When we all decided to write about female power ballads or songs by strong female artists, I knew I wanted to write about Lady Gaga. Yes, indeed, I am one of the millions completely enthralled with her. I recently saw her in concert and easily the best performance of the night was… “Bad Romance.” The dancing, the emotion, and the raw passion when she sings it live are incredible, but hearing an arena full of fans sing along with the same amount of passion in their voices was empowering.
Sure, on the surface, the lyrics indicate the type of unhealthy, abusive relationship that should be avoided. So why, when I try to educate others about healthy relationships and fight for an end to dating violence, do I feel incredibly drawn to a song that says things like “I want your psycho” and “I want your love and all your lovers’ revenge”?
Well, in my quest to feel better about my love for this song, I found that Gaga herself stated that the song is about “being in love with your best friend.” And who can’t relate to falling for a friend? It sucks when it happens and the conflicting feelings can eat away at your sanity, but then there are those moments where everything just falls away and you think, “Fuck it. I don’t give a damn if this ruins our friendship…I want you whether it works out or not.” In those moments, it’s not about rationality or friendship; it’s about raw, unadulterated passion—and Gaga conveys that with such honesty and yearning in her voice. It’s hard not to let your guard down and sing along and feel all your deepest desires rise to the surface.
But what about all of those terrible things she wants? In a 2009 interview she said that when listing all of these things, in addition to Hitchcock references that “What I’m really trying to say is I want the deepest, darkest, sickest parts of you that you are afraid to share with anyone because I love you that much.” So it’s not so much that she actually wants “disease,” “drama,” or “psycho,” but that there’s this level of acceptance. Who doesn’t want to be loved and accepted? Who hasn’t loved someone so completely that those little quirks don’t matter?
I have nothing but respect for Gaga. As natural as it seems for her to say what she wants and express her desires and her sexuality, that’s something that still incredibly hard for a lot of women everywhere. It’s fun to sing along and let out your repressed sexuality; your underlying feelings. There’s something so powerful about owning your emotions.
So what do I take away from the song? Get caught up in the moment, let your guard down, say what you feel, be unapologetic, be free. What’s wrong with wanting and loving? It might not turn out like a fairy tale, but life never is. If it’s bad, then it’s bad. I want you now, so let’s give it a shot.
Take it from Gaga, ladies and gents: assert yourself. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with wantin’ love and singin’ it out loud.
This post was brought to you by Dawn, who’s got her monster paw up 24/7.