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'I wear the pants': Lady Gaga reveals reason behind oversize suit in powerful speech

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 10/17/2018 Cydney Henderson

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15:  Lady Gaga attends ELLE's 25th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration presented by L'Oreal Paris, Hearts On Fire and CALVIN KLEIN at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for ELLE Magazine) © 2018 Kevin Mazur LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Lady Gaga attends ELLE's 25th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration presented by L'Oreal Paris, Hearts On Fire and CALVIN KLEIN at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for ELLE Magazine) Lady Gaga was making more than a fashion statement during Monday night’s Elle Annual Women in Hollywood Celebration.

Donning an oversize Marc Jacobs pantsuit, Gaga took the stage to deliver an emotionally raw acceptance speech that touched on sexual abuse, mental health and the burdening beauty standards place on women in Hollywood.

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15:  Lady Gaga attends the 25th Annual ELLE Women in Hollywood Celebration at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage) © 2018 WireImage LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Lady Gaga attends the 25th Annual ELLE Women in Hollywood Celebration at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage) "I decided today I wanted to take the power back. Today, I wear the pants," she said onstage. 

Her outfit offered a striking contrast to the glamorous gowns she's worn while promoting "A Star is Born," a role that has generated major Oscar buzz. The pop star said her preparation for the event, formed to honor powerful women in entertainment, began the same way.

a person wearing a suit and tie: Lady Gaga speaks onstage during ELLE's 25th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. © Michael Kovac Lady Gaga speaks onstage during ELLE's 25th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. "I tried on dress after dress today getting ready for this event, one tight corset after another, one heel after another, a diamond, a feather, thousands of beaded fabrics and the most beautiful silks in the world," Gaga said. "To be honest, I felt sick to my stomach."

In that moment, Lady Gaga began to question why she cared so much about what others thought about her. 

"And I asked myself: What does it really mean to be a woman in Hollywood? We are not just objects to entertain the world. We are not members of a giant beauty pageant meant to be pit against one another for the pleasure of the public," she said. "We women in Hollywood, we are voices. ... We have the power to speak and be heard and fight back when we are silenced."

a man in a suit standing in front of a building: Christian Carino and Lady Gaga attend ELLE's 25th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration on Oct. 15, 2018 in Los Angeles. © Michael Kovac Christian Carino and Lady Gaga attend ELLE's 25th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration on Oct. 15, 2018 in Los Angeles.

After trying on nearly a dozen designer gowns, the pressure to please others melted away when she in love with the Marc Jacobs suit that allowed Lady Gaga to be herself. 

"This was an oversized men’s suit made for a woman. Not a gown. And then I began to cry," she recalled. "In this suit, I felt the truth of who I am well up in my gut."

The singer and actress, who referred to her boyfriend Christian Carino as her "fiance" onstage, made note of current events and called her outfit an act of freedom to resist the norm.

"I had a revelation that I had to be empowered to be myself today more than ever," she said. "To resist the standards of Hollywood, whatever that means. To resist the standards of dressing to impress. To use what really matters: my voice."

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