Lady Gaga has represented herself as a huge reclining divinity of sorts in one of her new adverts shot by Steven Klein for her campaign for fragrance Fame. Looking like a cross between Gulliver, a giant reclining Buddha and the vision of a sulferous courtesan plucked out from Eyes Wide Shut, she lets herself be scaled upon by numerous little muscular men looking like miniature Schwartznegers (at the height of his body-building days) dressed in sumo garbs clambering onto her naked body...
Beyond the level at which this image presents itself as a public sexual fantasy, one might wonder if indeed it is not also an illustration of a certain conception of feminine fame.
The image of masculinity is subverted in this advert the 17 Liliputhian men retain full male characteristics save for their sizes and traditional positions of dominance. Their multiplicity and facelessness make them be a symbol of the anonymous crowds. They are an all-male cast pitted against Lady Gaga the woman and the goddess, a divinity whose size is hundred-fold theirs.
We can only wonder how men will view this ad. As a woman trying to decipher Lady Gaga's perspective, it reads something like, we need you men but as replaceable sexual commoditiies, a symbol of our subversive feminine dominance, yet certainly not to establish our fame. So, as with all subversive statement, it is very much acknowledging the classical strcuture of dominance, only upsetting it a bit.The might of one woman cannot measure up to the daily lives of billions of women. The fact also that this special power is presented as sexual power is going a traditional route dependent upon contingencies rather than institutions, even if that perfume in that bottle might be just the thing.
The bottle of fragrance is held like the symbol of Lady Gaga's power, not unlike a hand grenade, a scepter and a magical potion all rolled into one.