The Recreation of Gaga
This month in the New York Times Magazine, journalist Rachel Syme profiles Lady Gaga following her hit film with Bradley Cooper, “A Star is Born” in an article entitled “The Shapeshifter”. In it, Syme highlights how Gaga serves as the embodiment of a media-saturated generation who have had to grow up infinitely concerned with forming their own identities for the world to judge:
Describing Gaga’s obsession with collecting important artifacts from the history of music and art, the article continues:
Gaga’s perpetual recreation also highlights a second truth - the artificiality of all of these created identities. In desiring to ‘wear every costume’, the audience never knows who she is. At one point, Syme wonders if this is the strange appeal of ‘A Star is Born’ - seeing a stripped down Gaga, without the mask. Yet the film itself is a mask, an artificial origin story. We never know who she is, where she is from, what makes her human.
One of the great strengths of the profile, and perhaps the greatest takeaway for the youth worker, is to consider whether Gaga’s fluidity is chosen or thrust upon her - was she the harbinger for an Instagram generation unconcerned with reality, or was she a product of a system that strips young people of their groundedness, pushing them to continual recreation? How do these things evidence themselves in your youth ministry?