Lady Gaga is used to being shocking, but her latest stunt at this year’s 2014 SxSW music conference may have been the most shocking yet. “
The Applause” singer, among other chart topping hits, was vomited on by performance artist Millie Brown during a set on the Doritos stage in downtown Austin, shocking and grossing out the audience and media who taped the event.
Mind you, this was a planned addition to the performance, not an accident – Millie Brown induced herself to vomit a bright green onto Lady Gaga while she played and sang, clearly making a statement that everyone would notice and talk about.
The public and media response was not only disgust but also questions about what the whole episode meant in the first place.
As the 27 year old singer has spoken publicly about her struggles with eating disorders in the past, many thought she was being hypocritical by displaying the act of vomiting on stage in front of fans and that she was glorifying bulimia to a younger audience.
This was the main debate after the performance, though it wasn’t clear whether the act was being glorified or pointed out as being something that was quite disturbing or disgusting.
Lady Gaga’s statement about the episode
As the public and media responded in kind, so did Lady Gaga, but from a broader, artistic standpoint.
“I’ve known Millie for I think like five years now and we’ve actually collaborated before. She was just in town and so we thought we would collaborate again,” she told the audience the following day at a news conference.
“It was just exciting to see people talk about performance art on the internet. We really just did it because we believe in the performance and we believe in what it meant to the song.”
This could be looked at as overstepping the issue by saying it was merely performance art, especially considering Lady Gaga opened up in Harper’s Bazaar about how she has overcome her body image issues, is “better with food” and that she doesn’t “have an eating disorder anymore.”
Demi Lovato’s outcry
X Factor judge and singer Demi Lovato was one of the most outspoken critics of the vomiting act at Lady Gaga’s performance at SxSW, taking to Twitter to protest what happened. She has struggled with drug addiction and eating disorders herself, having to rebuild her career from a very young age.
Lovato said Lady Gaga’s stunt glamorized eating disorders, that it was glorifying self harm and that no one would allow an artist to cut themselves or shoot up with heroin on stage. She also said adding the word “art” to something like this wasn’t a free card to do whatever you want without consequences.
With over 20,000 retweets to each of her posts on Twitter, it appears a lot of people tend to agree with her.