The shock factor

When it comes to Hollywood, is anything truly shocking anymore? Or is everything shocking and we’re slowly becoming immune to it?

Celebrities are always trying to “push the envelope” when it comes to their behavior, performance and image. But I think the top award of this decade goes to Lady Gaga.

At the 2011 Grammy Awards show held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Gaga hit the red carpet in an egg.

That’s right.

A weird, milky, giant egg carried by four men on posts. At what point do you think she thought to herself, “Hmm. What haven’t I done? Bubble costume, check. Creepy old lady, check. Monster mask, check. Oh! How about an egg?”

I guess something had to top the raw meat dress she wore to the VMA’s.

The whole Gaga craze is weird to me. For the record, yes, I think she’s talented, and I can certainly admire her devotion to stick to only “real” and live (not lip-synced) performances. And I think it’s great she writes her own music. But why the psycho-crazy outfits? Why does she feel she needs to make SUCH a statement, all the time, always in character?

Perhaps she’s trying – in a very Gaga way – to be relatable.

In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres a while back, she said she always felt like an outsider in school. So she wanted to write songs and create an image that people felt like they could connect to – to just escape. She said when others feel out of place or weird themselves, she wants them to know: “They have a freak in me.”

I think it’s a completely strange and brilliant way to keep the media buzzing about her.

“Pushing the envelope” certainly has a different meaning for Lada Gaga. But it also seems as if Hollywood in general is trying to lure viewers by with the “shock factor.”

On “The Bachelor” Monday night, a few of the girls were told they’d be posing in bikini’s for the new cover of Sports Illustrated, which hit stands Feb. 15. And while they were shooting, some of the producers asked if the girls would be willing to take their tops off for the photos.

Two out of three did.

What’s worse, ABC actually AIRED them taking off their tops, but the network did do us the courtesy of shooting from selected angles, zooming out or putting a black stripe across their chests so we’d only catch MOSTLY everything.

Are you kidding me?

I was appalled and disgusted and … well, shocked, I guess. Modesty, decency and propriety hold little to no value in Hollywood. The badder, the better. Everyone is trying to “make a statement” by being the most rebellious, the most out-spoken or the most outrageous. And to be honest, I’m getting quite sick of it.

What do you think of Hollywood’s craving for the “shock factor?” Are you offended, amused, or entertained?

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