Lady Gaga And Her Prosthetic Arm

August 9, 2013 — 3 Comments

I knew Lady Gaga was polarizing, but…wow.

Today I posted this picture on the Living One-Handed Facebook page with the caption, “Lady Gaga holding a prosthetic arm. Discuss.”

Sweet shoes.

Sweet shoes.

What happened next surprised me.

Let me first say that I’m a big fan of free speech.  Everybody is entitled to his or her opinion, just as I’m entitled to mine.  And here’s my opinion of this picture…those are some shoes right there, dawg.  And what is she so mad about?  And what’s with the arm?  That’s it.  Those are my thoughts.

Now, I have no particular interest in her, other than that my friend Jerrod is dating her (in his mind), so I just thought it was interesting.  I know she pushes the envelope and wears weird crap all the time and has a song called “Born This Way” which is NOT cool because that’s what I was going to title my memoir, but…I digress.  I figured people would have thoughts about the picture, so I posted it and…I was right.

Many people wondered what point she was trying to make.  Others just thought it was weird or didn’t “get it.”  And the shoes got some attention.  What startled me, though, was the vitriol that was unleashed toward LG as a person.  She’s a “crappy individual” with “no talent.”  An “attention whore” who is “so pointless.”  Some comments were even physically violent in nature.  Now, I get it…she’s a public figure and puts herself in the spotlight and I know nobody would actually physically harm her.  But, I was still surprised.

Especially given her reputation as one who stands-up for people who are considered different.  My friend Jerrod (LG’s boyfriend) (again, in his mind) said, “I find it interesting how many judgments and assumptions are being made about her from visitors to a website devoted to people who are different.”  And honestly…I agree with him.  I understand not being a fan of hers (I’m not) and I even understand being shocked by some of her antics.  I just don’t understand being offended by this.  In fact, the other picture in this post is more creepy to me, but again…just weird, not offensive.

In my opinion, many of the responses I saw today are more reflective of the dichotomy between our offline and online personalities.  We have this confidence online to say whatever about whomever without really thinking about what it sounds like.  I’m guilty of it myself, though I try to be uber-concsious about how I use my words online (right, Molly?).  So, I don’t think less of anybody I quoted, it just surprised me is all.

I loved what Jessica had to say about the situation: “I think she’s just like any other person who tries to be different to feel loved. How nice is it that our kids are growing-up actually being different and knowing they are loved?!”

So, Lady Gaga…why did you choose a prosthetic arm for the photo?

We’re all curious!

What are YOUR thoughts?  Offended?  Not offended?  Why?  Do you have experience with those shoes?

Update 11:04pm CST  After I wrote what you’ve already read, Ms. Gaga posted the following tweets:

I, of course, replied with this:


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I'm a husband, a father, an author, a speaker, a friend...all kinds of things, actually.

3 responses to Lady Gaga And Her Prosthetic Arm

  1. My daughter was born with a limb indifference and I would surely hope that she was not making FUN of anyone or any situation that may include a prothstetic device !!

  2. Isn’t Gaga kind of the patron saint of people who are different? I personally love her! I think she’s very edgy and knows how to push boundaries. Some of her songs may be a bit cheesy and she sometimes misses the mark with her strange fashions and gimmicks, but ultimately her fearlessness is what makes her so brilliant. I don’t think she intended any harm or malice when she decided to be photographed with a fake arm. She’s used other assistive devices – wheelchairs, crutches – in videos and performances before. And if anything, it brings awareness to the fact that disability and the things that go with it are meant to be celebrated and seen, not hidden away.

    Lady Gaga is also a fashion icon, which means that she is basically making these devices look really cool to people. If all this attention to artificial limbs makes even one person think, “Oh look, that girl has a fake hand JUST LIKE LADY GAGA,” then I’m okay with that. I’d rather be compared to a celebrity (even an eccentric and sorta weird one like Gaga) than have people stare awkwardly/uncomfortably because they don’t know what to make of me.

  3. Megan Babinski August 9, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Ryan and Caitlin, great thoughts! As odd as I think LG may be at times, I believe some of the hurtful comments were not necessary. Especially coming from those of us with a limb difference or whatnot…don’t we asked not to be judged? I find it ironic, Ryan, that you mentioned online and offline personalities. I was just thinking about this yesterday after reading another post. It amazes me at times what some will say online that they would probably never say in public or they would at least rethink their thoughts and words a little more.

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