Lambert kiss was a freedom of expression

People were shocked at Adam Lambert’s so called “controversial” performance at the American Music Awards last weekend. The flashy performance included a same-sex kiss (Lambert is openly gay), and a few seconds where oral sex was simulated with one of the dancers and a middle finger. Lambert admitted he got “carried away” when he was performing, and because of the late hour (late enough to avoid any FCC fines, according to RollingStone.com) he didn’t think it was a big deal.

I don’t see what the big deal is either. We’ve seen more than our fair share of controversial behavior from musicians such as Britney Spears, Madonna (let’s not forget their infamous kiss at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards), Janet Jackson (anyone remember a certain nipple incident?) and of course we can even sing about certain male parts in boxes on Saturday Night Live. So why did people freak out about Lambert expressing himself as an artist during his first ever non-American Idol performance?

I think it’s a double standard. When women express their sexuality on stage, it’s hot, it’s sexy and even if it’s controversial, not too many people are complaining. Madonna can be a sexy dominatrix and that’s OK, so why the hypocrisy when a man wants to be sexy too? And let’s note he’s not just a man … he is a gay man. So is that why there was uproar? It’s okay for two women to kiss, but not two men? Come on, people, it’s almost 2010. Isn’t it time to let people be who they are? And not just average, everyday folks … these are stars. They are entertaining, over the top and do things none of us would probably dream of. Pushing the boundaries is what makes a great artist, and I think Lambert has what it takes.

I watched a performance a few weeks ago where Lady Gaga bled fake blood all over the stage and paraded around in freakish costumes. I’d much rather see two men kiss than Gaga trying to move her neck in some ridiculous peacock collar or try to see through a bunch of lace all over her face. But I’d defend her too, because in this case, it’s all about freedom of expression and the good old First Amendment.

If you don’t like it, don’t buy it, don’t watch it, don’t listen to it and don’t read it. As a writer, I have always been a big defender of creative and artistic freedom. It’s part of the beauty of being an American. And as for Lambert, the controversy only set fire to his already blossoming career … he ended up boosting his album sales last week, selling over twice as many albums as his less controversial Idol counterpart, Kris Allen. Who says safe is always better?

Christi Aldridge is a senior strategic communication major from Hillsboro.