China bans a lot of things, and I only know this because I went through social media withdrawal when I visited the country a year ago. However, while websites like Facebook and Twitter remain blocked, certain celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Beyonce and Katy Perry are on lockdown as well. Yet one queen of music has made a comeback: Lady Gaga. Yes, that’s right. The singer’s new album “ARTPOP” has received a thumbs up to be sold in the country, despite the fact that she was banned for vulgarity three years ago.
Hurray! This is all spectacular, but of course, there’s a catch. The good news is that all 15 songs off the album will be available, but on the downside, China has taken the creative liberty to alter the album’s cover. Gaga’s cover art, which was designed by artist Jeff Koons, features the singer sitting with a blue, glass ball strategically placed between her legs to cover the goods, while she holds her breasts, barely covered by her platinum blonde hair. To us, that’s pretty tame for her.
Instead, Chinese censors have decided to cover Gaga’s legs with black stockings and will position the ball higher in order to cover more of the singer’s body, according to the New York Times. Judging from the design, I don’t know if moving the ball higher is necessarily the best idea if they’re trying to be less racy. If it’s really that much of an issue, they should probably just make it larger. Honestly though, who am I kidding? If you’re telling me that Chinese citizens haven’t seen a half-naked woman, if not fully au naturel, then I’ll see your $100 and raise you $1 million.
It’s a tad frustrating that they can’t see past the artistic value in Koons’ work, but it’s not so bad when you consider the alternative, which would be Gaga still being banned. Really though, China, you have to lighten up a bit, and please don’t ban me for saying that. Gaga’s Born this Way, Edge of Glory and Judas are on a long list of songs that have been banned in the country. The Backstreet Boys’ I Want It That Way, Knowles’ Run The World (Girls), Perry’s Last Friday Night, and Bruno Mars’ Just The Way You Are have also made the list. The theme I’m seeing here is empowered women, relationships, having fun and being yourself. Is China saying they don’t like that?
Oh well. At least they’re slowly coming around, I guess. All that matters is that Gaga is happy, and she already tweeted to express her content with the decision. "I'm so excited!!!! The Chinese Government Approved ARTPOP to be released in China with all 15 songs!" her tweet read. "Next I hope I can come to perform!" If she’s satisfied, then we as her little monsters are as well.