Stop hatin' Lady Gaga's gold wheelchairMar 16 01:18
Love her or hate her, Lady Gaga never does anything subtly. After undergoing surgery on her hip last month (she has synovitis, an inflammation of the joints that causes pain, swelling and reduced range of motion; sounds like HO!), she was told she had to use a wheelchair until it heals, perhaps as long as 4 months.
So in true Gaga form, she went and commissioned the most pimped out wheelchair of all time from famed jewelry designer Ken Borochov (if only other pimped out wheelchairs got as much attention as this chair!). He made her a crown and a suit of armor previously (nice job Ken).
Past pimped out wheelchairs by others have included chrome, special lighting, spinners on the wheels, rocket launchers (I've seen some craaaazy stuff), but Lady Gaga's wheelchair is all about luxury. It's the "Trump" of wheelchairs so to speak. And if you have the money, why not?! The entire chair (it's a manual chair) is 24-karat-gold plated (just like Larry Flynt's), amounting to 1.5 ounces (which set Gaga back $2,500). But that's just the most obvious luxe detail.
The chair also has an amazing black leather high-back seat with gorgeous tufting throughout the fabric, as well as a removable canopy (also in black) that Gaga can use during unsavory weather (or if she doesn't want anyone to see her; but with the blinged out sheen of this chair, that might be hard). The entire chair was designed to look like a throne, says the designer, and I think this goal has definitely been achieved. Also crazily, it was completed in a week (would love to see the final price tag on that).
But why all the hate? In both the disabled community and AB-community, Lady Gaga been getting a lot of flak for her "over the top wheelchair," saying it's exorbitant and wasteful ("She could feed a whole 3rd world country with that money."). I think they all need to lighten up. As a 20+ year wheelchair-user, wheelchairs attracting the same sad-song soppy comments gets old. Gaga's chair is turning the image of the wheelchair upside down, and I'm grateful. Her chair definitely won't get any pitiful looks, that's for sure.
I will say though that for being "pimped out," it's still lacking it a few areas. It has old-fashioned spokes to give it a "Snoop Dogg" effect, but Gaga really should've had power assist rims built into them (she has the money). You can't tell me her chariot is easy to push. And the skinny armrests could definitely be about 2x larger. Her elbow barely has enough to sit room on them.
Perhaps this chair is over the top, but she could definitely make everyone happy by doing one amazing thing after she's healed up - by giving away her wheelchair to a child with a disability (a contest or something where one lucky kid gets to have this crazy creation). Gaga, are you reading this?
What do you think? Is it cool Lady Gaga made her wheelchair blingtastic, or is it a waste of money?
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1. Chris Jordan | Mar 24 03:34
I have "pimped out" my wheelchairs since 1973 for a decorating contest. Glad this "wave" is still popular. Colored tires began for me in the 1980s (blue, blue, or blue). Dissappointing that Gaga stayed with that different rim color and left those same/old same/old tires on. I think red tires and red tires on my casters since that color goes so much better with painted flames and pinstripes on my wheelchair. Yellow would be a great color with gold!
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.