At the MTV Video Music Awards 2010, Lady Gaga wore one of her most provocative outfits, the infamous meat dress (soon to be followed by her meat bikini for a cover of Vogue Magazine). Far from pure sensationalism, this dress was actually a protest event by Gaga against government inhibitions of gay rights in the military. On the Ellen DeGeneres show that same year she stated that ‘If we don’t stand up for what we believe in, if we don’t fight for our rights, pretty soon we’re going to have as much rights as the meat on our bones.’ ”
In fact, Gaga didn’t invent the meat dress. Canadian artist Jana Sterbak made a similar piece, Vanitas, dress for an albino anorectic in 1987.
The term “I am not a piece of meat”, the title of my project here, is a tribute to Gaga and Sterbak, as well as a reference to early second wave feminists in the 1970s who would say this to protest against objectification in the media and in the sex industry.