A Suit's Power

On Monday night, Elle held its 25th annual Women in Hollywood event honoring the magazine’s selection of women that they believe are standouts in the entertainment industry. While this event may come across as a popularity contest, Elle has reshaped the event to honor women in Hollywood who are more than just their career title. These women are activists, fighters, and survivors, and they truly portray what it means to be a modern woman. Some of the honorees included Sarah Paulson, Yara Shahidi, Charlize Theron and Ellen Pompeo. However, the standout of the night was when Lady Gaga took the stage to accept her award.

It only took one film to make Lady Gaga a movie star. Coming off rave reviews and Oscar buzz, Lady Gaga has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Last night seems to mark the beginning of her award cycle, but this appearance was unlike any other for one reason. A suit.

Since A Star is Born premiered at the Venice Film Festival, Lady Gaga has been seen wearing grand looks that resemble old Hollywood glamour. From the Valentino couture dress fresh off the runway to the custom glimmering Givenchy gown, Gaga has earned the title “queen of the red carpet.” However, last night was different for all the right reasons. Lady Gaga chose to wear an oversized Marc Jacobs suit, but this choice was more than just fashion related. In her speech, Gaga described the reason for her decision.

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She listed off all of the other amazing designer dresses that she had tried on for the evening, but stated that none of them felt right. It wasn’t until the suit, that she felt most like herself.

“In this suit, I felt the truth of who I am well up in my gut. And then wondering what I wanted to say tonight became very clear to me,” Gaga said.

Her acceptance speech took a very powerful and relevant turn.

“As a sexual assault survivor by someone in the entertainment industry, as a woman who is still not brave enough to say his name, as a woman who lives with chronic pain, as a woman who was conditioned at a very young age to listen to what men told me to do, I decided today I wanted to take the power back. Today I wear the pants.”


This powerful speech left four words that seemed to emotionally impact everyone in the same way: “I wear the pants.” Four simple words that explain generations of sexism and misogyny. Gaga continues to be outspoken about her personal struggles and has always been a powerful voice throughout the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. Her words reinforce America’s need for change and further exemplify that the patriarchy is still devastatingly evident.

LIM senior Kali Wallace found Lady Gaga’s words to be poignant and empowering.

“I love that her words came with such authenticity and emotion. When she said ‘Today I wear the pants,’ you could feel her power and conviction. The phrase isn’t original by any means, but her use of it truly shows her taking back her power.”

While a suit may not innately bring power, it definitely can re-instill confidence. As Gaga left the stage, we are left with hope for change and the power to continue to fight for women’s rights.