Lady Gaga’s video for “Born This Way” was supposed to drop this afternoon, but here it is, all seven minutes of it, a few hours early. To get right to it, “Born This Way” is a fairly normal music video — and we don’t even mean normal for Gaga. Yes, it has some distinctly Gaga bells and whistles, namely a space-dippy two-minute intro, but there’s no way around the fact that for four of its seven minutes this is Gaga doing a choreographed dance routine in very little clothes in front of a troupe of backup dancers. It looks good; she looks good (and is maybe wearing slip-on shower shoes?); and the dancing fits with the rock-out-in-your-PJs or at-the-club vibe of the song, but, all in all, it’s relatively standard. To make the whole thing Gaga-ian, there’s that intro. It opens with a pink triangle (Gaga tips her hat to her base), and then she appears as some kind of alien queen bee. She introduces herself, “This is the manifesto of mother monster,” and then talks some high-level phony baloney about a birth on another planet. The “birth was not finite, it was in. finite” and the “mitosis of the future began … And thus began the beginning of the new race. A race within the race of humanity, a race which bears no prejudice, no judgment, but boundless freedom.” Also, while this new race was being born, so was evil — Gaga does need a reason to fondle a machine gun after all.
All this mumbo jumbo would be a lot more fun if the visuals accompanying it weren’t like the Matrix and 2001 got jammed into a kaleidoscope and everyone was supposed to think the images were revelatory because of the insinuation that they were showing us something coming out of someone’s vagina. Okay, Gaga, fine, you are the womb, and you are the womb you are coming out of. You delivered yourself. And everyone else should follow your lead. Let’s dance already!
Thankfully, things pick up when the song does. Though it’s mostly Gaga shimmying in her undies, in an almost black-and-white color scheme, there are a couple of great visuals threaded throughout. One is Gaga in a tux, her face made up to look like a skeleton’s. She dances – really giving into a crazy breakdown – with another skeleton, her hair a swirling pink ponytail that could give Reese Witherspoon’s Oscar bouffant a run for its money. It looks great. Almost as fun is Gaga in a zippery, space-ish suit, her head next to a bunch of other body-less heads, with a haircut George Washington would recognize. And then at the very end, she puts on some very white gloves, dances for a second or two (perhaps in a nod to MJ), and puts her face, now complete with gap teeth, really close to the camera. She wasn’t actually born that way, but, hey, it looks interesting.