Well, I get what they were trying to do with this cover — it’s more stripped down than Lady Gaga has been on Vogue in the past, as you’ll see in the slideshow — but I’m not TOTALLY sure it works, mostly because I feel like she looks sleepy when I think what they’re going for is languid.

The interview is very good. I know we bang on incessantly about how annoying it is when celebrities interview other celebrities, but the truth of the matter is that when a proper celebrity journalist gets to do their job, the results are better. And those better results are good for the celebrity and good for the magazine. Like, read that interview and then remember that when Jennifer Lawrence “interviewed” Emma Stone for September issue of Elle, one of the questions was, “You’re so pretty. How’d you get like that?” That Elle had a good cover and it got over-shadowed by how terrible the article was.

Vogue, on the other hand, got the following:

When did all of the crazy-brilliant obfuscating costumes fall away? “For me, fashion and art and music have always been a form of armor. I just kept creating more and more fantasies to escape into, new skins to shed. And every time I shed a skin, it was like taking a shower when you’re dirty: getting rid of, washing off, shedding all of the bad, and becoming something new.” I wonder aloud where all that began. “I just remember feeling so irritated at the thought that I had to conform to being ‘normal,’ or less of whatever I was already born as. And so I took such radical enjoyment in expressing who I am in the most grandiose of ways.” She laughs. “It was sort of like a very polite ‘Fuck off.’ It was never about looking perfect—it was always about just being myself. And I think that’s what it’s always been about for my fans, too. It was a form of protection, and a secret—like a wink from afar. I’m a monster, and you’re a monster too.”

Gaga talks thoughtfully, and at length, about her fibromyalgia, #MeToo (and the effect her own sexual assault has on her), and the process of making A Star Is Born. It’s a very Vogue piece — there is a random endorsement of the film from Sean Penn; who cares if Sean Penn likes it?! (He did) — but it’s meaty and interesting at the same time. It’s nice to read a real article for once.

Tags: Vogue