Scrolling Headlines:

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

Minutemen third, Minutewomen finish fifth in Atlantic 10 Championships for UMass track and field -

May 8, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse wins A-10 title for ninth straight season -

May 8, 2017

Dayton takes two from UMass softball in weekend series -

May 8, 2017

Lady Gaga’s performance shines light on bigger issues

Lionel Hahn/Abaca Press/TNS

While the sounds of Super Bowl LI blasted throughout homes nationwide last night, I sat eagerly awaiting the halftime show. It was the only motivation for enduring the seemingly endless commercial interruption as I think even the commercials are more interesting than the game itself.

While I understand my scrooge-like opinion is an unpopular one among so many patriotic football fans sweating over their queso and warm beer, it’s not the Patriots that I dislike. It’s all things football.

But moving on, that’s not the portion of the Super Bowl I intend to analyze. The more interesting, culturally and socially relevant point of discussion is Lady Gaga’s halftime performance.

Since the beginning of her professional career, Gaga has been a leader for social issue of inclusivity. She has often voiced her left-leaning political opinions around acceptance and equality of all races and genders, especially in the context of the recent election and her support for Hillary Clinton.

This performance was no small symbol. As a woman who, according to Amanda Petrusich of the New Yorker, has routinely “advocated for misfits, throwing her considerable support and empathy behind anyone subject to marginalization,” Gaga should be applauded for taking on such a hateful opposition in front of a large and possibly disagreeable audience.

Gaga performed in front of millions, many of whom undoubtedly voted for President Donald Trump. This is a man who aggressively counteracts her views of equality and inclusiveness on a wide scale, a man whose slogan of “Make America Great Again” means a travel ban and an obtrusive wall separating the United States from Mexico in attempts to keep those who stray from the mold of the white, working upper or middle class out.

For these reasons we should applaud Gaga. She performed both as an act of entertainment, but more importantly as a face for change, love, respect, diversity and so much more.

If you, like me, admittedly, were shaking your head at the flashy costumes, strange mechanical dance numbers and superhero parallels between Gaga’s free-falling bungee inclusion, challenge yourself to take a look beyond the production to examine the work she does as a public figure, activist and loving human being to share her beliefs.

In her earlier days of “Bad Romance” and “Poker Face” that rocked us through our tumultuous teenage years, she could often be seen in dresses made from household materials or dinner ingredients (circa the meat dress days). Strange? Yes. A reason to write her off as someone other than the revolutionary that she is? Absolutely not.

If you’re still hung up on the glittery go-go boots I urge you to watch the performance once more. Not as an audience member at a concert closely critiquing all her crooked dance moves, but rather a detective dusting off your magnifying glass and examining the details of social justice.

For me, a memorable moment that really sealed the deal was during Gaga’s performance of a “Million Reasons” where she hugged a person of color as she soulfully sang “why don’t you stay?”

I hope I’m not alone in thinking that moment in time speaks for itself with powerful nods to the new administration.

Gina Lopez can be reached at gmlopez@umass.edu.

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