Disability Movement, Media Reviews, Real Beauty

Disability in the Media: Lady Gaga’s Disability Project

lady gaga using a wheelchair in her imagery
Lady Gaga's Paparazzi Video: Liberation or Exploitation?

I`ve recently become very interested in how the media is using disability as a hot topic, while still oppressing people with disabilities.  In doing some research on this topic I came across an excellent article on Lady Gaga’s Disability Project.

I`m all for people with disabilities expressing their sexuality, but Lady Gaga`s paparazzi video leaves me confused  Part of me is glad that people with disabilities can be seen as sexual beings in the media, but Lady Gaga does not need a chair.  If she really wanted to support us, wouldn`t she put a woman with a real disability on camera?  If she is exploiting the disability movement, what is she gaining from it that she wouldn’t gain from any other video?

Please send me your thoughts on this.

To read more about this issue from a disability studies perspective, check out: The Transcontinental Disability Choir: Disabililty Chic? (Temporary) Disability in Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” | Bitch Magazine.

5 thoughts on “Disability in the Media: Lady Gaga’s Disability Project”

  1. Tough question. Haven’t seen the video, but LG is about making her ‘self’ into others, and becoming them. That’s her theatrical facade is never meant to be something, but to comment ON something. To put a PWD on it would be perhaps tokenism, but to put her self in the space of a pwd constructs a link in an ongoing narrative that she’s been developing. It is definitely exploitation either way, because she’s using PWD for her goals, not theirs. But there can be symbiotic goals where her exploitation is pwd’s liberation.

    Liberation comes when the issue seeks to be acknowledged as something particular, I think (my opinion, not something I expect people to share).

    No answers, but some thoughts, and you got me thinking 🙂

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