Lady Gaga, Before and After

Born this way?
Michelle Villett
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Born this way?
Lady Gaga before and after

"I have never had plastic surgery, and there are many pop singers who have. I think that promoting insecurity in the form of plastic surgery is infinitely more harmful than an artistic expression related to body modification."

That's a quote from the former Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta—a.k.a. Lady Gaga—in a 2011 interview with Harper's Bazaar. You be the judge, but I think it's pretty interesting to put that kind of statement out there when the photo evidence says otherwise.

I will say this: one thing she's got going for her is her wardrobe. Unlike other celebs, who have to rely on makeup and haircuts to provide camo for surgical enhancements, Gaga's always been known for her outlandish costumes. You know how she sometimes doesn't walk the red carpet at awards shows, only performing from afar? Or she shows up in some crazy mask that hides her face? There are rumours about these things.

It also makes it much harder to see what's changed when half the time, she's going around like this:

Lady Gaga, Isle of MTV Malta Special press conference, 2009

Or with these:

Lady Gaga, Jay Leno, 2011

Of her "face horns," she again said: "I have never had plastic surgery. [The protrusions are] not prosthetics, they're my bones." Right. Clearly, nothing she says on this subject can be trusted.

But I'll let you decide—let's dive deeper into this week's before and after:

The before

There are a few pics floating around the internet of Gaga when she was still Stefani, including this one—a shot from a high school semi-formal circa 2004:

Lady Gaga, 2004

She looks just like any regular high school girl here. By 2005, she was starting her music career and had a Katy Perry-meets-Ashlee-Simpson thing going on at this BMI event:

Lady Gaga before and after: BMI event, 2005

This was THE look for aspiring female musicians in 2005, obvi. But since the other girls already had this vibe locked down, Stefani decided to transform into Lady Gaga. (Every pop star needs a gimmick, right?) This next shot is from 2008:

Lady Gaga before and after: Z100 Jingle Ball, 2008

This one really gives you a good look at her natural nose and lips. Her skin is also super-tanned at this point. And I think there's a bit of unevenness at the bottom of her two front teeth.

This side profile photo is also from 2008:

Lady Gaga before and after: MTV Total Request Live, 2008

Take a good, long look at her nose, because things are about to change.

The after

By the time of the Brit Awards in 2009, Gaga's nose was looking decidedly slimmer:

Lady Gaga before and after: Brit Awards, 2009

She's still working the fake tan (and shimmer, ugh). Aside from those, I actually really liked this era of Gaga—remember those enormous bows made of hair? It was kind of like a Flintstones on acid look.

I think it's possible that she had not one but multiple rhinoplasties, because at the 2010 Grammys her nose was looking even further refined:

Lady Gaga before and after: Grammy Awards, 2010

From the front, it's like a baby little nose compared to where we started. I'm also wondering if she's started injecting her upper lip a bit (I know it's also exaggerated with lip liner). Very hard to tell if there's anything going on with the eyebrows, since she was wearing bangs all the time before this. In 2010, she was only 24, so that would be crazy early to start Botox—but you just never know with celebs. At any rate, her brows are extremely arched here. Maybe it's makeup, maybe not.

And here we have another side profile of her nose, from 2011:

Lady Gaga before and after: MTV Europe Music Awards, 2011

I think it's great to see Gaga with a more natural skin finish, neither too pale with heavy foundation nor overly tanned. Also see how her teeth have been filed straight at the bottoms. As for her nose, the side profile—at this point, at least—is actually the same as it was in 2008. So I think her first rhinoplast(ies) addressed the width of it, which you can see front-on, but left the natural bump that's visible here. Very subtle, very clever.

But then she basically disappeared from the public eye for a while, remember? Gaga was basically MIA until this appearance in late 2012 at Harrods:

Lady Gaga before and after: Harrods Fame launch, 2012

And suddenly, she's kinda hot. It's the non-extreme hair and makeup for sure, but is it also more surgical changes? This profile shot from summer 2013 indicates yes:

Lady Gaga before and after: London, 2013

The bump is gone and her nose is perfectly straight now. From the front, she looks a bit different as well (this is from the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards):

Lady Gaga before and after: MTV Video Music Awards, 2013

Amazing skin, first of all, and I suspect she had laser work to achieve this perfectly flawless, glowing texture. The tip of her nose looks even more refined, and you'll really be shocked at this next picture a few months later...

Lady Gaga before and after: American Music Awards, 2013

Wait—is that Heidi Montag? Nope. But it could be. Gaga's gone, well, gaga for the fillers, with inflated lips and I think a bit of puffing up in the cheeks. Her nose looks a touch pinched in this shot as well (it's from the American Music Awards in November), and I'm wondering if there could even be a chin implant from this angle. Eeks! To my eyes, the overall effect is VERY plastic.

The bottom line

Did she or didn't she? I think the evidence is clear. While it's obviously her personal choice to alter her appearance, it's disappointing/hypocritical that she repeatedly denies it, and in fact promotes herself as a guru for self-acceptance. As a role model for God knows how many young people, I would have hoped for a bit more honesty. There's also a verrry interesting report from her former friend, Brendan Jay Sullivan, who says in his book Rivington Was Ours: The Lower East Side, Lady Gaga, and The Prime of Our Lives that Gaga was desperate to change her appearance.

From Radar Online:

Remembering a night out early in her career, Sullivan claims Gaga announced, “I’m getting a nose job.” “She said it so offhand,” he writes. “I think she put more thought into bleaching her hair.” “It’s holding me back,” Sullivan claims Gaga said. “Do you think I’d be songwriting this long if I looked like the girls you date? … It’s slipping away from me.” Sullivan claims she insisted she wanted a “titty lift” too. “No one will know,” the book claims she said at the time. “No one has heard of me. You won’t even be able to tell. But I will.”

Could be he's cashing in on her fame, but I dunno. In this report from a former crew member, Gaga's also been called out as a bully, monster and exhibitionist (not that the latter's any surprise) and that she's completely out of touch with reality. Her mom even calls her Gaga, not Stefani! Sounds like the perfect recipe for a series of surgeries, if you ask me...

Have your say

Do you think Lady Gaga has altered her appearance and if so, what procedures do you think she's had?
Do you think she looks better "before" or "after"?
What do you make of her "Born This Way" schtick and insistence that she hasn't had surgery?