Stefano Gabbana was definitely not the first to criticize Lady Gaga for “showing too much skin” at her Super Bowl halftime performance, but he is one of the first to publicly apologize.
Lady Gaga, a known eating disorder survivor, did not idly sit by while critics everywhere shamed her body. Instead, she publicly responded to everyone that shamed her two piece outfit. Gaga clapped back with a body-positive Instagram photo and caption in response to comments on social media like this one:
Lady Gaga coming in with the beer gut
— Noah (@noahcarroll101) February 6, 2017
She told her fans, “I’m proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too. No matter who you are or what you do.”
I heard my body is a topic of conversation so I wanted to say, I'm proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too. No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don't need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you. That's the stuff of champions. thank you so much everyone for supporting me. I love you guys. Xoxo, gaga
Many fans also came to her defense on Twitter, like user @NicolConcilio:
We as a society need to chang our messed up perception of a "good body" because Gaga's body was banging. Idk what y'all were watching.
— NICOL CONCILIO (@nicolconcilio) February 8, 2017
Her performance inspired body positivity in a lot of her fans. Users @erin_m24, @kpuff_, and @shannonigans44 felt empowered by her bold performance, and let the world know:
Shoutout to lady gaga's stomach roll for showing girls that you don't need to have a perfect body to absolutely kill it 💅🏻✨
— Erin Moore (@erin_m24) February 6, 2017
I've been feeling rly down abt my body-rly fat&gross-but after seeing @ladygaga rock it on stage w/a belly like mine i feel so much better
— Kenzie Sharp 🍄 (@kpuff_) February 6, 2017
Best part of the halftime show was @ladygaga totally rocking her less than "perfect" stomach on national television. Empowering AF.
— Shannon (@shannonigans44) February 6, 2017
In an Instagram post that showed a close up of Gaga’s stomach, the co-founder of luxury fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana also came forward to support the pop star. However, not before admitting to initially shaming her. His caption, half in Italian and half in English, read, “I know it’s strange, but finally something real not retouched! The truth, reality. Yesterday I critized it too, but I though about it and I was wrong!!! #real.”
Lo so che è strano, ma finalmente una cosa VERA non ritoccata….. la verita', la normalita'…. ieri criticavo anch'io questo…. ci ho pensato, mi sbagliavo!!! ❤❤❤❤ #real I know it's strange, but finally something real not retouched! The truth, reality. Yesterday I critized it too, but I though about it and I was wrong!!! #real
Although he has received some support from fans who appreciate his honesty and change of heart, the response has overall been mixed. Many criticized him for shaming her at all and commented on his unrealistic expectations for women, which is a well known issue in the fashion world.
The “Born This Way” singer does not seem to be taking heart to any of the negative comments, though, and she encourages fans to do the same. She left them with the message, “Be you, and be relentlessly you. That’s the stuff of champions.”