Lady Gaga has surprised some of her friends since her rise to fame. The eccentric singer now speaks of herself in third person. Why has she crossed this boundary and gone from down to earth, before fame, to the bizarre personality with the very odd sense of style she is now?
Gaga’s friend Wendy Starland, a former employee of the star added her input in Maureen Callahan’s new biography Poker Face: The Rise and Rise of Lady Gaga. In the book she made this remark, “I said we can do something theatrical so the attention is not on her looks. She talked about it too. She was like ‘I know my look is untraditional and I’m not a classic beauty’. We have to do other things.”
No one would probably think that Lady Gaga could be covering up in the bizarre costumes and makeup because she’s insecure about her looks, but according to several of her friends, that’s just the reason.
So why does Lady Gaga choose to speak in third person also known as Illeism? Is it a way for her to “cover up” the real Gaga and distance herself from her audience? There are several reasons why a person may choose to speak in Illeism and it can result from intention or involuntary circumstances.
Referring to oneself in third person can be used to impart humility, as in a master-slave relationship, when the slave feels like they are “less than” their master and they refer to themselves in third person to exhibit a lack of “self.”
In contrast to feeling “less” than other people and showing humility, self -promotion could be another reason why Lady Gaga has started referring to herself in the third person. It can be used to symbolically give her an air of grandeur, or to inflate her ego. Gaga’s need to “puff up her ego” would seemingly tie back to the insecurity she has about her real physical appearance. Using Illeism could help her to separate herself from her millions of fans and boost her self confidence while performing if she was feeling nervous or anxious about going out on stage. It’s like she could say to herself “I can’t do this, but Lady Gaga can.”
Another common use of Illeism is sarcasm. In this case she would be speaking as if ignoring everyone else around except “Gaga.” In other words it’s all about “Lady Gaga.”
There are several “real” people who have been known to speak in Illeism. Some of them include Bob Dole during the 1996 presidential election, Conan O’Brien used in a sarcastic tone, LeBron James on his “The Decision” program on ESPN, and Salvador Dali in his “60 Minutes” interview.
Some examples of fictional people who spoke in third person include Elmo from Sesame Street, George of the Jungle, and Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter books, as a means of showing his sociopathic tendencies.
I hope this article has shown us that Lady Gaga is a real person, with real personal issues, and her bizarre behavior and style may be a result of many circumstances in her life that are unknown to the people who judge her so harshly.
Lady Gaga – Lady Gaga Amazed Friends With Change – Contactmusic News (retrieved Sept. 6, 2010)
Illeism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (retrieved Sept. 6, 2010)
Lady Gaga amazed friends with change | Earth Times News (retrieved Sept. 6, 2010)