Thursday, July 7, 2011

Why I Covered Lady Gaga's Hair (With A Heart On)

After ten years of partnership, George and I separated. George went to Missoula, Montana to attend university and I went on my first visit to a bar in (way over) ten years. I walked in and almost immediately the thoughts of an under-confident and physically insecure youngster came surfing back into my mind.

I'm not like these guys.
I'm unapproachable.
I'm not cute.
I'm too old.
I've got a gut.
My body is too hairy.
I'm a freak.

Holy shit! Who can weather that type of bullying? Without even ordering a drink I left the bar a shattered man.

This happened the same week that Lady Gaga's record Born This Way was released so, of course, I was listening to it on the way home. As track six was playing I came to a more personal understanding of the lyrics; it was my Gaga could've had a V8 moment.

In that moment of understanding, I decided to help this under-confident and physically insecure youngster inside me to embrace his perceived faults and realize that his differences are what make him special. The best way to do this, I surmised, was to cover track six, Hair, in a very public forum - with all these perceived faults on display. To make the video accessible in the public forum, I put a heart on.

  • JesseLCue for the Hair backing track.
  • Max, my Jack Russell Terrier, for making four unannounced yet pivotal appearances.
  • My Vietnamese lady barber who collected the hair she cut off my head the morning I filmed the video so I could throw it to the wind.
  • Mother Monster - for your inspiration, your honesty and your temerity. There are still many people (young and less young) who need to stand up and say to the naysayers (including those in our own minds), I was Born This Way, baby...and through your work, they are (and I am still) learning how.

UPDATE Fall 2012: I've lost almost 30 pounds since the filming of that video and look and feel great. What do you think of my Prince Harry salute?