Jo Calderone: As a man, Lady Gaga’s ‘maleface’ offended me

Is 'maleface' offensive to you?

From wearing a dress made out of meat to adorning her face with prosthetic horns, Lady Gaga knows how to get a rise out of people. But this time she’s gone too far.

The eccentric songstress opened last night’s MTV Video Music Awards in character as “Jo Calderonce,” Gaga’s Ralph Macchio-lookalike alter-ego, during a performance of “You and I.” At first, we were like, “We get it. It’s a comment on gender performativity, plus a way to pay tribute to the greased-up ’80s look that Gaga has apparently decided is her favorite thing ever.”

But then she kept on doing it.

Even ignoring the blatant “Look at me!” selfishness of Gaga continuing the bit even when she was supposed to be paying tribute to Britney Spears, what was most offensive about the act was its sheer cartoonishness, with Gaga swaggering around stage like a bad Al Pacino impersonator. Gaga goes all out when she’s trying to be a bird or an alien, but when she’s a man, dinner theater makeup and some broad mugging are enough? Or is this what Gaga actually thinks guys are like?

Nate Jones is at least somewhat joking with this post. Follow him on Twitter at @kn8.


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