I know that Lady Gaga’s neverending goal is to garner press for her outrageous outfits and bold choices. But I’m not really sure how she thought that wearing a machine gun bra for her Friday night concert would be a good idea when we’re all still reeling from the Sandy Hook elementary school tragedy. In a year when mass shootings escalated to the point that they’re starting to feel commonplace, I don’t really think that there’s room in the national conversation for celebrities like Lady Gaga to make such a stupid shock ‘n awe costume decision. Not when there are people in this country who are already opposed to taking gun safety seriously. People who already look at machine guns as toys that they deserve to play with at their leisure — and not weapons capable of committing horrific crimes.
Could she be trying to make some kind of avant-garde statement about our national attitude toward gun control? Maybe. But she’s worn a variation of this machine gun bra before, which makes me think she just likes the look.
Remember this cover of Rolling Stone from summer 2010.
Or her video for “Alejandro”, also from summer 2010:
Sure, back in 2010, we weren’t immersed in an incredibly frustrating debate about gun control and violence in the media. Back then this outfit was simply another Gaga outfit, a costume meant to provoke conversation about her music.
But now, in 2013, we are having that debate. And now her outfit comes off as an incredibly insensitive move in the wake up of an unspeakable tragedy where 26 people died. As a celebrity with an insanely loyal group of fans, she has the power to influence a large group of people — and to her credit she usually uses this power for good. Just look at her current Born Brave Bus promotion that sheds light on mental health.
However that doesn’t excuse her from making a tasteless costume decision during her concert last Friday. While I don’t think that being a celebrity automatically means that you’re a spokesperson for every issue in the world, I do think that it means you’re held to higher standards than the average person. That you should go out of your way to make good decisions that have the power to make a positive difference in the world. It’s the trade-off for being rich and famous and beloved.
So try again Lady Gaga, and this time try to be a tad more sensitive.