Lady Gaga represents both the height of celebrity and a disruption of the norms surrounding the social position. This book charts the way the pop star manages the celebrity persona in her relationships with her fans, the development of her gender identity, her parodying of other celebrities, and her navigation of the legal and economic system that make up the music industry. Much of Gaga's ability to maintain ownership of her identity comes from her early decisions to characterise herself as a performance artist. For Gaga, treating celebrity as performance art means living the persona 24 hours a day. That includes sleeping in wigs and making a commitment to never letting anyone see her in sweatpants.
Lady Gaga mimicks celebrity life in a self-conscious way that makes the mimicry apparent. Her performance of celebrity is an on-going project - despite what she may claim, she was not born this way. The excess of her celebrity is magnified by her title: Mother Monster. Historically, media narratives of celebrities, monsters, and mothers have centered around uncontrolled excesses that must be contained. Lady Gaga adopts these personas, but refuses to submit to the containment that comes with each of these social positions.