Lady Gaga for ELLE Magazine

Posted on September 16, 2013

Let’s close the day with some stripped-down pretty, shall we?

Lady Gaga covers the October 2013 issue of ELLE magazine photographed by Ruth Hogben and styled by Brandon Maxwell.


On handling pressure: “What are you talking about, pressure? I’m great under pressure. I’m a warrior. I’m Rocky, round 12.”

The difference between Gaga and Stefani: “I am—Stefani is—a perpetually tortured artist. That’s why I changed my name. I can’t be her in public. She would be a mess!”

On raging against the critics: “Everyone is so cynical—that I can’t purely love my fans, or share an honest story about my past, without someone asking me if I really, truly struggled. Do you know how much dirt I ate? Do you know the men I had to crawl through, the people that disrespected my body, my mind, my heart?”


Steffi’s been attention-whoring lately on a level heretofore-unseen by human eyes, so it’s a bit refreshing to see her looking almost minimalist in her style for once. Yes, the white sequined stiletto cowboy boots are minimalist, as is the bathmat skirt. Go with it. It’s Gaga. It’s also a refreshing change to see her wearing a wig that doesn’t look like she bought it in a Halloween store and then took it out to the parking lot to back over it a couple of times before securing it to her head.

But Jesus take the wheel, those are some outrageously obnoxious comments. We have to believe she’s putting us on with this shit. “STEFANI IS A TORTURED ARTIST!!!! PERPETUALLY, EVEN!” This is why we could never really be big-time celebrity interviewers. The constant spit-takes would get us fired pretty quickly.




[Photo Credit: Ruth Hogben for ELLE Magazine]

Please review our Community Guidelines before posting a comment. Thank you!

  • Rand Ortega

    “Would be” a mess? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Stars & their little worlds & delusions. Hilar.

  • kaycem

    she’s erring into paltrow-land in her power to inspire my eyes to roll as soon as she opens her mouth.

    • ellisd123

      She’s already there, with me. It started with “Born This Way”.

      • Evan

        Yeah, but even though “Born This Way” sounds like “Express Yourself,” isn’t the sentiment of it true? I mean, being gay isn’t a choice, so other than the song not being original, I don’t understand why anyone would have a problem with it.

        • Paigealicious

          It’s the overt pandering to the GLBT community that does it for me. I appreciate that she’s a huge, outspoken supporter for GLBT rights, but…she should have titled the song “Trying Too Hard.”

          • Evan

            Actually, I agree with you. I think Madonna did a much better job at pandering to the gay community without being so literal.

        • Tom and Lorenzo

          I don’t have a major problem with Born This Way, but I think “true sentiment” is a much weaker criterion for judging the value of a song than “unoriginal.” In other words, for some people – a lot of people, actually – the fact of a song’s unoriginality is enough to have a problem with it. In any form of art, being derivative has always been seen as a strike against a piece.

        • Daenyx

          I have an issue with the way “Born This Way” latches on to that one narrative – we’re born this way, we can’t help it – because of that narrative’s unfortunate implications: being queer is okay BECAUSE it’s not a choice, and one’s orientation is necessarily a static thing that one is born with.

          Being queer isn’t a choice, but focusing on that allows for the sentiment that it matters whether or not it’s a choice. It allows for the narrative of a queer orientation being a “problem” that one has. (And don’t get me started on what people do with that narrative with (dis)respect to bisexuality.) And the idea that sexual orientation is always static is just plain wrong.

        • Erica_Vuitton

          AGREED!! NO ONE should have an issue with a song that encourages teens (especially LGBT teens) to be proud of who they are no matter what. The amount of teen suicides from being bullied by peers is shocking and I applaud any artist who says you are perfect just as you are.

          Also, anyone criticizing “orginality” should look up how many times Madge has been sued for “copyright infringement” and “plagiarism” see Frozen & Vogue, or “Justify My Love” a song so 100% ripped off she STILL pays royalties to Public Enemy.

          • Tom and Lorenzo

            “AGREED!! NO ONE should have an issue with a song that encourages teens (especially LGBT teens) to be proud of who they are no matter what.”

            Pure emotional blackmail used in order to shut down any and all criticism regarding the piece’s actual aesthetic merits. You may not be doing it deliberately, but you are doing it.

            If someone wrote some shitty song about Jesus, the fact that it’s about Jesus doesn’t magically turn it into a good song, or a song above criticism.

            Remove the word “Jesus” from the previous sentences and insert pretty much any other belief system or social cause and the sentences remain true.

          • Erica_Vuitton

            Maybe it had no “aesthetic merits” to you, but if you read some of the stories from teens about how this song saved their life I think you’d change your mind. Whether a song is “good” or “shitty” is a matter of opinion.

            “Aesthetics… is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of art, beauty, and taste, with the creation and appreciation of beauty. It is more scientifically defined as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste. More broadly, scholars in the field define aesthetics as “critical reflection on art, culture and nature.”

            Would you not agree that this song is about the appreciation of beauty? Or a critical reflection on culture?

          • Tom and Lorenzo

            I have absolutely no interest in addressing the aesthetic merits of the song or the experiences of people who were affected by it. I’m addressing the idea that because a song has social value or “true sentiment,” it remains above criticism. I vehemently disagree. Social value and sentiment are pretty low criteria for judging a piece of art or expression. Otherwise, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” would be considered a literary masterpiece.

            Quoting the Wikipedia entry on the school of philosophy known as Aesthetics has absolutely nothing to do with anything I said, by the way.

          • annabelle archer

            But TLo, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” CHANGED MY LIFE!

          • Erica_Vuitton

            Yeah… not letting you bait me into another argument where you call me an idiot. We can just agree to disagree about the song and why it should or shouldn’t be criticized.

          • Tom and Lorenzo

            Actually, I was polite to you, this is called a discussion, and I’ve never once called you an idiot before. This response of yours is totally out of line.

        • ellisd123

          There was a beautiful article written, by James St. James, when that song was at its height. He expressed my exact issue with it – in addition to it being a blatant rip-off of “Express Yourself”. To paraphrase, he said that Lady Gaga has missed what makes a “gay anthem” a true gay anthem. It has to be turned into such by being overwhelmingly embraced by the gay community and turned into such by the people; whereas what Gaga has done is to write a self-proclaimed “gay anthem” and forced it onto the gay community as such, thereby removing the choice of having it embraced.

          Nothing that Gaga does is original, so that doesn’t bother me. It’s the taking herself so seriously, when (let’s be honest) all she does is write/sing mindless pop songs. It was fun during the Fame Monster album, and then quickly turned into tiresome and way too self-aware.

      • Bridget Smith

        I don’t pay much attention to her work, because while I enjoy the occasional pop song, listening to a whole pop album is too much for me. But “Applause” is the song that really bothered me. There’s a long tradition of that kind of fan-appreciation song, but “Applause” is self-congratulatory in a way that undermines the intent, I thought.

        • marlie

          Aside from what it means, I just can’t stand the song “Applause.” It really grates.

  • Paigealicious

    She continues the trend of looking pretty great when someone else styles her (magazine editorial, music video) and pretty horrible when she tries to dress herself (parking-lot wigs, see-thru swimsuit).

  • Alexandra Pimenta

    I wish the incredible woman living whimsically inside Parker Posey’s head would beat the crap out of the obnoxious tortured artist living inside Gaga’s.

    • HVM

      I would pay to watch that girl fight.

    • Miranda

      *tears rolling*…..LMAO

  • GillianHolroyd

    The art direction on that cover is fantastic. Not interested in reading any of the copy.

    • Alexandra Pimenta

      It is quite a fantastic piece of art direction. I also agree on the second statement.

  • Trickytrisha

    I’m so in love with TLo’s comments here that I can’t quit grinning. I do like the cover pic, so kudos to the stylist and photographer.

    Giggling still.

  • LaSylphide

    Love that cover shot.

  • HVM

    Perpetually tortured artist is the new mother, entertainer, and person soundbite.

  • Clueless_Jock

    Such ethereal and sensitive photography – not something I’d associate with her personal style.

  • understateddiva

    She makes up a new persona for each interview. She just spouts whatever bull comes to mind, acting like it’s a big personal revelation. It’s all part of the entertainment package! Not complaining, though, really.

  • annabelle archer

    Did anyone else accidentally, on purpose, catch her on Watch What Happens Live, after Top Chef, last week? She wore her Little Mermaid drag, and at first she was overly dingy, but then she settled in and it turned into a funny interview. Nothing groundbreaking, but it did serve to remind me that when she dials her shtick down to around level 8 I can find her quite entertaining.

    Also, I love Applause. I am hanging my head from the shame. Then it gets me to happy car dance zen while I’m in traffic and I forgive myself.

    • demidaemon

      Agreed on her new single. It’s super catchy and makes me want to dance. I didn’t catch her because I usually watch Chelsea Lately after TC: Masters, because I can only take limited amounts of Andy Cohen before I want to punch him in the face to see if his eyes will go straight. I have to save up for the RHONJ: Reunion, so WWHL is off the TV schedule for now.

    • Kimmu

      I saw it and yeah, I was surprised by how funny she was and in a “Wow, I would have fun hanging out with this chick” sort of way. I’d like to see more of that Gaga

    • Erica_Vuitton

      You should watch her iTunes festival performance. I dare anyone to listen to MANiCURE and claim they don’t love it.

    • marlie

      I can’t stand that song. This is where you and I differ, my dear.

      • annabelle archer

        Oh thank goodness. I was worried that we might share a brain, and trust me, that would be bad news for you.

  • Belvane

    “Jesus take the wheel” is now my favorite phrase.

    I thought she was talking about Gwen Stefani at first and maybe it was some sort of blonde rocker throwdown.

    • jeneria

      I thought the same thing!

      I can’t stand GaGa. I don’t like her music, I don’t like her pretension, and I don’t like her outfits.

    • kimmeister

      Me too! I can’t even see the name “Stefani” and not pronounce it the Gwen way, rather than like Stephanie.

  • Adrianna Grężak

    I wish her arm wasn’t covering her face in the cover, it’s very striking

  • alyce1213

    “The constant spit-takes would get us fired pretty quickly.”
    I can imagine your eyes would be rolling out of your heads as well.
    I like the photographs, but I’m just not of fan of her nonsense.

  • MilaXX

    Bored now. Gaga needs a good ear worm to make me interested in her again. Applause ain’t doing it for me.

  • Jacquelyn

    I know I’m probably alone in this, and I’m expecting quite a bit of vitriol aimed at me but, she annoys me. A lot. Gaga is a persona she created in order to make it the music industry but she’s come to believe in it so fundamentally that it’s dwarfing her real self. I love the Gay Uncles constantly refer to her as Steffi, reminding us that she wasn’t born Lady Gaga but lady Gaga was born when Steffi decided to enter the pop music biz.

  • cocohall

    She is just following down the pretentious path blazed by Lady Madonna (and countless others who have a peculiar skill for creating personas and interesting visuals) of blathering on about nothing. Rewatch Truth or Dare, or look up interviews of Madonna dressed in florals stumping for her didactic books for children. The best idea is to use the MUTE button whenever they decide to stop singing/posing and start talking. Just because they take themselves so seriously, doesn’t mean we have to. Strike a pose and be quiet, dearest. You are good at that.

    • demidaemon

      I actually caught Truth or Dare last week on VH1 Classic, and it was very interesting. You find yourself questioning how much of it was true or not. The performances were pretty killer, though.

  • bertkeeter

    All visuals with very little content! If she had the content she wouldn’t need the tedious chameleon wardrobe changes!

  • Samuel Joesph Donovan

    That cover is GORGEOUS.

  • Trisha26

    GaGa – Fabulous & Unique!

  • Pennymac

    Nice pictures. But those comments. Pretentious much?

  • formerlyAnon

    I like the cover a lot. Also the all white shot with the boots, which has a ’60s, almost Dyan Cannon vibe to me. That haze is cigarette smoke and our girl Gaga has 3 kinds of prescription pills in her purse.

    Ms. Steffi’s been living in her own little bubble for too long. Occupational hazard, though.

  • elzatelzabelz

    The art and photos are striking. But, I was OVER her a long time ago. She’s insufferable.

  • Little_Olive

    I actually don’t mind that she says she struggled – I believe her, even; I mean why not. What gets me is that she presents it as if she was the only one who has been through stuff. As someone said above, Gwyneth much?

    Oh, and her “style” shtick bores. She does look way better here. Those boots embarrass me.

    • Bexxx

      While I don’t doubt that she’s struggled, as we all do, she’s a rich, white, private school girl who was given every bit of training and opportunity she needed to be successful, so I’m just not feeling that bad for her.

      • Shawn EH

        I like her drama of herself. It’s part of the package. It’s sort of cool to have someone who, no matter what they do, you can just say … “well, it’s GaGa.”

        Somehow it’s not the same as saying “well, it’s Miley.”

  • Alloy Jane

    At this point, I don’t think she can say anything without someone somewhere being annoyed by it. She’s too out there with the attention-grabbing for people to think of her as sincere, and she seems to really want people to see her as being very sincere. She has the potential to have meaningful musical longevity if only she would dump the life-as-performance-art crap. She should talk to Alice Cooper on how to do the costume/theatrical thing without being a wanker.

    • decormaven

      Good insight about consulting with Alice Cooper. He understood art as theater, and played it to the hilt in a very accessible way.

      • kimmeister

        And he’s very knowledgeable about Milwaukee. 😀

  • quiltrx

    Great pictures. But those soundbytes…wow, she’s really drunk several gallons of her own Kool-Aid, hasn’t she?

  • kim bunchalastnames

    i thought she was talking about gwen. i was all like, teh fuh?

  • marshmallowjane

    I saw her last week with Andy Cohen, and she’s so pretty when she doesn’t wear a disguise. I don’t like when she makes herself ugly. A year or two ago she told Barbara Walters that she’d take her sunglasses off in public for Barbara only. She had no shades on with Andy, just 50 lbs. of hair, a bra top and a funny little skirt. She was full of personality; made me want to see more, for once. We can’t see her much here.

    • All_Hail_Great_Satin

      I kind of love that she makes herself ‘ugly’, because you really don’t tend to see that with female pop stars. Or any pop stars, really.

  • John11581

    She’s one of those celebrities that, even if she’s been out of the public eye for a while, it only feels like it’s been 5 minutes. Even if I enjoyed her music, I’d find her tedious since she never seems to go the f away.

  • AnneElliot

    I’m trying to imagine a TLo spit-take. Sounds like a great premise for a TV show!!

    • venusvelvet

      I would totally watch that show.

  • Kent Roby

    I’m sure her critics will be silent now that she has labelled herself as a dirt-eating slut.

  • elemspbee

    tired! do you know how many, do you know what I’ve had to… and now I’m triumphant at the age of 24. ok already, you are rocky. you might even be from the planet krypton. Ka-El, is that you?

  • Jacqueline Wessel

    I hardly recognize her here and that’s refreshing.

  • Danielle

    LORD I need a pair of white sequined cowboy boots.

  • Sonja Brisson

    What happened to all that stuff about loving her semi-fat body? Looks like she is back to starving herself. Oh well, anything for fashion! But she kinda needs to stop doing interviews. ‘Suffering’ for two years does not a martyr make.

  • tereliz

    “Do you know the men I had to crawl through, the people that disrespected my body, my mind, my heart?” Dude, you’re 27. How many assholes could you have possibly dated?

  • XXII

    *reads comments* bitter kittens indeed

  • XXII

    this spread is lovely. for some reason a lot of her shoots look rather harsh so it’s nice to see this softer side of her. not to mention she looks absolutely gorgeous.

  • Erica_Vuitton

    I wish we could actually see her in the pictures just a little too much overlay (?) for my taste. That cover shot is breathtaking.
    I think she had to become something very different for a record label to give her a chance. Her early performances pre-Gaga in small NYC clubs really show her singer/song writer/pianist skills. Now that she has secured the record deal and built a huge fan base she can go back to making the type of music she really wants to. Just wait until all the TRAP songs come out, y’all won’t know what to do with yourselves. Pop music doesn’t have to fit in a tiny preconceived box and neither does Gaga.

  • snarkykitten

    “Do you know the men I had to crawl through, the people that disrespected my body, my mind, my heart?”
    soooo she’s saying she slept her way to the top? idg what she’s trying to say here?

  • Daktari100

    She looks awesome, and tortured artist is her schtick right now. She’s been doing a very good Madonna routine, so it’s a rite of passage. Anyone who’s old enough to remember Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour will remember when she was the tortured artist in Toronto. The Canadian police threatened to arrest her during the show unless she changed its “lewd” and “indecent” content. She refused on the grounds that she would not compromise her “artistic integrity,” which got lots of laughs. Over 20 years later, however, she’s still around and getting the last laugh.

  • marlie

    She looks great in the photoshoot. As for her comments… I’m going to bite my tongue.

  • Figgy

    That cover is stunning. The colors are gorgeous, and the way the green calls back to her eyes is masterful. I love it.