By Charlotte Pradié
I commented on the profile of H on LittleMonsters.com because I noticed that she is an active user of the site, and seemed to be very chatty. I introduced myself (21 year old student at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA), and asked her if she wanted to help with a project I’m doing about the Little Monsters site. She said that she wanted to and we had a short exchange. I sent her some preliminary questions about her age and location, but she didn’t respond. She is probably 13 years old, and it seems like she lives in Italy. She has over 600 followers on the site. She likes 3-5 images on the website per day, and these include picture of Gaga, her fans, and memes about Gaga, among others. She answered a lot of questions that the website provides to be answered. In the optional questionnaire, she describes her perfect world as one with “No Bullying, No Prejudice, No Hate, No War, Let Gay Marriage Be Legal in every state in the U.S. and much more.”
Here, H articulates a utopian vision of the world that is free of violence, and where homosexuals can marry. When asked how she wants to change the world, she answers “To end bully , to make Gay marriage legal , to support the LGBT pride and Born This Way Foundation.=D.” In keeping with the framework of Littlemonsters.com, H imagines a world where: 1. People are not discriminated against 2. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community is supported 3. The Born This Way Foundation is instrumental in making these changes.
The Born This Way Foundation is Lady Gaga’s foundation for “empowering young people” to build a “kinder, braver world.” It encourages individuality, bravery, acceptance, and youth empowerment. The foundation relates stories about illness and bullying, encourages people to “make sure you vote for marriage equality,” and asks for donations. Lady Gaga believes in the aforementioned values. Littlemonsters.com is a place where her fans circulate content that touches on these ideas.
H envisions a world through Lady Gaga/The Born This Way Foundation’s vocabulary. Her ideal world is her interpretation of Gaga’s ideology. It is also a world similar to the one many young adults imagine. I probably would have responded the same way. The difference now is that Lady Gaga proposes a method to achieving this previously unattainable world: The Born This Way Foundation, The Born This Way Ball (new tour), or Fame perfume. Lady Gaga commodifies youth visions of peace and acceptance by providing objects and events that cost money.
Littlemonsters.com is the online community that feeds the desire for these objects and events. Littlemonsters.com is communicative capitalism at its best/worst. H enjoys and feeds this system of communicative capitalism.