I consider myself a devoted little monster. I love your music. I have all your albums. Hell, I spent my Christmas in 2009 sewing baubles to a skirt so that I could cosplay you at a convention.
I like that you are an activist. I like that you fight for the rights of the marginalized. I like what you did to repeal DADT. When I heard that your next single was going to be titled “Born This Way”, I couldn’t wait.
So yesterday, after I had calmed down from fluster of the happenings in Egypt, I had a listen to the song.
Alright. I have to say that, I liked it upon first listen. It’s got that 90s-power-pop vibe going. Not quite what I expected, but I like! And then we got to this part:
YOU’RE BLACK, WHITE, BEIGE, CHOLA DESCENT
YOU’RE LEBANESE, YOU’RE ORIENT
I had to stop the video and rewind a few times to make sure that I hadn’t heard you wrong. “Orient”, as in “Oriental”, really? I see what you’re trying to do with the song, and it’s an admirable sentiment. But I think you missed the memo that “Orient” is a dated term with colonialist connotations, and using it in conjunction to describe people is considered racist.
Then in a later verse:
I WAS BORN TO SURVIVE
NO MATTER BLACK, WHITE OR BEIGE
CHOLA OR ORIENT MADE
This song’s getting a paws-down from this little monster, sadly. I can’t believe that nobody on your production crew, not a single person, thought to bring this up during the entire course of writing, recording, editing & distributing the single. If it were just another regular mainstream hit I’d roll my eyes and attribute it to the entertainment industry being the entertainment industry as usual, but this is a song that specifically sets out to celebrate diversity. How could it have gone so far off the mark? Really, I AM DISAPPOINT.
A little monster