whether the photos in her undies are as much about proving her relative thinness as they are about revealing her soul. But I do think she’s trying to shine a lens on the ugliness of body snarking and the intense pressure girls and women face to be thin. And I think in revealing her lifelong struggles with anorexia and bulimia, she is admitting that she doesn’t claim to have all this body stuff figured out. It’s a process. It’s a challenge.
But I am excited that at least part of what has come of all of this is one of the pop icons of our times inviting fans to embrace themselves as they are on her site stating:
Hey Guys its Gaga… Now that the body revolution has begun, be brave and post a photo of you that celebrates your triumph over insecurities.
Time will tell whether this movement towards body acceptance will stick with Gaga or drop along with her 25 pounds. She may stay on this path. She may be hawking weight loss products in six months. I don’t know. But it’s hard not to see that all celebrity bodies seem to come complete with a comment button.
So my little Chicklettes, can we take some good from this? Sure! First, let’s note that some of the “sexiest” and “most popular” women in the world struggle with body image. And while I wouldn’t begin to compare your struggles with the struggles of anyone else, it’s good to know that we all have those struggles in one way or another. Next, let’s take a minute to celebrate your triumphs large and small over body insecurity. And finally, I’d love for you to remember that wherever you are on your journey to body acceptance, we are all works in progress. Nobody is perfect at loving himself or herself. But with gentleness and kindness we are on our way!
The Fat Chick