Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl Halftime Show Was A Sparklebomb of Political Activism, Even If You Didn’t Notice It.
Cinderly HQ went gaga for Lady Gaga’s halftime show at Super Bowl LI. It had everything we like: sparkly costumes, aerial acrobatics, fantastic vocals, a mom-and-dad shoutout, a costume change and a makeup change (how did she even do that?), all topped off with a rainbow message of inclusivity! Many people either complained or applauded that Lady Gaga’s wasn’t overtly political, and to that we say, “UM, WERE YOU EVEN WATCHING??” (Watch full video here!)
Lady Gaga’s performance was very political, in that it was pro-LGBTQ, which unfortunately still counts as being political, instead of just, you know, normal and human. In fact, if you sang, “gay gay gay gay gay” to the tune of Bad Romance’s”Ro-ma-ro-ma-ma,” you’d have an idea of how queer-friendly her performance was.
I’ll spell it out for you really quick, in case you were focused on the sparkly costumes, which we totally were.
- 1. Gaga performed “Born This Way,” a prominent LGBTQ anthem. It may also have been the first time the word “transgender” was sung on Super Bowl stage. That means millions of people who have never been to a Pride parade suddenly caught themselves singing along to a gay fight song.
- 2. Gaga’s style often echoes David Bowie’s, flirting with the edges of androgyny. In a hyper-masculine environment, Gaga did not perform traditional femininity, yet she was perfectly confident in her feminine power. That is just as radical as wearing a pussyhat in middle America.
- 3. Gaga opened “God Bless America” into “This Land Is Your Land,” which is an activist anthem written by Arlo Guthrie, who wrote it to protest Fred Trump, DJT’s father. Pairing a patriotic song written by a Jewish immigrant (Irving Berlin) with Guthrie’s protest song highlights our American right and tradition of protesting and questioning the limits and possibilities of our own democratic experiment. It says, everyone belongs here, and there are many ways to be patriotic. In fact, in a time this politically divisive, patriotism can be a radical act. We can love the very thing we are fighting to make better.
- 4. There were subtle football motifs in the choreography of “Bad Romance,” which could be a nod to the NFL’s controversial history with domestic violence. The lyrics of the song can also be read as someone struggling to avoid being gaslit in a relationship. In other words, she was singing about emotional abuse and FAKE NEWS.
- 5. Gaga ended her performance by dropping a mic, catching a football, and jumping off a ledge which cued a shower of fireworks. How often does a woman catch a football in the NFL? Hmm? Hmm? She’s saying an androgynous spacequeen is just as American as anyone else in that stadium. She’s right. America is a big football-loving, beer-drinking, chicken-wing-eating rainbow of sports fans. And if you’re not here for the sports, we also have SPARKLES!
P.S. This was our favorite tweet of the night 😉
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 6, 2017
P.P.S. To all the Gaga haters, Lady Gaga’s album sales skyrocketed after her performance. Like Beyoncé says, “The best revenge is your paper.”
Did you watch Lady Gaga’s halftime show? What did you think? Tell us in the comments below!