Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper performing Shallow at the 2018 Oscars
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Posted in Pirate, sexism
February 28, 2019

Assuming the Worst: Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper

All I’ve heard for days were rapturous fans going on and on about Lady Gagy and Bradley Cooper’s Oscars performance of Shallow from A Star is Born. Fair disclaimer: I haven’t seen the movie. Having seen two different versions of the movie, I felt like it’s a story I’m pretty familiar with.

The performance was fine, and ending with the two of them on the piano was sweet. Which is why I was surprised to see every female oriented site and most of the women in my feeds insisting that the performance proved that Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper are sexually involved. Some said in love, some said involved… some were just crass.

And I was mad.

While it’s true that you do occasionally get co-stars falling in love, or actors falling in love with their directors – the mere assumption made me sick. It’s that age old assumption that men and women can’t be good friends or close without being sexually attracted to each other.

What I saw were two people who were enjoying a moment. A moment that came after becoming really good friends over the time spent in pre-production, filming the movie, and post-production. Then on the road promoting A Star is Born, and again on the awards show circuit.

This was the end of the road for them with this song. So they did what actors do – embraced the moment. Cooper was nervous, clearly, and settled in by the time he sat next to her on the piano. It was familiar, you could tell.

And they’re professionals! For all that people were surprised by the casting, Lady Gaga did try to make it as an actress first. And certainly, Cooper’s an actor, not a singer. All these two did was give a performance, and everyone was reading subtext.

Irina Shayk, Cooper’s wife, was at the Oscars – as was his mother. Shayk was one of the first people to congratulate Lady Gaga on the win. It’s obvious there wasn’t any animosity, any discomfort. Just people who are used to being around each other.

But it’s just a damaging mindset to have, assuming that if men and women are close and can share some sort of physical intimacy (in this case – being close, and putting arms around each other) that it means they must be involved.

I saw this not just from women online, but from sites that supposedly have a feminist bent! It’s just aggravating.

I urge everyone to take a step back and ask themselves why that’s the conclusion they leapt to. Sure, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper won’t know every single person who brought this up. But if you bring it up about them, you’re likely to do the same thing in your real life.

One of my best friends was a guy, and everyone assumed that either he was pining for me (he wasn’t – he was in my bridal party, and so proud to be a major part of our lives) or that I was cheating on TheBoy with him (I wasn’t – he was like a missing member of my family). We were simply best friends who supported each other. And I can’t tell you how much it hurts to have someone make those assumptions. How sad it is, because they simply can’t see any other explanations.

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