Madonna says Lady Gaga is reductive
Lady Gaga responds to Madonna snipe
Madonna on the Ellen Show
Lady Gaga on the Ellen Show
Elton Johns Husband calls Madonna a Narcissist
Lady Gaga, Madonna and Narcissism
Narcissistic Personality Disorder has now been dealt with extensively on Hub Pages but if it is still a condition you are unfamiliar with then here is some information from my previous Hub Narcissistic Personality Disorder Defined.
From Narcissistic Personality Defined
Narcissistic Personality Disorder has already been well documented and is clinically defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) as a “pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy.” In order for a diagnosis of Narcissistic personality Disorder to be made the person must be seen to possess at least five of the following nine personality traits….more at my Hub Narcissistic Personality Defined.
Madonna Louise Cicone’s story is pretty well known by now. She first burst onto the stage as the crucifix wielding, lycra clad, bad perm day, girl. Singles such as Holiday and Like a Virgin during the 1980s heralded Madonna to a new sex symbol status that she subsequently seemed able to exploit to the full. At first I really liked this feisty woman who seemed to revel in using her femininity to claw her way to the top.
Much to my mother’s chargin I was soon singing an out of tune version of Like a Virgin, around the house while getting ready to take the local nightclub by storm, in my very own lycra mini, crucifix and a very suspect home perm.
So in my teens I liked the whole Madonna image and wasn’t too bothered by the initial suggestions that this woman sang like mini mouse on helium. When Madonna continued on with singles like, Papa Don’t Preach and Get into the Groove, I still sang along although my interest in her was waning. The Like a Prayer Album then became hugely controversial but for me the songs did nothing for me either way.
Then as the years passed Madonna seemed to fade into obscurity for a number of years and I didn’t think that much about her anymore. Except when I came across the odd article about her that would come to my attention, such as her divorce from Sean Penn after they reputedly almost killed each other while trying to make a film together called Shanghi Surprise. Then there was the whole Sex period which was considered very risque in those days. Followed by the birth of Lourdes, the Guy Ritchie years and their son Rocco. Followed by Madonna's determination to become an English lady of the Manor before moving onto her next persona and adopting children.
Madonna and Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Madonna’s mantra has always been you can love her or loathe her but you simply can't ignore her. `In 2008 her brother Christopher Cicone published a book called Life with my sister Madonna; which pretty much summed up all the previous rumours about who the woman behind the Madonna caricature really was. None of the revelations in his book were particularly surprising. By 2008 it was more just a confirmation of what was already out there. It had already been widely suggested that Madonna didn’t get to the top of her profession by being nice, or by having empathy, nor by splashing her cash or even by having much talent. Instead Madonna became a household name by being, non-empathic, by using people, by loving and believing in herself above all others and definitely because she believed she deserved to be famous.
History has now already shown that many people who are highly Narcissistic do make it to the top because things that concern other people like having scruples just don’t count in the world of a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. In the case of Madonna though in recent years the cracks have really begun to show, at this stage she has changed her image so many times that people have begun to wonder is there actually any real Madonna? Is there any real person behind the mask that she always wears and if there then is what is she really like?
Madonna's last World Tour got a mixed response. Yes Madonna can still sing (I know that’s a matter of opinion in many quarters), dance and command a stage but is it really a pretty site to see a 53 year old lady prancing around yhr stage in a cone bra and a selection of leather g-strings? Yes Madonna likes to shock and drum up publicity anyway she can and sex has always been a tool that she has used but at this stage a lot of us feel like we have just seen it all before.
On the inside Narcissistic people are hugely insecure and their looks and their image are everything to them. Madonna looks fantastic for her age and takes care of herself very well so why you might ask does she feel the need to titillate teenagers and try to be something that she so clearly isn’t anymore? Probably because she is aging and she knows it and losing their allure is something that people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder find completely impossible to deal with. The classic Narcissistic mantra is ‘if I can’t be loved then I want to be notorious.’ I think Madonna has crossed that line. She is now becoming a victim of her own success who wants to shock people into noticing her because she is not as young as she used to be and the sex kitten image just doesn’t fit anymore.
Also if you want to work for Madonna you have to remember the number 1 rule. You must always praise her and you can never ever contradict her. So it goes without saying that then she has long since lost her objective grip on reality. Without constructive criticism (which us mere mortals usually get in bucket loads) Madonna has nobody to rein her in or no-one to suggest changes that might improve her look or her stage shows because if you dare to try you are soon going to be walking out the door and on your way to the nearest Job Centre.
About Lady Gaga
Then this leads us to the second part of this article the whole question of Lady Gaga and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. When I first heard Lady Gaga’s music I liked it. It was catchy,fresh and quite infectious. To be honest I still like her music and I do think in general it has an originality about it to a certain extent. Everybody is aware by now that Lady Gaga or Stefani Germanotta as she was named at birth has an ongoing spat taking place with Madonna. Apparently Madonna says Lady Gaga is unoriginal. You may detest that coming from the mother of new image creations this is a bit too like (as my granny would have said), the pot calling the kettle black.
Let’s just take a few more minutes first to delve into the carefully marketed, slick image that has produced Lady Gaga. Here is another woman who herself is not adverse to creating a persona to sell songs. Lady Gaga claims she is not just a singer but an artiste of great magnitude. She doesn’t see herself as just another performer but instead she likes to be portrayed as more like some sort of a Jesus figure who likes to wear some very memorable and often completely ‘look at me, look at me,’ outfits. In reality do you really go around wearing the remains of a dead animal to an award show for anything other than a lot of attention?
Lady Gaga and Narcissistic Personality Disorder
The thing that sent alarm bells off for me about Lady Gaga was this whole notion of her being ‘Mother Monster,’ and of all her fans being ‘Little Monsters.’ This wasn’t a title that her loyal legion of devoted fans gave her but rather one that Lady Gaga herself decided was appropriate. From now on she declared I am Mother Monster and all of my fans down there staring up at me in awe are my ‘Little Monsters?’ Hmmm just a little excerpt from my previous article called The Narcissist and Narcissistic Supply
…For the person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder other people around them are all classed as Narcissistic Supply. That is they need other people to worship them and keep their ego in tact. If the Narcissist homes in on you as a source of Narcissistic supply to add to their collection then be warned they will go to great lengths to reel you in…
What better way to garner a huge on going stream of Narcissistic Supply than to be famous and have legions of adoring fans screaming up at you at you every time you make a public appearance. This is where Lady Gaga is at now i.e. riding high on her pedestal of success. She is the it star that everyone is talking about, no truer song sums her up than I live on the Applause. For the Narcissist its all about the love and adoration of others. Yet as time will unfold that will cease to be enough. Lady Gaga may be making comments back about Madonna’s caustic behaviour but underneath she probably knows she has youth and popularity on her side and feels she has the upper hand.
Yet already Lady Gaga is being noted more and more for her Diva behaviour despite the decoys of her weird statements, her insistence that she is a new breed of performer the likes of which has never been seen before and of course her totally unique wardrobe. Recently it was reported that when Lady Gaga had the flu she insisted that ordinary oxygen was not good enough for her instead she would only inhale pure oxygen.
Also there are Lady Gaga’s constant referrals to not being just a singer but that she is also an artiste, a bohemian, a lover of peace, a fashion designer, a song writer, a choreographer and everything else really and that she is just short of being Jesus actually (this statement may come yet though who knows?). There is no doubt that Lady Gaga and Madonna are both feisty, confident, self-absorbed women that do seem to have been cut from the same cloth, mostly likely the one with Narcissistic Personality Disorder stamped all over it.
Lady Gaga and ARTPOP
The lacklustre success of Lady Gaga's latest album has shown the other side of her personality a bit more clearly. Apparently its everyone's fault except hers that ARTPOP didn't repeat the success of previous albums. Ding ding for anybody that understands the Narcissistic Personality such statements are always an alarm bell moment. No matter what happens in their life it is NEVER EVER the Narcissists fault in any way. Instead everyone around them is obviously just out to get them or has tricked them in some way or is just plain greedy, evil, stupid etc..etc.. but be warned the Narcissist will never accept any blame or admit that they may have played a part in their failure in anyway.
Apparently on Lady Gaga's main fansite yeah you guessed it littlemonsters.com she said the failure of ARTPOP was in no way her fault. She was full of remorse over the failure of the albums sales (poor me give me sympathy...) but she was also highly critical of everyone around her whose fault it ultimately was for ARTOP's failure. I am assuming heads will have rolled over that one.
Interestingly Lady Gaga then declared that she is no longer going to be 'Mother Monster,' but now instead will be known as 'Goddess of Love.' Anyone seeing a pattern here? The Narcissist is an expert at re-inventing themselves and their image just like Madonna also. When one persona fails to get them the Narcissistic Supply they constantly crave then that mask goes in the bin and its time for a new one.
Madonna and Lady Gaga and the Feud
From what I have been able to gather apparently Madonna did an interview with Cynthia McFadden from Sky where she finally let her claws show and spoke up about how she really felt about Lady Gaga. It wasn’t good. Madonna basically commented on Lady Gaga in the exact manner that you would expect from a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The green eyed monster was definitely emanating from her and to me it struck that she was talking about a person that she was completely envious of.
In summary Madonna said that she thought that Lady Gaga was ‘reductive.’ When Cynthia McFadden asked Madonna what she meant by that word a coy Madonna told her to look it up. This was a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder doing what they do best. Peering down from their high up in the clouds pedestal and taking the intellectual high ground because obviously they know they are right. They are the superior being and anyone that dares to challenge this fact is an inferior, reductive sort who has to be taught a lesson and put back in their place. This was a moment of classic Narcissism behavior at its true best.
What did Madonna mean saying Lady Gaga was reductive?
Basically reductive depending on which dictionary you check it in means simplified or crude. Miaooow no punches spared there. Obviously Madonna was saying she was far superior to this little upstart Lady Gaga who dared to try to take her song Express Yourself and turn it into Born this Way, or so the story goes anyway. Apparently the two songs are more than a bit similar and Madonna is not amused. But then bizarrely the woman who felt Lady Gaga was inferior to her decides she is going to make a desperate attempt to get some attention of her own by flashing her boob on stage during her 2012 tour. Comment on this below:
Madonna, who spent a world tour brandishing on stage her naked breasts and backside, assault rifles, and even Nazi swastikas – all in a quite pitifully desperate bid for attention. Even her 25-year-old toyboy’s had enough of her juvenile antics, reportedly ditching her last week.
This might seem like totally miffing behaviour to the ordinary mortal and while it was strange indeed; if you dare to delve into the Narcissistic mind it is not so unusual really. Take the spotlight away from the Narcissist and they will go to any lengths to get it back. The gloves come off and they will even surrender their sanity to get their Narcissistic supply back. If they can not get it by being loved anymore then they will get it by shocking you instead. As pathetic as this may seem that’s the way of the NPD mind. Madonna who is 53 and is the best selling female artist of all time and who has more money than she can ever spend is still not happy. Because there is somebody after her crown as she sees it, and that makes everything else almost irrelevant.
Lady Gaga responds to Madonna
Naturally not to be outdone Lady Gaga responded. Feeling rather slighted that this old diva Madonna dared to claim that she had the superior moral high ground over Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga retaliated by giving a speech at her concert in New Zealand where she talked about her song Born this Way being an expression of the times we live in now and that it was not comparable to the music of twenty five years ago i.e. when Madonna was her age. Also that it was quite sad really the way that people of that era had to make themselves feel better about who they were by putting others down. Also that Mother Monster and all her little Monsters had matured since that era and that they felt good enough about themselves not to lower themselves to that level. Strike two to Lady Gaga it seemed. The claws were well sharpened there. My own take on it is the experienced, cultivated Narcissist Madonna has met another of her own kind who knows all her tricks and she can see what Lady Gaga is doing i.e. she is determined to topple Madonna from her pedestal.
Madonna says Lady Gaga is not her
Apparently then on her 2012 World Tour Madonna sang a mix of her own song Express Yourself and Lady Gaga’s Born this Way. Then at the end of every performance Madonna said,’ ‘She’s not me!’
Madonna and Lady Gaga why can’t they grow up?
What do I think? Well these two ladies are world famous, rich beyond our comprehension, they both have talent, drive and ambition so why could they both not share the same world and just deal with each other? Obviously they can’t because they are both blatant Narcissists and for them it’s all about themselves and now about coming out on top as the shrewdest and most loved Narcissistic superstar in town. At this stage it seems to have evolved into a battle of widths where both of them are hell bent on getting the upper hand over the other. Or put more simply perhaps this time Madonna may have met her match and that’s probably what has really unnerved her the most.
Madonna Versus Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga is half Madonna’s age. Also while she has admitted herself to being influenced by Madonna she says she has also been influenced by Freddie Mercury (originally taking her Gaga name from Queen’s song Radio Gaga), along with a host of other musical greats. Madonna herself also has a long list of people that she has been influence by but that doesn’t make the Madonna brand any less unique. The same rule applies to Lady Gaga she has created a totally individual brand as Mother Monster (now the Love Goddess it seems).
My guess too is that Madonna has made a lot of enemies over the years, Elton John being the first example that springs to mind. All of these people will naturally want Lady Gaga to succeed and come out on top.
Then there is the obvious while you can get away with prancing around in your undies easily at 27 once you pass a certain age you are going to start to look a bit past it. Yes I know Madonna has a body of a much younger woman and is in fantastic shape but the problem with her is we really have seen it all before. Along with the fact that everyone knows now that its Madonna’s last ditch attempt to stay in the limelight that has her taking her clothes off and not because she is actually a sexual being of mammoth proportions.
On the other hand Lady Gaga has a much wilder streak to her than Madonna ever had. Beneath her outer veneer of rebellion Madonna has always been quite a conventional woman underneath. She admits to never having partied hard and to having always distanced herself from having the party lifestyle. For Madonna stardom was the ultimate prize and she wasn’t going to risk that by letting her mask slip even for a second. It must be a tough way to live and it is easy to see how now she could have lost touch with reality.
Lady Gaga seems to know how to party and has admitted to using drugs in the past. Also she is still relatively new to fame and as Narcissists go she could go completely off the rails in the next few years. Especially if her diva side is continuously nurtured in the same way that it seems to be at present. The failure of ARTPOP to make sales and her classically Narcissistic reaction to this shows that she is teethering on the edge a bit and this could be a huge issue for her in the future.
Many Narcissistic people do crash and burn relatively young because they can never quite get the complete adoration and attention that they need just to function at a normal level. Also they usually do turn on those closest to them and often end up alienating key figures too rashly. As we can clearly see in both Madonna and Lady Gaga’s case they are definitely both hypersensitive to criticism and usually this is due to the Narcissists deep insecurities that they always try so hard to hide. Madonna however so far has used her past failures to learn how to get back up there and create a new persona. Only time will tell if Lady Gaga will manage this too but the problem with her is that having started out in such an outrageous way how many options to shock has she really got left? Yet nobody knows what the future holds but it is certainly never easy having a Narcissistic mind to contend with and it usually does take its toll sooner or alter.
Lady Gaga keeps the feud burning
Madonna and Lady Gaga both Live on the Applause
Finn from Barstow on November 23, 2017:
You have quite a b it to say about both women...and yes I guess you have to be a bit or a meany to get to the top. It can't be easy. Sure they are arrogant - who in Hollywood isn't?
i would have liked to have seen a little more focus on the NPD though and a little less bashing...but nice reading nonetheless
Chuck Fasst from Portland, Oregon on May 29, 2015:
I don't know either that well but they do seem cut from the same cloth. And it could very well have NPD all over it as you say. Well, lets see if they self destruct.
Mary Kelly Godley (author) from Ireland on May 14, 2015:
Thanks for reading Karine. Your points are noted and I will take them on board. Sorry I didn't reply sooner I have been away.
Karine Gordineer from Upstate New York on May 06, 2015:
It's an interesting Hub save for the fact that can you really diagnose someone as having NPD without being 1 - a therapist and 2 - without actually speaking to the person? I think not. It seems you have quite the "bone to pick" with Madonna and come down pretty hard on her for being 53 and flashing it around on stage but what about Mic Jagger or Keith Richards. Aren't their antics best left to virile young 20 somethings? I feel our society is especially hard on women and usually by other jealous women which is sad. I don't always agree with what she does but I have to give Madonna credit for using the industry against itself. If people will still come out to see her at 53, I say more power to her. She really isn't doing anything any differently than say Cher has done and besides what would you have her do? Go slink off into the night because oh my god "she's old"?! Even considering a woman old at 53 is an insult and perhaps means you need to get out more. I mean that's the same double standard that we've had for men and women forever. How about we stop it now. You know the old Sean Connery is distinguished crap and he can have a romantic co-star half his age but if Madonna is up there shakin it well she should just act her age. Seriously? And if you're going to talk about narcissism you really have to include pretty much the ENTIRE entertainment industry. I realize your hub is about Madonna and Lady Gaga and Madonna vs Lady Gaga but truly the whole industry is effed in the head and anyone that takes actors, singers and the like seriously probably needs a good therapist. That's why it's called "entertainment". Also as far as Madonna changing so much that how do we know who she really is. How do we know who any of these entertainment people really are? It's all based in illusion and fantasy. It's important to keep that straight. You really don't know any of these people except for what you're meant to see, hear and read about and often times that is well crafted by teams of managers, publicists, promoters, investors, etc. Look at televangelists (who I would also list in the entertainment industry) how many of them the majority of people thought were upstanding citizens only to find their images come crashing down once the covers are really pulled back. Stars are also successful based on their ability to continually reinvent themselves unless you're someone like Sean Connery who has a certain je ne c'est quoi that allows him to play a certain character all throughout his career. I think this would be a more compelling Hub is you left out the NPD part as far as putting yourself in the position of making a diagnosis or an assessment based on third party information. Perhaps a hub of "why I hate Madonna" might be more accurately termed. Oh and it's "boy toy" not "toyboy".
Mary Kelly Godley (author) from Ireland on March 03, 2014:
Thanks for your comment amiebutchko, yeah it would seem it is prize Diva versus Prize Diva when it comes to Lady Gaga and Madonna.
Amie Butchko from Warwick, NY on March 03, 2014:
Truly interesting and something I think many people will enjoy reading. I did not know there was a feud going on between them, but I think you have hit the nail on the head with your analysis, after being brought up to date on the details.
Mary Kelly Godley (author) from Ireland on March 02, 2014:
Thanks for comment bethperry and yes today a lot of professionals argue that fame itself and adoration can also create a new type of celebrity Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Beth Perry from Tennesee on March 02, 2014:
A very insightful article, and I suspect this Narcissistic Personality Disorder affects more popular artists than just Madonna and Gaga. This well may be part of the mediocrity problem seen in the music industry today. There was a time when, for most musical artists, it was "all about the music", where today the message comes across as, "all about me". Sad.
Mary Kelly Godley (author) from Ireland on February 19, 2014:
Yeah I agree with you Flourish Anyway about the feud benefiting both Lady Gaga and Madonna. Who knows maybe behind it all they are both the best of friends and might be delighted to keep the drama going to keep the dollars rolling in and to keep themselves in the public eye too. Narcissists always stay close to those that can benefit them after all. Thanks for commenting.
FlourishAnyway from USA on February 19, 2014:
The similarities are uncanny albeit primarily purposeful. I very much enjoyed your comparison. For me, Madonna is #1 and Lady Gaga is a talented wanna be, an inimitator. Their fued benefits them both by keeping them in the public eye.