Burqa Swag

August 13, 2013
GAGA

Lady Gaga, please don’t write a song about burqas. Ugh, maybe too late.

Last week, the track “Burqa” (or “Aura”) leaked; it’s allegedly an early track from her upcoming fourth album, “ARTPOP.” (The album’s first official single, “Applause,” dropped Monday, in which she admits to loving applause.)

Most links are now down of “Burqa,” which sounds like a parody of a Lady Gaga song — one about the sexy mystique of burqas. Gaga does dig a fashion burqa: Last fall, she walked the runway for designer Philip Treacy in a hot-pink one that belonged to the eccentric late Treacy muse Isabella Blow.

But to appropriate the experiences of millions of Muslim women is clueless. “Do you wanna see me naked, lover?/ Do you wanna peek underneath the cover?” the song goes, turning a complex culture that doesn’t belong to her into a sleazy come-on.

Two years ago, Gaga whipped the world into a frenzy of rainbows with “Born This Way.” The future would be all inclusiveness and fabulous hats. She was also jumping the homofabulous train to a pile of money. But her reach and her music mattered to young people. If “Burqa” is her, she’s a craven culture jacker — Whitelady Gaga.

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Rick Snider · August 12, 2013