Have Peta gone gaga to miss this PR opportunity?

First published 14th September 2010

Lady Gaga has worn a dress made from cuts of raw meat and animal rights organisation, Peta, are disgusted. No surprise there really. Though while the Peta founder has claimed the flesh outfit could harm her record sales, I’m wondering if the organisation was too quick to judge.

The saying goes ‘all publicity is good publicity’, and I personally think this can be applied to both Gaga and Peta in this situation.

While accepting one of her awards (I’m not sure which, she apparently won a few but my point here isn’t to lower my blogging standards to celebrity achievements), she asked Cher to hold her meat purse – matching accessories are so in don’t you know? Now, I’m not sure what Cher’s reaction to this was, perhaps she took it well as she does accept the request to have her hands wrapped around a few slices of beef containing Gaga’s lipgloss and keys, or whatever beef purses are made for. But even if she was disgusted by holding the alternative material accessory, would it not seem a little out of place considering her own outfit consisted of knee-high leather boots?

Lady Gaga dressed in meat

What Gaga does by attracting attention to her outfits, is give attention to the subject she is wearing, be it Kermit the Frog or plain raw beef. Her dress is saying ‘I’m displaying a dead animal, but you’re only noticing because of the way it looks. This untreated version of an animal is no different to wearing leather or fur except in appearance’.

Peta should be applauding her, not criticising. If Gaga’s intention of her outfits was to create a fashion craze it would be a different matter, but Gaga is not about crazes, only the statements of individual points highlighted by her wardrobe. Teenage girls are not about to start attending school with their packed lunched wraps around them, but they may be made aware of the meat industry and its connection with fashion, raising the awareness of animal cruelty Peta so badly wants to address.

Peta are big on celebrity endorsements: they’ve been known to attract some big name celebrities such as Amanda Beard and Eva Mendes, so why are they turning their noses up at the current queen of pop giving them a free opportunity for mass publicity? Or maybe it was all a mistake and her PA just misheard her when she asked for something ‘neat’ to wear.

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