Lady Gaga has spoken out about the objectification of women in entertainment, saying she wants to “take the power back”.
The actress and singer also spoke about her experience of sexual assault.
In a powerful speech at Elle’s Women in Hollywood event, she said the oversized suit she was wearing was a break away from her usual choice of outfit.
“In this suit, I felt like me today. In this suit, I felt the truth of who I am well up in my gut,” she said.
“After trying 10 or so dresses, with a sad feeling in my heart, that all that would matter was what I wore to this red carpet, I saw an oversized Marc Jacobs suit buried quietly in the corner.
“I put it on to a resounding view of eyes glaring at me in confusion. ‘But the Rodarte was so beautiful!’ one said.
“‘But the Raf Simons for Calvin Klein was so stunning on you!’ said another. Lots of questions. They were all dresses. This was an oversized men’s suit made for a woman. Not a gown. And then I began to cry.”
Gaga – real name Stefani Germanotta – has spent the last month promoting her new film, A Star is Born, with actor and director Bradley Cooper, in a number of elaborate gowns harking back to the old Hollywood era.
The 32-year-old hinted at her usual choice of outfit for red carpets and why she wanted to make a change to her signature look.
‘Not just objects’
“I tried on dress after dress today getting ready for this event, one tight corset after another, one heel after another, a diamond, a feather, thousands of beaded fabrics and the most beautiful silks in the world,” she told the audience.
“To be honest, I felt sick to my stomach. And I asked myself: What does it really mean to be a woman in Hollywood? We are not just objects to entertain the world.
“We are not simply images to bring smiles or grimaces to people’s faces. We are not members of a giant beauty pageant meant to be pit against one another for the pleasure of the public. We women in Hollywood, we are voices.”
She opened up about how, at the age of 19, she had been the victim of sexual assault by someone in the entertainment industry – but was “still not brave enough to say his name”.
“As a woman who lives with chronic pain, as a woman who was conditioned at a very young age to listen to what men told me to do, I decided today I wanted to take the power back. Today I wear the pants.”
Gaga also said she found herself unable to watch the news and “gasped at the unjust men and some women, quite frankly, that I see running this country”.
She concluded that recent events made her decide it was time to be “empowered to be myself” and to “resist the standards of Hollywood, the standards of dressing to impress”.
The Poker Face singer also used the platform to publicly acknowledge her engagement to talent agent Christian Carino, thanking him during her speech.