The XX Factor

The Double-Edged Sword of Celebrities With a Cause

Yesterday Lady Gaga took to the stage in Portland, Maine , in an unlikely outfit (blue blazer, pants) to speak in favor of repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Unfortunately, her speech was as inarticulate as her YouTube video on the subject matter . And this was after her mildly confusing double negative tweet on Sept. 17, “Fight against the abolishment of DON’T ASK DON’T TELL.” Much like her poker face, her words seem to be unreadable. To clear up any misunderstandings, Gaga offered this simple metaphor: “Equality is the prime rib of America, but because I am gay, I don’t get to enjoy the greatest cut of meat my country has to offer,” Lady Gaga said, referencing a dress she wore last week to the MTV Video Music Awards that was made out of cuts of steak. “Shouldn’t everyone deserve to wear the same meat dress I do?” she said.

Okaaaaay . Lady Gaga doesn’t get to enjoy “meat,” but she gets to wear “meat.” And everyone deserves a “meat dress,” which is apparently distinct from enjoying the “meat,” so following the scarce logic, everyone should be able to wear some sort of controversial, superficial covering of equality? Or something? I’m confused. And I’d maybe like a hamburger for lunch.

Admittedly, this was a better explanation than her first attempt at justifying the meat dress to Ellen DeGeneres on Sept. 13 when she sounded like a parody of herself, referencing some unspecified rights, undefined beliefs, and the apparent nonrights of our flesh: “If we don’t stand up for what we believe in and if we don’t fight for our rights, pretty soon we’re going to have as much rights as the meat on our bones.” Remember in Team America: World Police when Alec Baldwin starts espousing on how the actors’ guild can make the world a better place through the power of acting? This is like that, only Team America was satire.

It’s great that Lady Gaga personally supports repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It should be repealed. But at what point does bafflement outweigh the boon of star power?

Photograph of Lady Gaga by Mark Ralston for Getty Images.