It's not easy to perfect a formula to encourage human aspiration, but two very different women in the headlines think they've done it. Lady Gaga, who just won a Grammy for best female pop vocal performance, and the Tiger Mother, whose controversial book on "parenting" became an instant best-seller, are cut from the same cloth to make a splashy costume. Both have cleverly manufactured a personal story, sensationalized its message and packaged it in a way that sells to the insecure, the overanxious and the ill at ease. Superstar meets supermom.
"Despite showing acres of pallid flesh in the fetish-bondage garb of urban prostitution, [Lady] Gaga isn't sexy at all — she's like a gangly marionette or plasticized android," writes Camille Paglia at the Sunday Times of London Magazine.