It's been 10 years since Lady Gaga premiered the pop hit, "Born this way." This pop song had a profound effect on the world and did a great job of making a statement. Lady Gaga sang, "No matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I'm on the right track baby." The song lets listeners make their own personal statements. But it also has been an outlet for those who desire to come out as anything but straight.
Lasting Effects of the Born This Way Song
The song saluted the LGBTQ community, but it also celebrated people of different abilities, nationalities, and skin colors. It debuted at number 1 on Billboard in 2011 and stayed there for the next six weeks. Other popular singers began to sing it, sending a message to the entire world. Even United States incoming president Joe Biden requested it at his inclusion-themed inauguration celebration. On the other hand, it also stirred up a lot of homophobic outrage. Controversy abounded as Madonna claimed the song was taken from her classic song, "Express Yourself." Comments from Asian and Latino commenters didn't understand the use of "orient" and "Chola" in the lyrics. The song has continued to survive criticism and opened up more conversations about empowerment, representation, and identity, especially in the American culture.
What Gaga Didn't Say
Lady Gaga used the song to speak to the LGBTQ community. But she wasn't speaking as an outsider. Instead, she was speaking as a member of the community. She opened up in later interviews and revealed that her previous hit, Poker Face, was used to mask her own same-sex desire. In 2009 in a cover story for Rolling Stone magazine, she identified as bisexual. Rumors began to roll out alleging that she was really just in drag. Others alleged she was a woman with a penis. But she continued undaunted and unoffended by the crazy rumors. Instead, she made jokes about it.
New Song Same Message
The message of "Born This Way" wasn't new in 2011, even though it was more widely accepted. In the 1970s openly gay singer, Carl Bean popularized Motown's "I Was Born This Way." Some of the first lyrics say:
I'm walking through life in nature's disguise
You laugh at me and you criticize
'Cause I'm happy, carefree, and gay
Yes, I'm gay.
There was a lot going on in the 70s, as Bean explained later. It was dubbed as "message music" which was the going thing. Message music became popular in the late 60s, especially with the younger set. There was the civil rights movement, anti-Vietnam sentiment, and women staging sit-ins fighting for equal rights. Message music dealt with things people were dealing with on a daily basis, what they were feeling. Gaga continued message music in the 90s by singing about safe sex and empowerment. Lady Gaga tried to keep her own feelings and personal identity secret generally. However, she did send the message through her music that it was okay to "love yourself today."
Her first single (First Love) seemed to empower everyone. She spoke to almost every group including the LGBTQ community, those of different races and skin colors, and anyone who had been bullied or teased. She empowered and encouraged people everywhere to accept the way they were born.
Love Yourself - Express Yourself
Maybe it's time to celebrate YOU! Grab a rainbow Born This Way vinyl banner to display and let the world know that you love yourself - the way you were born. While you are there, check out our other rainbow and pride products. We have lots of wearables to choose from including, buttons, pins, necklaces, socks, bracelets, and hats. Check out all our rainbow products! Go ahead - express yourself!