Would Madonna Have The Balls To Pull Off What Gaga Does?

by Rachelle Hruska · March 12, 2010

Comparisons of Lady Gaga and Madonna are nothing novel. However, since the release of her latest video collaboration, Telephone, (the video is currently at over 2 million views on YouTube and it's only been up since last night!) there are debates brewing on whether our beloved Material Girl would ever have the balls (natch) that our Lady Gaga does...

I've been fascinated with the debate going on across my Tumblr dashboard.

First, for a great scene by scene recap of the video, go visit [Natashavc].

For the various product placements found throughout the video including Virgin Mobile, Diet Coke, Hewlett Packard, Plenty of Fish and more go visit [Mediaelities].

For an "elite" intellectual review of the video, head here: [The Awl]

And now, for the great Madonna debate. It all started with this:

“I guess this is how people felt about Madonna?”

I think it’s bigger than that. And more special. After 10 years dominated by female pop idols who were sexual on accident or made up to embody the tired virgin slut asthethitic here we have some one who is all about trangressive female sexuality, theater, kitsch, and fame. It feels more honest, like “yes, I’m Gaga and I want to be famous. This is me covered in blood wearing antlers” And we’re like, “Dope. I’ll download this now.” [via Natashavc]

To which this happened:


Yikes. There it was. Put out there by Jaime Leigh for us to dissect. With this to follow:

"Madonna is (was?) totally down with being controversial, but only as long as she could do it in the role of controversial sex kitten. She would never have let shock and awe triumph over sexay."

Oh, no she didn't. Here came the Madonna defenders:

"I think a few of us are forgetting the book, Sex, that Madonna put out with pics like this one.

Madonna jumped back and forth over the line between sexy and shock & awe. Gaga is not inventing this concept, rather, she is just taking the baton and running with it." [Winston Wolfe]

And this:

"Seriously. I love Lady Gaga, but Madonna broke an incredible amount of barriers in the day. Don’t forget to figure in the tone of the times at which Madonna “shocked” the nation more than a few times. TRUTH OR DARE was one of the first times such an intimate documentary had been done of a living superstar and becasme a precursor for almost all “celebrity reality” shows. Her book, SEX, as WW sites, completely shocked the nation and had again, the most famous superstar of the time exhibiting enormous risk in the form of taking it all off and participating in scandoulous (for the time) displays for the camera. She was also a modern-day Sarah Bernhardt with Sandra Bernhard by publicly suggesting they were lovers (again, you must consider the time and context of all this).

Above all, Madonna was one of the very few women at the time who threw off convention, embraced her “earning potential” (aka, “love of money” just like the big boys), and generally didn’t shy away from shocking people. Just ask Pepsi. [Via PonyPonyShow]

To which Team Gaga came back with this:

"i kind of get what jaime is saying though. gaga isnt scared to look ugly/crazy. with madonna looking hot was always a priority. however the extent of madonna’s boundary pushing was far broader than just sexual taboos. religion was a big one. gender roles too. im sure there are more, thats just off the top of my head." [Nudawn]

Consensus? Who is breaking more barriers? Material Girl or Gaga Lady?

Some still shots from the video: