Lady Gaga’s breathtaking Super Bowl LI halftime performance was definitely what we all need to hear and see especially in today’s difficult times. Not only did she electrify the entire NRG Stadium in Houston, but she also shook the whole world. Even before she took the stage, everyone was already anticipating that it would contain a political theme. She definitely delivered and sent a strong message against the current toxic political climate.
Through her creative performance, Lady Gaga has definitely stood against bigotry, hatred, and misogyny. Though there was no loud political statement, her performance itself spoke a lot about what people need to hear at this time. Here are some of the best ways in which Lady Gaga sent a strong political message through her performance.
1. The message contained in her costume
To understand the Versace costume that Gaga wore at the Super Bowl, let us take a look back at her performance in the 2010 Grammys where she had a performance with Elton John. She wore a custom green bodysuit with shoulder pads, by Armani Prive. She matched it with a pair of hot pink eye patches that were shaped in an inverted triangle. It was said to be a symbol of gay rights movement in the 70’s and 80’s. The whole performance was an ode to gay rights. It was deemed too political at that time. She elevated it this time by wearing an updated version of what she wore in 2010. She wore the silver version, also with eye patches. The surprising part was that she was not heavily criticized this time even though it was pretty much the same outfit, with the same message being conveyed.
2. She also asked her backup dancers to send a message
While she donned a shiny silver top, her backup dancers wore purple. It is a globally recognized color for equality. It also stands for anti-queer bullying. They were also a diverse bunch of dancers, which is consistent with her message about equality and inclusivity.
3. The opening song is a common protest song
She opened her performance by singing parts of the “This Land is Your Land”. She also expressed messages regarding racial and economic inclusiveness. This song became a popular anthem in rallies protesting the actions made by President Trump. She sang on top of the stadium where there was a massive fleet of drones backing her before she leaped to the stage. It was definitely over the top, but was made to express a point that being together and breaking boundaries should be a top priority above everything else.
4. She sang a gay right anthem
It is the first time that someone actually sang a gay right anthem on the Super Bowl stage. Her song, “Born this Way” was released a few years ago, but it is relevant now more than ever due to the continued discriminatory policies against the LGBTQ community. The lyrics of the song also don’t try to hide anything. All the lines clearly express that whatever your gender may be, you have to be accepting of it, and the world also has to accept you.
5. She walked into her fans in the middle of her performance
There was a point in her performance where she suddenly walked into her cheering fans. It symbolizes a safe-space where everyone is welcomed. People of all color and creed are given equal opportunity. She even hugged a fan during her performance. It was a simple act, but it definitely carried out huge meaning. She has just proven that we must all love each other and be accepting of our differences. If anything, we have to rejoice in our diversity.
6. The backup dancers coalesced around her
There was also a small part of the performance where the backup dancers were seen coalescing around her. To begin with, it was clearly a diverse crew of dancers. They represented a wide variety of races and you can see that instantly. There was a step during the routine where they unified around Gaga, just like a strong force to be reckoned with. This strongly sends a message that those who believe in inclusivity will defend those who have fallen victims.
7. The entire show was a political statement
Beyonce’s surprise performance last year was also criticized for its subtle political messages. It was the first time however that Beyonce was said to have given a politically charged performance. Lady Gaga on the other hand does not shy away from these types of controversies. She has already been criticized several times for being an unabashed progressive. From her songs to her performances, she has always sent strong messages. The Super Bowl was definitely a large stage and it was the perfect avenue for her to send the message that could easily reach millions of Americans.
8. There were some cuts though
Ultimately, Gaga gave an astounding performance. The fact that it sent clear messages even made it better. She could have pushed the boundaries even more though. She was supposed to have an act where she was breaking a wall. This was not approved by the organizers and was left out of her performance. It could have been the biggest statement of the night had it happened.
Nevertheless, Lady Gaga’s performance will be an icon that we will celebrate years from now. She has always been a fighter for equal rights and protection. Now that the president is larger than life, there needs to be someone who also has the same personality to fight him. Lady Gaga was just the kind of larger than life performer we all need to see. Performing on a very huge stage has also helped express her sentiments louder.