There’s a contrasting difference, yet subtle connection between these two Inez and Vinnoodh V Magazine photo shoots.
On the left, we have the the metaphorical “Swine”; the pre-Fame dark haired Stefani Germanotta, portraying through the dirt on her face, what she felt like after exposing herself to filth she thought was normal at the time.
"I went through some really tough times, and — tough times I’ve never really talked about — and I’ve never talked about it because I didn’t feel that I needed to use it for people to like my music. And I won’t tell you exactly what it was now, because… no need to be a downer, really. But I’m telling you because, in order to write ARTPOP, I had to be willing to take off all the wigs and the makeup that I used to cover up the pain. And it’s not that I don’t love my wigs, I am my hair. It’s just that I used them for a long time to become… different people, so that when I woke up in the morning, and I didn’t feel strong enough to be me, I just… created someone else.
In order to get here, I had to climb… through a lot of swine. And it’s really scary when you’re young and you don’t know what it means to be grown up yet… so you start hanging out with adults, and you think, ‘Oh, this must be what adults do.’ But it wasn’t what adults do. And it wasn’t… it wasn’t normal. But because I let it be normal, before I knew it, I was… just a shell of a person. I was just, uh… skin and hair… and my heart and my brain and my pussy, everything was just… it was, it felt like trash. I felt like trash, on the inside, I felt empty.”
- Gaga talking about her song “Swine” at iTunes Festival 2013
On the right, we see the newly created persona; Lady Gaga. A blonde wig resides where there was once darkness and the mud and dirt has become gold glitter. The golden facade stands for something brighter, something more hopeful.. something to aid in forgetting her dreaded past. These shimmering scars she bears are still exposed for all to see, but she’s wearing them as medals. She’s turned herself into something beautiful again.
"When I look back on my life, it’s not that I don’t want to see things exactly as they happened, It’s just that I prefer to remember them in an artistic way. And truthfully, the lie of it all is much more honest because.. I invented it. Clinical psychology tells us, arguably, that trauma is the ultimate killer. Memories are not recycled like atoms and particles in quantum physics, they can be lost forever. It’s sort of like my past is an unfinished painting and as the artist of that painting, I must fill in all the ugly holes and make it beautiful again.
It’s not that I’ve been dishonest; It’s just that I loathe reality.”
- Gaga’s “The Prelude Pathétique”, a speech given within her music video for “Marry The Night”