Lady Gaga debuts first 'Born This Way' video: Watch it here!

lady-gaga-born-this-way-videoAs previously announced, Lady Gaga hatched her highly anticipated new video for “Born This Way” this morning.

Actually, this is just the first of two music videos she’s promised for her new dance-happy empowerment anthem—the other, an iTunes-only release, will be paired with an acoustic version of the song. As with all things “Born This Way,” this first vid, directed by fashion photographer Nick Knight, has been heavily hyped, with Gaga going so far as to say that it’s about “the birth of a new race within the race of humanity. The birth of a new race that doesn’t bear any prejudices.”

It’s not every day that we have a video nativity! Check it out:

Damn, if this doesn’t give us a lot to unpack! As always with Gaga, the music itself is only half the artistic experience. For those of us a tad disappointed with “Born This Way”—honestly, I had expected a soaring piano anthem a la “You and I,” rather than the relatively tame club track we got—the video gives us a lot more to consider.

Gaga the cinephile interests me as much as Gaga the musician. After referencing Tarantino and Godard in her “Telephone” video, she’s gone back to the well of “Bad Romance” and Alfred Hitchcock—remember, she famously listed Psycho, Vertigo, and Rear Window in the lyrics to the ubiquitous Fame Monster smash. She opens “Born This Way” with Bernard Herrmann’s melancholy, otherworldly title theme to Vertigo, played over a kaleidoscopic progression of Saul Bass-style images that show in grotesque detail the “birth of a new race.”

In the past, she’s littered her videos with tight close-ups of eyes and lips with an obsession matching that of Hitchcock himself. But this time, she’s focusing on a different part of female anatomy.  Well, if nothing else, she definitely shares Madonna’s fixation on the human reproductive organs!

There’s a great tongue-in-cheek quality to the “Manifesto of Mother Monster” she recites as an alien birth canal issues its monstrous spawn: “As the wombs numbered and the mitosis of the future began, it was perceived that this infamous moment in life was not temporal, it is eternal.”

The half-baked pseudo-profundities of a dozen movies flickered across my mind: The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, Inception, take your pick. Gaga seems determined to create—and star in—her own myth, while picking apart the inherent simple-mindedness of most mythologies. She’s set her saga in a loopy sci-fi locale, G.O.A.T. (Government-Owned Alien Territory), appears in full Queen Amidala regalia, pontificates on the nature of good and evil.  Look for her version of Captain E.O. to open in 3D at EPCOT Center next summer.

Once the Herrmann prelude ends, though, and “Born This Way” proper begins, it becomes a much more standard video. Born-again Gaga line-dances in a chain bikini that seems left over from “Telephone.” Honestly, I’m surprised she didn’t go further with this. Since she’s just been born, shouldn’t she be in her birthday suit? For modesty—if such a thing concerns her—she could be covered in glittery amniotic fluid! Sure it would be more difficult to pull off Laurieann Gibson’s choreography, but dancing has never been Gaga’s forte anyway.

More intriguing to me was the exoskeletal makeup she wore to go all Dios de Los Muertos on us. Sporting a tux, bony Gaga looked like Marlene Dietrich by way of Kenneth Anger. Still, the song itself felt like a major comedown from the mythic, Hitchcockian prelude. That intro proved she’s now the great trickster of American popular culture, passing off irony as sincerity and dogma as truth. In this literal-minded, post-irony Message Board era, no wonder people don’t “get” her. But if we “got” everything she’s trying to do, wouldn’t that rob it of all the fun?


Comments (246 total) Add your comment
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  • Jeremy

    WOW! LOVE IT.

    • Dana

      UGH. BORED BY IT.

      • jujubeans

        Lol you’re boring

      • Jessica

        It’s just another shock factor video that you can’t take seriously because of the plastic fake eye on the chin. I look forward to watching the parodies of that and can imagine her fans walking around with big fake eyeballs on their chins…. ha ha. Watching her in another bikini/bra & pants is boring boring boring. Put some clothes on and keep them on. Glue them to your skin if you need to Gaga. Semi nudity does not hide the fact that it is a c r a p song.

      • Jessica

        The choreographer stole some moves from Willow Smith’s hair whipping video. lol

    • DD

      The video is very creative and I enjoyed it!

    • Joey

      Way to go, Gaga. I noticed you had black people as the representative of evil in this video. Why the duplicates of you who were white were supposed to good. No surprise since you’re using Chola and Orient as words in the song. I hope the LGBT wake up to know that you’re just using them. Seriously, your close friends with Elton John who opposes gay marriage and you let Target, who is very anti-gay, sell your record exclusively. A real LGBT activists would know these things.

      • SirLizard

        “Orient” means “east”. There is nothing politically incorrect about the term Orient. It’s using “Oriental” to refer to Asian people that is considered by many to be offensive. And Elton John is in a civil partnership with David Furnish, so for all intents and purposes he IS gay-married. As for the Target deal, Gaga used her influence to get Target to promise not to support anti-gay causes anymore, which I think is a GOOD thing for her to do. Just boycotting them would do a lot less than the way she coerced them into such an agreement. She should be commended, and with any luck Target won’t go back on their word anytime soon.

      • Mat

        She partnered with Target because she said that they would need to be more respectful to GBLT and Target has to donate money to such causes. She knew what she was doing when she partnered up. She changed the company!

      • Jay

        She DID NOT CHANGE the company. Gay rights organizations were pressuring Target for MONTHS, and THAT is why they changed. Next, you’ll be saying that CaCa repealed Dont Ask Dont Tell–not the legislators who voted for repeal, or the veterans who worked to get it repealed.

      • yomomma

        Joey, do us all a favor and shut up!

      • idviceroy

        How is Elton anti-gay marriage?!? The man is married and adopted a kid. And as for Target being anti-gay, I’ll go ask my friends who happen to be gay AND who work in managerial positions for Target (and not in the actual store) how homophobic Target is.

      • Andy

        Um, are you being serious?
        Her back up dancers are black.
        And yeah all the evil ones were black and red, does that mean she’s racist against red people too?
        Dumb ass.

      • lady gag me

        Red People? Id like to see that naturally: )……

      • MoNsTeR

        Yes she said orient and chola in her song, but if you actually pay attention to the song, you will hear that she isn’t using it in a bad way, she is say who you are is good. Duhhh. I am ORIENTAL and a CHOLA,, and i don’t find what she said offensive at all. And I am gay and believe in what she is doing for the GLBT community. She used black people to represent evil because generally the color black represents evil. and white represents good. She isn’t doing it to be racist. Would it have made you happy if she woulda painted the white people black and the black people white so the “blacks” represented good and the “whites” represented black? It is the same either way!

    • Tiffany

      Love it! Very intersting and fun!

    • Nick T

      Agree. Great intro.

      • Shelly

        It was very creative and fun!

      • Cecilia

        i love lady gaga i i love lady gaga i hate when people say she’s a guy cuz she isn’t she was born a woman and i watechd an interview to prove it and her name is stephanie

    • Walter

      Elton John believes in civil unions. He has openly said that he doesn’t believe in gay marriage. The majority of the LGBT community is fighting for gay marriage. Believe me, Gaga fans think that she repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. They don’t act like it was fought for, for years prior and that it was legislators that repealed it. It was going to happen with or without her. Again, the thing about Target it was the gay community as a whole.

      • Walter

        Chola is a negative word. I must admit I don’t know why she had to have black people as the “evil” race born of her. Another thing, she seems to have borrowed a lot from the Alien movie franchise.

      • Little monster

        Um maybe because everyone knows that white represents good and black represents evil? What was she gonna do? Make the good ppl a bright rainbow and the black ppl a dark one? No right? And chola is not a negative word. So shut the he’ll up and stop criticizing her like if your opinion is going to change anything.

      • @Little Monster

        WTF?? The fact that black represents evil and white represents good has NOTHING to do with race. As a black person I find your comment offensice. She could have had dancers of all colors wearing black and dancers of all colors wearing white. Not have black people represent evil and white people represent good. Maybe you should read your comment before posting because it’s a offensive and ignorant. I think she could have gotten the same message across of the “good” dancers wore white and the “evil” dancers wore black. Having one race represent “evil” is bound to offend some members of that race.

      • @Little Monster

        *offensive

    • Maria

      You seeming racist just like Gaga. Why does black have to equal evil and white equal good? Do you know in China black is worn at weddings. I thought she’s so creative and different she would flip the meaning of things. People think gay is bad and being straight is good. Would you appreciate if she was saying the gays were the evil people and the straight people were good? She should’ve had a mix of people to express good and evil. That’s how it’s is in real life.

      • Maria

        Chola is very much a negative word that Mexicans like me don’t appreciate it. I’m getting over her anyway. It’s not even because of her using that word. I was getting over her because I think she is a user and attention seeker for her own fame. Not because she cares about anybody’s rights.

      • lady gag me

        Um maria actually in NORMAL CHRISTAN marriages the woman always wears a white dress sybolizing her “purity” nownif ur elen degenerous u both wear white instead of a blak and whit tux.

        As for the Chinesse, they could get away with wearing plaid after labour day and still lok pretty good.

    • Abraham

      Hate it ,bored me to death ,amateur video making at best

  • James

    I liked the song better when Madonna did it. Actually, I like everything Gaga does when Madonna originally did it.

    • oh

      OMG James….That is the 1st time I have every heard anyone say that.

      • James

        Right, because it stops being true the more people agree.
        By the way, you didn’t “hear” anything. You read what I typed. Also, you might want to go with “ever heard…”, rather than “every heard”. That just makes no sense. Then again, you are a Gaga fan, so when it comes to being logical, rational, and reasonable- you just weren’t born that way. HA! Get it? Because I kinda quoted her horrible song.

      • . . .

        DAY-UM, James. Slow yer roll. It’s just a music video. It’ll be okay.

      • alf

        1st you herad that. Here a 2nd time, sucks. GaGa is the most condescending performer ever.and yes BTW got such a mixed reviews. Maybe u should use Google translate.
        can’t wait for t next pop singer that’s why is called Pop someone younger and more talented is around t corner. You’ll see

      • oh

        Well I guess you told me James. How about you come up with something other then what everyone else has to say. Why do you get so worked up over Lady Gaga? Were you born that way? Oh, see what I did there.

      • Gina

        @alf-have your spell check turned off?

      • QED

        @James-Right, because a typo implies a person who is illogical and irrational.
        By the way, good job limiting your thinking to literal meanings and only literal meanings. When somebody says he or she heard something, he or she literally only means that he or she interpreted sound. You should think before you express yourself. HA! Get it? I am so witty!

      • Alf

        @Gina thanks for reading it ;D

    • jcstarrs

      Brilliant. Love the imagery, love the message…Yes, how can love be protected from evil, without evil. You are born this way. You choose, blossom or perish.

      • John

        Just admit it Gaga likes evil things–death and suicide is what she promotes in most of her videos.

      • Jay

        Love the message? The message is “Give me your money.”

      • Jen

        I absolutely agree with JCStarrs. I think this song is joyful and vibrant, and I loved the video. There is so much hate in the world (especially on message boards, it seems) and the message of the song/video really is about combating negativity without going there yourself.

    • Jesse

      It’s interesting how you can find time to come to the page about her video just to insult her song and career. Either she’s your guilty pleasure or you need to get a life.

      • Jay

        The people who need to get a life are the dummies shelling out money for this garbage. You know Germanotta goes home at night and laughs at her stupid fans. “I can’t believe they like this garbage!” she cackles as Perez Hilton massages her feet.

      • j

        You have quite the imagination and storytelling talent there, Jay, why aren’t your famous?!

    • Michael

      Do you think that Madonna just created everything she did? No, Madonna ripped her style from beauty queens of old, Jean Harlo, Bette Davis, and her musical stylings owe their roots to The Runaways, David Bowie, Queen, Stevie Nicks, and even the Supremes. Gaga is not running around saying she’s the Queen of Pop; she has said on TV she considers Madonna the queen of pop. So unless you have valid, intelligent criticism, go away.

      • bb

        First, to Madonna, they are inspiration to her work, Jean Harlo, Bette Davis? they are not singers; and the other singers you mentioned they are not pop. So what Madonna did was still original, like Vogue, she didn’t invented that but she made it mainstream. While Gaga is blatantly ripping off the same genre, same formula.
        Second, Madonna is running around telling everybody she’s unique and the most innovative and that her album is the album of the decade, not unlike your Gaga.
        Point is, if youre telling everybody you are original and innovative, you better deliver!

      • bb

        I meant, Madonna is NOT running around telling she’s unique…..

      • Jeff

        madonna is overrated.

    • Jay

      “Born This Way” song and video is a hot mess. @ 1:42 mark – GROSS! Lady Gaga isn’t a good dancer…this video confirms it. :)

      • Jeff

        No, just your face is a hot mess.

      • Jay

        Jeff, you look like Lady Gaga :)

      • Shelly

        Jay is most likely a troll looking for attention. I bet he is super ugly.

      • Justin

        Trust me, Jay is creepy to look at.

      • Jay

        Shelly, you fat as a whale, Justin is BUTT ugly!

      • Justin

        I’m model handsome….i feel soooo sorry for you! And GAGA is getting rave reviews and the polls are 80/20 go cry! :)

      • Justin

        also, i can easily tell when someone: a) doesn’t shower b) never works out and c) doesn’t drink enough water. Be warned….lol

      • Jay

        Funny how the song is called “Born This Way” and her little delusional monsters criticize people’s looks…they even talk about fine Britney Spears! LOOK, your Mama Monster ain’t no beauty queen…twenty pounds of whatever she puts on her face, telephones in her head and giant eggs aren’t going to change that FACT…and to her crusty monsters who say Madonna is too old? It’s called longevity! Lady Gaga won’t be a spring chicken for too long. She WILL get older. In fact, Madonna (The Queen of Pop) looked younger than her on that SNL skit :) Can’t wait to see what Gaga looks like in 5 years, let alone 10. Let alone 25. :)

      • The real truth…

        I like how you tried and failed to be positive and then called her fans “crusty”. Guy Ritchie doesn’t agree with you at all about Madonna’s youth. Madonna has an awesome plastic surgeon and in 25 years GAGA can get his number. We have ALL seen what Britney looks like raw and uncut, so please don’t ever get it twisted. It’s rare to see females have the guts to go in this direction like Michael did in Thriller. We have seen the many looks GAGA has done and does at her shows but Britney and Madonna NEVER took it here. How would they sell? She can go #1 like this. I dare them to try. Please stop missing the point.

      • lady gag me

        EEEWWWWW I don’t like the direction that conbersation is going …….watch them both be Sammys…….shudder…..

      • Jay

        Shut your fat fish lips up, her career is OVER. #IWasRight

    • DRG

      Welcome to EW where it’s all Lady Ca Ca all the time!

      • Jay

        No no, sometimes they run stories on “Twilight.”

    • jpratm

      TRUE !!

    • Qwerty

      People need to get over this Madonna comparison. 1) Gaga can sing well. Madonna can’t. 2) There are only so many potential sounds and styles in the world. Just because Madonna is ancient, doesn’t make her a genius. Just makes her old, and means she was here first. Last time I checked, that doesn’t make her boss. 3) This video is insanely better than Express Yourself. What, a factory with sweaty tan guys? Petting a cat? Please! Get over it, people, Madonna’s time is done, she hasn’t put out a decent album in years, if anything, we should be thanking Gaga for nailing that hag’s coffin shut with this outstanding piece.

      • Danielle

        LOL…grow up Qwerty. 25 years from now people will be calling your Queen GaGa old and ancient. “Express Yourself” was, up to that time, one of the most ambitious music videos ever made. GaGa and Madonna are from different times in pop culture. Having said that, GaGa is basically just “Madonna 2.0″. Deal with it, honey.

      • M.K.

        If you honestly think that Express Yourself was simply “a factory with sweaty tan guys” & “petting a cat”, then you a) have no idea what you’re talking about, and b) have no idea what that video was about. She made very cohesive statements challenging gender norms & power inequality that you obviously did not get. But then again, neither cohesion nor concise statements have been Lady Gaga’s strong point in any way, so if you’re championing her so vehemently, maybe it’s not a surprise you don’t get some things.

      • Andy

        Um, Madonna wasn’t some feminist extrodonaire.
        For such heavy Madonna-Gaga comparisons you seem to forget that just like Gaga, Madonna was an attention seeker.
        One who wasn’t afraid to sleep around and who’s music was also less than original, who couldn’t sing very well, and for a good half of her career was style over substance. And she did things that were vulgar and outlandish, that were strictly for attention. Not to mention the controversy she loved to stir up by sleeping with saints, burning crosses, and for a while she was a carbon copy of marilyn monroe. At least Lady Gaga can sing and play an instrument well and at least she knows her fanbase is gay and she does her best to represent them and fight for them.

      • Rick

        Dont compare madonna to this ugly std infected CaCa pig. If gaga is queen of anything, its queen of the gutter freaks. And you delusional little monsters still call madge an attention whore. The hypocrisy !!!!

      • lady gag me

        I think querty was bullied as a child.

    • Ian

      Gaga’s got a god complex…plus someone should tell her her writhing skinny body is not hot. The video while at times visually interesting is all style no substance. This song is absolute drivel dressed up as poignant social commentary. Instead of bragging that she wrote the song in ten minutes..she should realize it shows that she wrote it in 10 minutes.

    • Andy

      Yes because Madonna also gave birth to a race in her last music video.

      Lady Gaga is her own person.
      The beat sounds a little like “Express Yourself” which sounds a lot like “Respect Yourself”

      Madonna isn’t exactly an original either.

    • Julie

      Lol, I love reading your comments. They’re hilarious, I love how you’re getting all these people’s panties in a bunch. Don’t stop James!

  • Bob

    Um..it’s just her dancing in underwear and then standing to some guy in a Tux??

  • Spud

    It’s surprisingly dark for such an upbeat song. Still, I really like it. Especially around 5:10 when it’s just her, alone, dancing on the stage — no distracting imagery, just her and the music. And did anyone else get any Michael Jackson and Madonna vibes from the end? I think she was definitely invoking them with the glove and that final close-up shot of her face.

    • jasper

      she needs to invoke shutting the hell up and going away.

      • oh

        If you want her to go away then why did you watch the video and comment? Why don’t YOU go away. Thanks!

      • Michael

        Right, go watch an uninspired, uninteresting Taylor Swift video. Bye.

    • John

      I recognized the Madonna gap at the end.

  • bol3

    Love it. Much better than Alejandro

  • Ben

    This video is kind of a mess….a fun creative mess you can’t look away from but even with all the distraction something was….off….still love gaga tho…

  • booggit

    What the ______ (insert Melissa Leo’s favourite word!) was that? And why has Gaga taken to dancing in her underwear all the time? Surely she can afford a proper wardrobe by now.

    • James

      because her face is just horse-y, and donkey-ish. Her Body is the only part of her I do not want to hit.

      • J

        Wow, James. Really? Why are you even posting here?!
        Sad…

      • oh

        James = Closet Gaga Fan.

      • ryan

        its not all about looks. and im hot.

  • SC

    Wow… kind of disgusting.

    • Vanessa

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  • mina

    sprawling, unfocused, all over the place and messy. it was creative, the song itself is not strong, but compared to other videos – including hers – disappointed. she overhyped this single and video and expectations ran high and they both were just not good enough. maybe judas will change the game, so far very derivative and average.

  • gagged

    Gross! What in the world were they pulling out of her vjajay? way too graphic for me .

  • James

    Yeah – love yourself for who you are, while Gaga hides behind costumes, makeup, and antics. But, yeah. She should totally tell people to be proud of who they are- you know, since she isn’t.

    • Mimi

      You’re missing the point…doing what she’s doing is her way of loving who she is…a creative, free spirit who doesn’t care what people say about her. Being Gaga is all about the crazy clothes and makeup…that’s who she is.

    • Your mom

      And you know she’s not prod of herself how? Douche.

    • Bob

      Right? As she gets skinnier and skinnier.

      • lady gag me

        We have a name for that. Bulimia.

    • Pinng

      that is Gaga’s style. its who she is. she isnt hiding behind her outfits. she is expressing her creativity. are you on here to comment or hate on everybody?

  • Sara

    This was terrible and there’s no way around it. *Sigh* I love Gaga and while I get she supports being yourself, the gays, etc it’s beginning to become too much and almost overshadowing everything else. I just wish she would go back to the “Just Dance,” “Money Honey,” “LoveGame” days when it was all fun popstar stuff instead of all this pretending to be God stuff. It’s becoming a huge-turn off and, I’m afraid, she’s set her own self up to fail. :(

    • True Blue

      I so agree with you. She made music for the sake of making music, she was completely unpretentious, and now it’s like she sees herself as the great savior for not only the LGBT community, but for pop music as well. It’s like she’s lost the plot.

      Give me back the fun loving GaGa who actually kept it real and didn’t try to br something she isn’t.

      • Amy

        I agree with what you on a certain level – I think that the language around her new stuff is really overblown. On the other hand, we haven’t seen all the songs. She has shown a great deal of commitment to the themes of her albums – the first one was all about superficiality and the glam life. This album will obviously be different. I still wish she would tone it down a little.

  • Peep

    Is this why my twitter is on the fritz?

  • anya

    Parts were awesome, but parts were just kind of stupid. Not sure I liked the intro, but I liked the part where her head was seperated from her body, that kind of made me think of Nine Inch Nails for some reason, and the skeleton part was cool, although that was taken directly from Mugler’s runway show she did that remix for. I think I liked it overall but it wasn’t my favorite of hers.

  • julie

    People say the gap reminded them of Madonna, but supermodel Lara Stone came to my mind first. Unoriginal again.

    • Ron

      ‘unoriginal’? Didn’t Rihanna just get sued for being ‘unoriginal’ in her video too…?
      Nothing is completely original-everything certainly has it’s influences

      • julie

        and who said Rihanna was original? She’s another unoriginal act. There’s originality out there, they are INFLUENCED by previous acts, but a sound and image of their own. But, straight off rip-off is not the same thing. That’s what Caca and Rhi Rhi do. Just look at fashion shows and you’ll see this. I guess you’re confounding things.

      • tu

        She should’ve ducked, originally. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

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