Alim Kheraj
February 06, 2017 2:57 am
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Kevin Mazur/WireImage

 

Despite her halftime show going off without a hitch, Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl performance wasn’t without its statements, and they were so subtle that you might have missed them.

We weren’t the only ones who were completely blown away by Lady Gaga’s halftime show. In fact, the internet pretty much lost it’s collective chill. Whether it was the singer jumping off the roof of the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas (amazing), or the fact that she performed a smattering of her most famous hits, we were enthralled by the show, and wished that it could have gone on forever.

Refresh your memory of the 13-minute epic performance below.

However, there were some super subtle but powerful statements that Lady Gaga made during her performance that you might have missed.

Starting the show a top the NRG Stadium, Gaga opted to open her performance not with one of her own songs but with a version of Woody Guthrie’s song “This Land Is Your Land.”

Why is this significant? Well, Guthrie’s song is inherently one about activism. As Vanity Fair point out, “This Land Is Your Land” has a deep pro-immigration theme, with the lyrics in later verses going:

As I went walking I saw a sign there And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.” But on the other side it didn’t say nothing, That side was made for you and me/ In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people, By the relief office I seen my people; As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking Is this land made for you and me?

While Gaga, and indeed the rest of us, omitted Guthrie’s more political verses, her choice of song is quite fitting especially given the current socio-political climate, and feeds into her earlier comments that if she were to get “political” during the Super Bowl, it would only be to preach a message of inclusion.

Indeed, before she jumped off the roof of the stadium, Gaga decided to recite one potent line from the Pledge of Allegiance that advocates just this:

However, this wasn’t the only way that Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime show made a subtle but important statement.

In fact, the singer’s other message comes in the shape of the song choices, or more specifically “Poker Face” and “Born This Way.”

Gaga has previously spoken about “Poker Face” is a song about exploring her bisexuality. Yet it’s her equality anthem “Born This Way” that was particularly important.

Given that VP Mike Pence was in attendance at last night’s Super Bowl in Houston, and given that he has a history of being one of the most staunchly anti-LGBTQ politicians around, the fact that Gaga performed a song that so vehemently promotes equal rights and the LGBTQ community in his presence is pretty darn impressive. Indeed, Teen Vogue reports (via USA Today) that it’s likely the first time that the word “transgender” has been used during the Super Bowl, which is watched by over 100 million people in the U.S. alone.

While many have praised Gaga for keeping politics out of her Super Bowl halftime show, it seems that under the surface the singer was doing exactly what she said she would do.

“The only statements that I’ll be making during the halftime show are the ones that I’ve been consistently making throughout my career,” Gaga said last week. “I believe in a passion for inclusion. I believe in the spirit of equality, and the spirit of this country as one of love and compassion and kindness. So my performance will have both those philosophies.”

Well, it seems she delivered on that front. Power to you Gaga!