Queer/Race

Blog #3- Nicole Rodriques

Posted in Uncategorized by nr459 on March 10, 2010

Music Selection: “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga

Section of Lyrics:

I won’t tell you that I love you

Kiss or hug you

Cause I’m bluffin’ with my muffin

I’m not lying I’m just stunnin’ with my love-glue-gunning

Just like a chick in the casino

Take your bank before I pay you out

I promise this, promise this

Check this hand cause I’m marvelous

Can’t read my, can’t read my

No he can’t read my poker face

(She’s got to love nobody)

Can’t read my, can’t read my

No he can’t read my poker face

(She’s got to love nobody)

Living in the 21st century, artists that exhibit either blatant or underlining queer/race influences are becoming more and more prominent in American society. As I read this assignment for the first time, Lady Gaga is an artist that first came to mind. Though Madonna, Prince, Michael Jackson, etc. have preset the stage for challenging discrimination and freely portraying sexuality through music, Lady Gaga is following suit and becoming worshipped for her fearlessness, as well as her music.

Lady Gaga’s second chart-topping hit was “Poker Face,” a song about being physical with a man while fantasizing about a woman. Her openness about being sexually attracted to both men AND women stirred unsettling feelings within some, and a breath of fresh air for others. She was being who she was, and finally, her career was not suffering one bit. Her poker face was being used against societal norms of female sexual attraction to a man as she creates her own interpretation of female attraction to a female. In fact, Lady Gaga is working against these norms and taking advantage of them. By using her sexuality, she can have her cake and eat it too. She seduces a man with nothing but a blank, meaningless poker face and her sexuality to get what she wants, but in fact, she’s just “bluffin’ with her muffin.”

After seeing her video over and over again, I couldn’t visually see the deeper meaning of poker face and the song in general. While extremely sexual throughout the video, similar to a Madonna video, she is primarily surrounded and flirtatious with men instead of women. (Most likely for the appeal to a mainstream audience.) By making the sexuality strictly man v. woman with a hint of woman v. woman, it makes the girls want to be her, the men want to sleep with her, and the gay community love her. The bottom line is that Lady Gaga is a new generation of artists in America, one that promotes individuality and uniqueness without compromising success.

Explanation:

I chose this specific song, “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga, because of the underlining meanings one can overlook. By topping charts worldwide, Lady Gaga’s music has become one to dance to because of its catchy refrains and pumped up beats. However, she is creating an identity beyond a traditional Britney Spears-esq pop star and into a unique identity of her own. She relishes in her tangent from cookie-cutter, popular music as she identifies with everyone that is different. Whether that means racially, sexually, or physically, they can immediately relate to Lady Gaga and her music. “Poker Face” specifically depicts the power of the individual, straight or gay, black or white, and what their strong sexuality can do without blinking an eye. Lady Gaga has become a spokesperson for the queer community with overt sexuality and openness to those deemed different by society. But these differences can surpass the queer community and into the importance of race and those affected by racial differences. Being different is not a bad thing, and Lady Gaga’s music allows you to believe that. She’s putting the power back into the individual’s hands, and if that means falling in love with someone of the same sex, so be it. She makes her listeners fearless.

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