lady gaga, suit, assault, survivor, speech

Lady Gaga Knows You Don’t Like Her Suit & She Doesn’t Care. “I Wanted to Take the Power Back. Today I Wear the Pants.”

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Lady Gaga was one of the women celebrated at ELLE’s Women in Hollywood event last night. When she hit the red carpet in an ultra-oversized Marc Jacobs suit, the reaction was largely unfavorable. Fashion blogs and Twitter users mocked the look. Kardashian comparisons abounded.

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But in her award acceptance speech, she explained the reasoning behind the outfit. And while you still don’t have to like the look, it’s hard not to respect and empathize with the choice.

“I tried on dress after dress today getting ready for this event, one tight corset after another, one heel after another, a diamond, a feather, thousands of beaded fabrics and the most beautiful silks in the world. To be honest, I felt sick to my stomach,” she said. “And I asked myself: What does it really mean to be a woman in Hollywood? We are not just objects to entertain the world. We are not simply images to bring smiles or grimaces to people’s faces. We are not members of a giant beauty pageant meant to be pit against one another for the pleasure of the public. We women in Hollywood, we are voices. We have deep thoughts and ideas and beliefs and values about the world and we have the power to speak and be heard and fight back when we are silenced.”

She said that when she tried on the suit, she was met with a “resounding view of eyes glaring at me in confusion.” But the feel of the suit made her emotional. “In this suit, I felt like me today. In this suit, I felt the truth of who I am well up in my gut. And then wondering what I wanted to say tonight become very clear to me.”

Gaga went on to open up about her sexual assault. When she was 19, she was assaulted by a man in the entertainment industry, whom she doesn’t name. After the assault, she says, she “changed forever.” She continued, “Part of me shut down for many years. I didn’t tell anyone. I avoided it myself. And felt shame even still today standing in front of you. I feel shame for what happened to me. I still have days where I feel like it was my fault. After I shared what happened to me with very powerful men in this industry, nobody helped me. No one offered my guidance or a helping hand to lead me to a place where I felt justice, they didn’t even point me in the direction of the mental health assistance I was in dire need of. Those men hid because they were afraid of losing their power. And because they hid, I began to hide.”

Years, later, she was diagnosed with PTSD and Fibromyalgia (“which many people don’t think is real, and I don’t even know what the fuck to say about that”).

“As a sexual assault survivor by someone in the entertainment industry, as a woman who is still not brave enough to say his name, as a woman who lives with chronic pain, as a woman who was conditioned at a very young age to listen to what men told me to do, I decided today I wanted to take the power back. Today I wear the pants.”

So no, you don’t have to like Lady Gaga’s outfit. You don’t have to think it’s pretty or flattering. But that’s pretty much the whole point. Although it’s worth noting that this suit wasn’t just some old thing pulled out of someone’s closet. It’s from Marc Jacob’s Spring 2019 line. So it’s possible oversized, comfy AF power suits are going to be a women’s trend in the near future, and honestly, I have no complaints about that.

(via ELLE, image: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.