Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lady Gaga's Crip Chic

Lady Gaga once again exploits disability as a pose, so I'm going to exploit her. It's been said that the 'virality' of a good blog post includes catchy words that will generate lots of clicks, or in the case of Lady Gaga, random clicks that have nothing to do with anything.

Like her gold-plated wheelchair. Could there be any doubt by now that Lady Gaga's "injury" was more of an excuse for her failing ticket sales for her ill-timed concert tour, replete with gargantuan set pieces and flying unicorns?

Is Lady Gaga exploiting disability as a look, a style statement? Is she really injured? Is she a fraud? Is she actually injured and attempting to put a stylish face on disability?

Are Lady Gaga's rabidly devoted "Little Monsters" going to swoop down on this blog to defend her, while not even knowing that I won an equally golden award for my novel about a gay guy who becomes disabled?  Okay, it's not actually gold. The award is Lucite, but the stickers I like so much are gold-colored, and shiny. Okay?

Has Lady Gaga become the pop face of Crip Chic? (You do realize I'm repeatedly typing 'Lady Gaga' a gazillion times to see how crazy my web pages get viewed. You do get it? Cool.)

Lady Gaga has performed onstage in a wheelchair while not injured, telling critics that she was playing a character (and ripping off Bette Midler, as discussed in 2011).

Where does one draw the line between artistic license, cultural appropriation and outright chicanery? Why does someone as mind-bogglingly famous as Lady Gaga need to get even more attention? This isn't some random paparazzi shot, but a planned glam pose shot by Terry Richardson.

The 24-karat gold-plated wheelchair was commissioned by Lady Gaga and Mordekai's Ken Borochov designed it. MTV's style blog gushes over the chair as a PR-worthy accessory, which it is:

"We assumed that Gags wouldn't be caught dead in a regular, hospital issue chair, but even we're a little surprised by how lux her medical device turned accessory is. Crafted out of tufted leather and bright yellow gold, the wheelchair is like something we imagine a little king being confined to in old time-y England (think Colin Craven in The Secret Garden.)"

How would you like it if your life included a utilitarian device that helped you overcome accessibility and mobility, only to see a pop star turn it into a prop? If you were a multi-millionaire who had already donated a million or so to a few very worthy causes, would you congratulate yourself with, say, a gold-plated iron lung? Or would the iron and the gold clash?

Do you bling your chair or scooter? Has the favorite of gay fans gone too far?
Do you like her music? Will you avoid her because of this latest PR stunt, or like her more?

(sources: Towleroad,  Terry's DiaryMTV Style.

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