Celeb news: Demi tells Lady Gaga her vomit artist stunt will make girls bulimic

Lady Gaga embraces vomit artist Millie Brown on stage at SXSW via Tumblr

It seemed almost inevitable that someone would vomit on Lady Gaga eventually, the only shocking part about was that she orchestrated the projectile herself. Gaga enlisted vomit painter Millie Brown to spew up some art for her performance ‘Swine’ at South By South West.

Brown drank down a bottle of bright green liquid, before hurling it back up on Gaga, who was manning a drum kit at the time. The two – both covered in spew – then embraced. Later on, Gaga told the audience: “I love my fans because they always let me be myself and they don’t care what anybody says… It’s so much easier to be yourself than it is to be somebody else.”

Mother Monster’s decision to blend finger-down-the-throat action with self-affirmation didn’t sit right with American Idol judge and former eating disorder sufferer Demi Lovato, who accused Gags of glamourising eating disorders in a series of tweets.

Sad… As if we didn’t have enough people glamorizing eat disorders already.


She then took to TwitLonger to clarify:


It might shock Demi to learn that artists with far edgier credentials than Gaga have both shot up and self-harmed on stage in the name of self-expression, and probably encouraged a few teens in the process, however, I’d argue that this particular incidence isn’t the call to bulimia Demi thinks it is. It was an extreme stunt designed to grab headlines, but it’s unlikely to send girls rushing to the bathroom.

People aren’t influenced by extreme, silly stunts. What hits them is the valorisation of extreme thinness in more insidious ways, like the time Gaga said “Pop stars should not eat,”  or the time she gained 12 kilos, came out on the record about having struggled with eating disorders in the past  then promptly lost the weight again.

A work by vomit artist Millie Brown

It could be argued that by hiring Millie Brown, Gaga is making the statement that “who she is” is a person who likes to make herself throw up, and that this is okay. That’s certainly Lovato’s stance.

However it’s more likely that, just as when she lit up a spliff in front of an ELLE journalist, this is another attempt from an artist so commercial she may as well have been made by Mattel to retain some of the edge that won her Little Monsters in the first place.

But here’s the rule of rock and ‘role’ – role models aren’t ‘cool’, cool musicians aren’t role models, and you can’t have it both ways.

If eating disorders affect you or a friend, get in touch with The Butterfly Foundation.

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