The Meat Dress

So basically, over the last couple of days, the world has imploded because Lady Gaga wore a dress made of meat to the MTV awards. Oh dear.

I should start by saying that, while I do not consider myself a fan of Lady Gaga, I have nothing against her either. I enjoy some of her songs and are not so fond of others. I do like an element of theatricality in music, and I admire her for having that.

I am not particularly fond of the dress. To be honest, the main thing that’s come to mind whenever it’s been mentioned is how uncomfortable that dress must be. I mean, God. Think of how it must smell. I wouldn’t want to have been standing next to her at that ceremony. And let’s not even start about how gross it would feel to wear it.

The more serious side of it is whether or not wearing the dress is immoral. I’ve seen arguements for both sides of this issue. Myself… well, I’d be lying if I said I was entirely comfortable with it, but I have to question why. Is it harmful to animals? Yes, of course it is, don’t be stupid, but no more so than wearing fur or leather. A creature (or multiple creatures) dies either way, and I doubt either of those materials would have caused quite so much comment. Is it wasteful? Again, yes it is. I doubt it will be worn again, and that meat would have been better eaten – but plenty of celebrities will by a beautiful designer dress and wear it to an award ceremony, only to never wear it again; isn’t that just as wasteful? I don’t particularly like the meat dress, but if I call it wrong or immoral, I have to apply the same judgement to these things. And I am the proud owner of a pair of leather boots.

Apparently (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/11295879 for details) there was a serious message beyond all this – it’s a protest against the way the US Military treats gay, lesbian and bisexual soldiers. A worthy cause, though the connection between that and a dress made of meat seems tenuous to me.

To me, it seems like attention seeking. I suppose that comes with the territory – Lady Gaga is very much about the performance, the image, and as I have said above I can respect that. But since the message behind it – if that genuinely was her intention – is not readily apparent, this comes across as an attempt to shock for the sake of shocking people, and that is something that makes me roll my eyes a little bit.

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