Decoding Gaga’s poker face

Samantha Jones

Lady Gaga has never been one to shy away from controversial demonstrations and performances.

At the 2010 MTV Music Awards, the talented artist arrived in a “meat dress,” which angered animal rights groups across the globe. At the 53rd Grammy Awards, she arrived in an egg and it was rumored she was in there for 72 hours. More importantly, after the most recent election, she stood outside Trump Tower with a sign that read, “Love Trumps Hate.”

Considering her impressive repertoire, several individuals found Lady Gaga’s halftime performance to be prosaic and apolitical. In fact, many of her “Little Monsters” are calling foul on the artist for “not being political enough”; they have accused her of being unpatriotic and unsupportive during a crucial time in American history.

This is not the first time a celebrity’s political action (or inaction) has drawn attention. Meryl Streep recently spoke out against Donald Trump at the Golden Globes, Shailene Woodley was arrested for protesting at Standing Rock and Misha Collins has taken to social media to denounce the president. In the 1950s, Charlie Chaplin was barred from the United States for his political opinion.

Protesting is something Americans take seriously. Our great nation would not exist without it; however, attempting to force someone into protesting is the antithesis of the protest itself.

In addition, there is also no one-size-fits-all when it comes to dissent. While some people advocate for peaceful protests and marches, others find radicalism as the only approach that yields results.

Lady Gaga may not have set fire to a Trump doll or smashed through a papier-mâché wall, but her performance was politically charged.

In an Instagram message prior to the show, Lady Gaga dedicated “every second to the love, diversity, compassion, and wild spirit of our fan base. To that kid who felt unwanted, or the grown up who remembers how hard it was to find acceptance. This is for you.”

Her recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance added emphasis to the final two words: for all.

She chose to follow “God Bless America” with Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is My Land,” which includes the lyrics “This land was made for you and me.”

And of course, she included “Born This Way,” one of her most inspirational songs, to her set list. On national TV, she announced to the world, “No matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I’m on the right track baby, I was born to survive. No matter black, white, or beige, chola or Orient made, I’m on the right track baby, I was born to be brave.”

Lady Gaga may have used a quiet subtly, but to those paying attention, her message rang loud and clear.