September 7th, 2011
01:39 PM ET
Lady Gaga leaves the meat dresses and alter egos behind for her latest shoot in the October issue of Harper's Bazaar.
Instead of the usual outlandish gear, Gaga (we feel like we should call her Stefani Germanotta, she's so pared down here) is pictured "basically barefaced," the magazine says.
The "You and I" singer explains that she doesn't really see it as a "natural" look since to her, "artifice is the new reality" anyway.
"It's more about just being honest and sincere to the core of what you do. Whether I'm wearing lots of makeup or no makeup, I'm always the same person inside," she explains.
And that person, she goes on, is not one who "puts on" just for her fans. "I try not to focus on what people expect from me," she tells Harper's Bazaar. "I think what has been lovely about my relationship with the public is that they expect the unexpected from me."
Besides, the 25-year-old adds, fashion isn't always about being "natural."
"Don't you think that what's on the cover of a magazine is quite artificial? There's this idea that it's all natural, but everything's been staged to look natural," she says. "It is also an invention. It's just that my inventions are different. I often get asked about my artifice, but isn't fashion based on the idea that we can create a fantasy?"
In reality, though, Gaga is still committed to her documented work ethic. Even when she's not touring, she pulls 16 to 20 hour days, she tells the magazine.
"I do yoga, I do Bikram and I run, and I eat really healthy," she says. "You know, my work feeds me. I keep in shape by working hard."
See more photos of a stripped-down Lady Gaga when the October issue of Harper's Bazaar hits newsstands on September 27.
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