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Lady Gaga's Rolling Stone Cover With Machine Gun Bra

Lady Gaga Uses Sex Appeal as a Weapon

The tension between female empowerment and objectification is clearly seen on Lady Gaga's upcoming Rolling Stone cover. The machine guns send a message of power, while we're still allowed to see her in a thong and not much more. But by fusing these seemingly contradictory symbols of empowerment and objectification, the cover sends the message that a woman's sexuality is her weapon.

Nancy Bauer writes in the New York Times that Lady Gaga and her female fans risk confusing sexual power and self-objectification. Discussing these young women, Bauer says:

On the one hand, they have been raised to understand themselves according to the old American dream, one that used to be beyond women’s grasp: the world is basically your oyster, and if you just believe in yourself, stay faithful to who you are, and work hard and cannily enough, you’ll get the pearl. On the other hand, there is more pressure on them than ever to care about being sexually attractive according to the reigning norms. The genius of Gaga is to make it seem obvious — more so than even Madonna once did — that feminine sexuality is the perfect shucking knife.

What better way to symbolize the power of feminine sexuality than with a machine gun bra, which makes a lethal weapon an extension of a woman's breasts? It's a woman's prerogative to yield her sexual power as she wishes, but Bauer explains that often young women feel torn between self-empowerment and pleasing guys. And it's yet to be seen if Gaga's persona will further that confusion.

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Join The Conversation
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
No, sexuality is not the weapon. Determination and intelligence are the weapons. Sexuality is the grenade you throw back behind them, and when they turn to have a look, you pull out the big guns and blow their head off.
Camarogirl67 Camarogirl67 5 years
Hmm, this type of image and its interpretation reminds me of a book I just read about - "Enlightened Sexism" (Douglas).
Pistil Pistil 5 years
She's got quite the wardrobe, but I never thought her music was anything spectacular. I'm not sure why her wackiness became such a huge hit, while other just as strange (and talented) entertainers never made it past an obscure indie status.
Gdeeaz Gdeeaz 5 years
I like a few of her songs but as much as I try to like her I can't. There is just something about her that bugs me.
kea718 kea718 5 years
I'm so sick of Lady Gaga... I don't understand her appeal... She's not particularly talented and not at all original (although everyone seems to be oblivious to the fact that she completely rips off Cher, Madonna, and Michael Jackson). I'm ready for Gaga to go far far away. When will her 15 mins be up?
bryseana bryseana 5 years
oh my goodness that's the best picture. haha
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