We asked, and you delivered. On Monday, with the premiere of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” video , we compiled a pop-culture cheat sheet to highlight some of the clip’s nods to film, fine art, fashion and more.
It was a pretty big task, so when we published that first story, we included a caveat: We were sure there were some references we missed, and we hoped you’d help point them out to us.
And, of course, you did. We received tons of tips from eagle-eyed Gaga fans, who analyzed each frame of “Born This Way” and came back with a list of references we can’t believe we missed (actually, some of them were so fleeting that we can’t believe you noticed them). And thanks to that response — and in the interest of being thorough — we’re publishing a second cheat sheet, made up entirely of contributions from MTV.com readers.
We’d like to think this is about as complete a list as you can get, but, if there’s still something that slipped through the cracks, let us know in the comments below. So, without further ado, alphabetized and cross-referenced for your perusing pleasure, here is our “Born This Way” pop-culture cheat sheet, part II:
Lotus Flowers: Not to be confused with the Radiohead single, these flowers hold immense significance in Eastern religion and philosophy, representing sexual purity, feminine grace and spiritual promise. Hindus closely associate the lotus with the divinities Lakshmi and Vishnu, and Buddhists believed that the flowers bloomed with each step of Gautama Buddha, who founded the religion. In “Born This Way,” lotus flowers descend to Earth (spiraling, as one reader pointed out, “in line with the Golden Ratio”) immediately following the birth of the starchild.
Michelangelo’s “Last Judgment”: Massive fresco inside the Sistine Chapel, it depicts the second coming of Christ and the apocalypse. Several readers noticed the similarities between the painting and the “Born This Way” scene where the “evil” child is born, as the souls of humans trapped below rise toward their Mother Monster for judgment.
Ovary: Female reproductive organ that — as one ultra-attentive Gaga fan pointed out — makes an appearance as a constellation at the 33-second mark of “Born This Way,” just before Mother Monster begins to give birth.
“Rabbit Teeth”: We caught hell from the Little Monsters for suggesting that, when Gaga donned a pair of gapped-front teeth at the conclusion of “Born This Way,” she was doing so as an homage to Madonna. Instead, her fans said the costume was a nod to LG’s own past, when she was called “rabbit teeth” by her classmates. Now, of course, it’s safe to say she’s having the last laugh.
Sinéad O’Connor: Irish singer perhaps best known for her iconic “Nothing Compares 2 U” video (and for ripping up a photo of the pope on “Saturday Night Live”). As several readers pointed out, in the same scene where Gaga shows off the gap in her teeth, she also sheds a single tear, an apparent nod to Connor’s “2 U” clip.
Third Eye: In Hindu texts, the third eye is one of the chakras that makes up a person’s energy field (or “etheric body”) and serves as the gate to inner realms and higher consciousness. In New Age spirituality, the third eye usually symbolizes a state of enlightenment. Also associated with clairvoyance and out-of-body experiences. Most often, the third eye is located on the brow, though, in “Born This Way,” Gaga’s Mother Monster proudly displays hers on her chin.
Triangles: Basic geometric shape that also possesses a world of additional symbolism, from the spiritual (the Holy Trinity, the Star of David, etc.) to the sexual (a representation of the male and female sex organs) to the social (the pink triangle being used in the Holocaust to identify homosexual prisoners and later adapted by the LGBTQ movement to represent a “safe” zone). All of those meanings can easily be applied to “Born This Way” too.
Did we still miss anything? Let us know in the comments!