Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The B!tch*s battle for a Gay Icon Status

I feel like there are so many artists who are struggling to be "recognized" as "THE" gay icon for new era in fag-friendly music.   While many of them can ALREADY be considered gay icons in their own way, there seems to be this desperate push marketing-wise to be "publicly acknowledged" as one.

I still believe in you, Gaga.
Lady Gaga made hyper-time hype with the lyrics of her often-compared-to-Madonna's-Express-Yourself song, "Born This Way" when it contained lyrics that were clearly a shout out to gay people everywhere.   Lines such as "Don't be a drag, just be a queen" and "No matter gay, straight, or bi,
Lesbian, transgendered life" were clearly a shout-out for people to see that this song was meant to be a new gay anthem.  While she may have never said it was meant to be one, her best buddy Elton John has and clearly the press has run away with that idea.  

Then she came out with her video:

Yes.  You've seen the video and you're probably wondering what the fuck was that all about.  Personally, I feel shafted.  Lady Gaga was genius when she did Poker Face and Bad Romance.   She was trendsetting when she made us love Paparazzi.  She slipped slightly backwards with Alejandro (which clearly was more Madonna than Gaga) but regained her footing with Telephone.  But this?  Heavenly Lord, she makes a song that sounds too much like Madonna, then makes a video that outright steals from David Bowie and Marilyn Manson and plays into the hands of all who want to make us think she's part of the Illuminati.  I just shook my head and told myself, Lady Gaga will survive this for sure.  But man, she wasted a chance to really make a mark that was truly hers.

Exactly what image are you supposed to portray anyway?
P!nk had her own torch-song to throw out there.  As I mentioned in a previous blog post, P!nk really succeeded in making a catchy dance-able tune.  The beat is very memorable and can easily weave into one's head when one ain't careful and the play with words is quite intriguing to say the least.  But what the lyrics shouts of is an ironic self-empowering through self-degradation (aka taking over the word) similar to how blacks can use the "n" word without it being so negatively degrading.  P!nk wants us to proudly think we are freaks who are just fine being "all on our own."  Confusing lyrics since the video shows a more "we stand together" image that I personally feel more favored towards.   So, P!nk, that was close but not quite what it could have been.
The ONLY innovative scene in her latest video.
Then there's Britney whose comeback is composed of a series of nicely dance floor dangerous tracks with a music video far more obsessed with harking the sponsors she has and pushing so desperately the idea she is THE NEW GAY ICON.  I do not recall when else did she ever have oh so obviously gay dancers with her before.  Her songs bring back the music we love from Britney (something Lady Gaga might want to learn to do very soon) but her styling seems just wrong considering how much weight she has still to work off the image she so desperately wants to sell.    And just in case you didn't get it, the die-hard fans have made a push to make her THE GAY ICON is shown in supposed surveys that were made to declare her as such.  Understandably, Britney had such a moment before.   I don't blame her for so wanting to be that again.   I wish her a lot of luck though.

Katy Perry knows how to have fun without losing who she is.
If there's one musician who has very neatly established herself as a gay icon without really trying, that would be Katy Perry.  She is beautiful without forcing it.  She is fun without being crass.  She is sassy and stylish without being schizophrenic.  And best yet, she has a song that has both lyrics and a visual message that are uplifting to anyone who has ever been discriminated against.  Her song Firework is such a positive celebration that it can apply to cancer survivors, people who have been targets of discrimination due to gender or race, and even people who simply feel they do not fit in.  The song isn't about needing to fight back or spitting at the face of other people for not being accepted.  It is about knowing deep inside of each one of us is a light that deserves to shine.

Her earlier songs such as "I Kissed a Girl" and "Hot/Cold" were dance hits that nicely jived with the rainbow dance floor.  Her newer songs such as "California Girls" and "Teenage Dream" are finding audiences in both straight and gay crowds that are celebrating them together.  Katy Perry definitely has the upper hand now in becoming the next Gay Icon.  I only wonder if she can keep it up.

Yes dear.  Been that many years and you are still fabulous!
Maybe someday, among these a true Gay Icon shall emerge.  Someone who can actually have the right to be compared to Kylie who has for year after year after year remained fabulous and flirty and uplifting without effort.  Considering everything that has happened both to her and to the music industry, Kylie remains an impeccable true Gay Icon and a Diva whose music celebrates love in all its forms and colors.  Even her recent hits like "Get Outta My Way" are more uplifting than aggressive, and that what I personally feel establishes her as a true Gay Icon.   The struggle to be accepted and welcomed as who we are will never be won with aggression.  It can only be won when those who hate us learn that love can never be overcome.


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