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Lady Gaga's New Cover Album for "Born This Way" - Figuring Disability?

An Active Mind's picture

 Just yesterday Gaga released the cover of her new album Born This Way:

Lady Gaga's Album Cover for Born This Way

Lady Gaga's Album Cover for Born This Way

The album has received endless critiques; it's been called "a bad joke", "so ugly", poorly photoshopped, cheap, amateur (PerezHilton).  But when I saw it, I immediately thought:  disability!  The motorcycle becomes a prosthesis for Gaga, her arms situated within the spokes of the wheels.  And considering the title "Born This Way", why should the album be "perfect"?  People online are complaining that the Photoshopping looks unnatural (specifically in regards to the shadows surrounding Gaga's face) and this plea in and of itself highlights the public's desire for cohesion and resistance (and perhaps even disgust) at the sight of the leaky, disabled body.  I found the image empowering.  The handlebars of the bike almost look like wings that can give Gaga a chance to fly--to escape the societal restrictions and conventions that bind her.  

She renders herself a cyborg--a mixture of both human and machine.  Donna Haraway's "A Cyborg Manifesto" is all about resisting essentialism and reclaiming feminist ability in once purely, male-dominated, science discourse (Wikipedia).  She writes, "Cyborg writing is about the power to survive, not on the basis of original innocence, but on the basis of seizing the tools to mark the world that marked them as other" (34).  She purposefully embraces the motorcycle as a prosthesis to highlight her own "ability" in a "disabled" world.