Unified’s Hannah Vango tells us all about the person behind Lady Gaga’s mask in her ‘Five Foot Two’ Documentary on Netflix.
I’ve not listened to Lady Gaga much since 2008 when “The Fame” came out, I remember going crazy for “Just Dance” but then again I think most people did. When I think of Gaga, I think of shoes impossible to walk in, crazy costumes and that meat dress she wore one time.
I am a sucker for a good documentary and when I saw “Five foot two” advertised I knew I had to see it, just out of pure curiosity really. I wondered how such a wacky celebrity lived when she wasn’t on stage, I figured her life would be full of extravagance and it was, at times but there was a lot more that came with it that I was blissfully aware of. Until now, obviously.
This documentary doesn’t focus on Lady Gaga, instead it follows the life of Stefani Germanotta. The world knows her better by her stage name, but we get to see a real and relatable woman as she gets honest about everything. She opens up about her feud with Madonna, her struggles with chronic body pain to her break up with Taylor Kinney. And most interestingly, exactly why she’s leaving the eccentric Gaga behind.
“This film is one of the most revealing acts of feminine rebellion you will ever witness. We will all see ourselves in it. I sure did.” – Lena Dunham
I have always been honest about my physical and mental health struggles. Searching for years to get to the bottom of them. It is complicated and difficult to explain, and we are trying to figure it out. As I get stronger and when I feel ready, I will tell my story in more depth, and plan to take this on strongly so I can not only raise awareness, but expand research for others who suffer as I do, so I can help make a difference. I use the word "suffer" not for pity, or attention, and have been disappointed to see people online suggest that I'm being dramatic, making this up, or playing the victim to get out of touring. If you knew me, you would know this couldn't be further from the truth. I'm a fighter. I use the word suffer not only because trauma and chronic pain have changed my life, but because they are keeping me from living a normal life. They are also keeping me from what I love the most in the world: performing for my fans. I am looking forward to touring again soon, but I have to be with my doctors right now so I can be strong and perform for you all for the next 60 years or more. I love you so much.
Her views on men and relationships
“My threshold for bulls**t with men is just – I don’t have one anymore. In relationships, you have to move together.”
Stefani explains this is because she has now grown and gotten over her insecurities.
When interviewed by Beats 1 radio host Zane Lowe, who mistakes her engagement for a marriage, Stefani is quick to correct him, saying: “Well, engagement. Lets not say marriage. But yeah. Very painful. Its hard when love isn’t working out the way you want it to.” I think a lot of us can relate to this, and in a way its comforting to know even the most bad-ass celebs get their heartbroken too.
One of Lady Gaga’s iconic music video that features her ex Taylor Kinney:
Dealing with chronic body pain
Stefani battling with Fibromyalgia (a long term condition that causes pain all over the body) is a recurring theme in the documentary. We see her break down in tears due to the severe pain just minutes before she is expected to perform at Tony Bennet’s birthday party.
“I just think about other people that have maybe something like this that are struggling to figure out what it is. And they don’t have the money to have somebody help them…” she says. “Like, I don’t know what I’d fu**ing do if i didn’t have everybody here to help me. What the hell would I do?”
“Do I look pathetic? I’m so embarrassed.”
Struggling with loneliness
Following her break-up, Stefani opens up about her loneliness: “I’m alone every night. All these people will leave. They will leave and I’ll be alone. And I go from everyone touching me all day, and talking to me all day, to total silence.”
If you’ve been unlucky enough to have felt the pain of being alone then you might find it comforting to hear this. Especially when it comes from someone you’d never expect to have the same struggles as you do.
Women and the music industry
Throughout this documentary we see the recording of Stefani Germanotta’s latest album ‘Joanne’ with producer Mark Ronson.
“When producers, unlike Mark, start to act like they’re the – like, you know, ‘You’d be nothing without me!’ For women, especially, those men have so much power that they can have women in a way that no other man can. Whenever they want, whatever they want… And then I walk in the room, and its like eight times out of 10, I’m put in that category.”
She goes on to explain how she always has to put an absurd spin onto directions “So you know what, if I’m going to be sexy at the VMAs and sing about the paparazzi, I’m going to do it while I’m bleeding to death.” It makes her feel in control.
Ditching the costumes and her eccentric stage presence
“I never felt comfortable enough to sing and just be this way.” Stefani explains her drastic changes as a performer.
“To just sing, wear my hair back. I never felt pretty enough or smart enough to be a good enough musician. That’s the good part. The good part is that I just didn’t feel good enough, and I do now. I know what I deserve.”