On her social networking website, Little Monsters, she posted four candid, unedited photographs of herself in skimpy underwear, accompanied by these captions:
“Bulimia and anorexia since I was 15”
“But today I join the BODY REVOLUTION”
“To Inspire Bravery.”
“and BREED some m$therf*cking COMPASSION”
Further to posting the images, she created a space on her website called “A Body Revolution 2013.” Here, she encouraged her fans to “be brave and celebrate with us your ‘perceived flaws,’ as society tells us” by posting photos of themselves that celebrate their “triumph over insecurities.” Already, many followers have posted images of themselves with scars, amputated limbs, and various other “flaws,” alongside bold statements that embrace those flaws.
It’s a ballsy and inspiring move, and one that certainly gives Gaga a lot of credibility. I’m impressed with the way she subverted the media scrutiny over her body, undermining the hurtful slurs with a brave and positive statement. Admitting her own eating disorder turns the tables on those who criticized her, exposing their maliciousness very effectively.
In the past, she has come under fire for displaying a contradiction between promoting self-love while simultaneously struggling with her own body image. Butshe is obviously dedicated to showing fans her authenticity, as this latest move shows.
She also used the images to promote the Born This Way Foundation, whose mission states: “We believe that everyone has the right to feel safe, to be empowered and to make a difference in the world. Together, we will move towards acceptance, bravery and love.”
A very worthy cause, in my book.
Tessa Needham finished her PhD in Performing Arts at the University of Western Sydney (Australia) in 2008. Her thesis explored the potential of performance to provoke change, and part of her research was Bodily, a solo theatrical performance about body image. She loves technology and the creative arts, and is passionate about the different cultural forces affecting the body image of girls and women. She teaches computers and does freelance creative work: www.tessaneedham.com.