A day after Demi took to Twitter to criticize Lady Gaga for letting an artist vomit on her as part of a performance, the artist in question Millie Brown fired back with a very reductive justification: My vomit is art!
Lady Gaga may have just been trying to shock her audience, but having performance artist Millie Brown vomit on her at South By Southwest on March 13 seems to be a huge misfire because aside from being shocking, the gross-out puke session equally felt like a glamorization of bulimia. And after Demi Lovato led the charge in pointing out this problem and criticizing Gaga and Millie, the vomit artist herself responded and tried to explain her “art” on March 15.
Millie Brown: Vomit Artist Defends Her Performance
“There’s a clear difference between using my body to create something beautiful, to express myself and feel powerful, rather than using it to punish myself and conform to society’s standards,” Millie said.
Since we don’t exactly speak art we’ll tread lightly here, but what the heck is Millie talking about? First of all, the issue with Millie and Gaga’s public vomiting wasn’t that it “offended” people struggling with bulimia — even though it most definitely did. The issue is that when Millie forces herself to throw up on stage, while Lady Gaga cosigns, she’s belittling the serious reality that people have a life-threatening addiction to making themselves throw up.
And Millie may not think she’s glamorizing anything, but just by associating her vomiting with Lady Gaga glamorizes it, and many young people could see her performance and feel an urge to imitate it, merely because Lady Gaga is advocating it. Millie clearly didn’t think about the consequences and responsibilities of celebrity.
Finally, she seems to think that her vomiting is righteous because she’s doing it for the sake of art, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t destroying her body. “There are a number of internal risks associated with self-induced vomiting,” Dr. Fred Pescatore, an expert in eating disorders, told HollywoodLife.com exclusively. “The esophagus and stomach can tear or rupture, ulcers can form in the stomach. In addition the teeth can also become discolored from exposure to stomach acid, often turning yellow or even clear and induced vomiting often creates calluses and scars on the knuckles or hands.”
Fans Join Demi Lovato In Criticizing Lady Gaga & Millie Brown
Clearly we aren’t the only ones who question Millie’s artistic beliefs, as many fans took to Twitter to support Demi after she spoke out against Gaga and the artist:
Lady Gaga is such a mess. Letting someone repeatedly puke on you onstage is not ‘art’.
— Aimee (@stxrmchasers) March 15, 2014
I love gaga more than anyone- but the vomit was disgusting. Artistic expression or revolutionizing art is fine but.. Seriously ew
— Kate | Gaga (@K8Hen) March 15, 2014
I’m bothered by Gaga’s vomit act as insensitive to survivors of bulimia. It’s almost advertisement of step 1 to it to young people. So wrong
— Glitter✨ (@HeLovedGlitter) March 15, 2014
What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Is Millie — and people in general — allowed to get away with things by just labeling them “art,” or should she and Lady Gaga step up and admit that they didn’t consider the negative message their performance was sending? Let us know!
— Andrew Gruttadaro