Super Bowl goes Gaga

Halftime show focuses on inclusion

Despite the hype around Super Bowl LI’s sacred political commercials, I decided to remain tuned in for the extra entertainment of the halftime show.

Although I was intrigued by a few commercials, I was absolutely blown away by the halftime musical performance from Grammy award-winner Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga may have performed one of the greatest halftime shows in the history of the Super Bowl, but what you may not have noticed is that she wanted to do more than perform her average concert in front of some fans.

With little focus around politics, Gaga centered her performance around the idea of inclusion as she sang some of her greatest hits, such as “Just Dance,” “Telephone,” “Bad Romance” and “Poker Face,” but only after performing some of America’s most historic ballads.

She kicked off her halftime show by standing on top of the roof of NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas and singing both “God Bless America” and “This Land is Your Land” before transitioning to a quote from the Pledge of Allegiance—“One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” and jumping into the stadium.

Gaga emphasized the fact that this land, our country and our America, is in fact ours, and that everyone is included in the everyday existence of the United States.

That is where her performance began to hit home with me, and many others.

Gaga promised a performance based on the principles of tolerance and equality at the annual Super Bowl press conference, according to The Guardian.

Many have struggled with accepting Lady Gaga’s polarizing persona within pop culture, which  has shed much light on her overall image but has also given her an advantage in igniting a new movement of acceptance within modernized culture. Since she has stepped onto the scene in the music industry, producing one chart-topping record after another, her unique rise to global fame cannot be matched.

Now that Gaga is becoming more and more accepted into our world of popular culture, it was her turn to spread that invitation of acceptance to the millions of viewers and fans watching her perform that night.

During the performance of her number one Billboardsong, “Born this Way,” Gaga put a focus on a certain set of lyrics that modeled equality and inclusion. “No matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I’m on the right track baby, I was born to survive,” offered another clear-cut message of acceptance to the audience watching live.

Everyone should be considered equal no matter their race, sex, class, nationality or religion. We need to break down the barriers of segregation and inequality in the world we live in today, and Gaga envisioned that through her performance.

In a pregame interview, Gaga hinted that her performance would not include overt political stances but rather visible evidence of who we are as Americans and what we should move toward in life as a unified nation.

“I have an opportunity with this performance to show a different part of this country that those who think that they are so different from me and my fans, to see that our hearts are really the same,” Gaga said.

Gaga certainly took advantage of her opportunity to reach a major audience on a platform that gives her the capability of spreading a message of her choice to millions of viewers. Through her music she was able to orchestrate one of the greatest halftime performances in Super Bowl history.

FOX reported that Gaga’s performance reached just over 117 million viewers, which makes it the second-most-viewed halftime show in Super Bowl history, only behind Katy Perry’s performance in Super Bowl XLIX.

In light of the recent change in presidency, Gaga’s performance could not have come at a better time. The group of anti-Trump supporters is becoming larger and larger since his inauguration and this population of people is worried about what will come next in our country. There is no telling what Trump’s next move will be or what he is capable of doing in the Oval Office.

In a time when Americans are questioning their leader, Lady Gaga gave us a performance that revealed the light at the end of the tunnel. She showed us that everyone has a say so in our country and should be included in the conversation of making change. It has been a long struggle for the diverse group of Americans in our country to feel included in our society, but there is hope for further equality, and Gaga has proven that.

There is no question that she got her point across in terms of the social issues that have affected our country for years, but there is also no doubt that the fans loved her performance as she dropped the mic with authority before catching a pass and jumping off stage to end the show.