There’s some fuss going around with this story about GaGa in a burqa.
I wish to express my point of view if you care to read it. I’ve always asked myself why GaGa was so well accepted and loved. It seems I found the answer today.
Right now a lot of guys from the West think that GaGa was super cool in that burqa. M.I.A., on the other hand, was called a “terrorist supporter” when she wore her xxxo burqa back in 2010. At that time many Western countries were trying to ban the burqa (France for example). With this in mind, M.I.A.’s burqa was a finger fuck to all the opponents of the burqa. So we have a political message behind M.I.A.’s decision to wear a burqa and what do you have behind GaGa’s decision? Fashion I’m guessing, transgression. Or simply “nothingness”, she just felt like wearing it.
Why is it a “yes” for Lady GaGa and a “no” for Maya? Is it because M.I.A. is brown?I don’t think so. Is it because M.I.A. is Tamil? Maybe yes. Why does the same thing done by two different persons are weighted differently?
Maybe because in the West both look and appereance and everything that is à la mode is glorified. Lady GaGa fully represents our Western society based on appearance devoid of meaning.
But we already knew that. We noticed it even when yoga, decontextualized from its original essence, was turned into a practice à la mode in our gyms, sold thru megazines or taught thru dvds. The West refuses the substance in the name of the external appearance. The West glorifies GaGa’s nothingness and condemns M.I.A.’s political message.
As much as I adore MIA, I still don’t think that wearing the burqa while not being muslim is sending the right political message however the fact remains the same.
MIA wearing a burqa is a terrorist.
Lady Gaga wearing the burqa is a wonderful feminist and is liberating the Muslim women.
No dude, MIA might be a terrorist by wearing the burqa but her political statement was just as much BS as Lady Gaga.
Lady Gaga wore a burqa to London fashion week- partly to honor a designer that is well known and that casts POC models in their show, and partly to make a political statement. She did this in London because she couldn’t do it in France. Either way, she tried to make a political statement but ended up being an appropriative asshole.
So did MIA. MIA did it just as much for the attention as she did to ~showcase the plight of Muslim women~. For goddsakes, the burqa she wore was covered with promo images of her album. MIA is not Muslim. She is also not representative of Muslim or brown women. Brown does not mean Muslim; I don’t have a say in all things South Asian, I am not offended by bindis but its not my place to make such assessments ‘cos I don’t come from a culture that uses bindis.
Yes, the race of the individuals imparted separate messages for white audiences (Gaga being a chic liberator, MIA being a terrorist) but can we for five minutes stop talking about white audiences? Can we talk about how the plight of Muslim women in France or everywhere has *VERY LITTLE IMPACT* on MIA (who lives in a guarded mansion in Bev Hills, and who half-asses a lot of so-called political statements and attaches herself to experiences she no longer has strong connections to) OR on Gaga?
If I’m gonna call Gaga out for appropriation, I’m gonna call MIA out too. Just because MIA might face some obscure collateral damage being a brown woman and likes to posit herself as a revolutionary does not make a damn difference.