Lady Gaga has been taking risks ever since she hit the music scene in 2008 with her debut studio album, The Fame. Whether she’s making a statement through her fashion choices, music videos or live performances, everything that Lady Gaga does is done to draw attention to social issues that are much bigger than herself. She takes advantage of the platform she’s created and uses it to bring attention to countless organizations that deserve their time in the spotlight. Over the years, Gaga has been a huge advocate of LGBT rights, anti-bullying, sexual assault prevention and even created her own nonprofit organization, the Born This Way Foundation, which focuses on empowering youth and providing them with advice and the ability to share their own stories. Gaga has always cared about her Little Monsters and that’s something she never wants us to forget.
At the beginning of this year, Lady Gaga gave a chilling performance of her song “Til It Happens To You” at the Oscars. This emotional ballad was written by Gaga and Diane Warren for the documentary The Hunting Ground, which highlights and brings awareness to the reality of sexual assault on college campuses. Towards the end of her already touching performance, Gaga is accompanied on stage by a group of sexual assault survivors who have touching words of encouragement written in black marker on their forearms. The camera zooms in on a woman with “not your fault” written on her arm – cue the uncontrollable tears. Once again, Mother Monster uses her voice to bring attention to issues that often go overlooked in popular music and does it in a way that will leave you speechless every time.
A few days ago, Lady Gaga courageously revealed that she was recently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. She wrote an open letter on her Born This Way Foundation site explaining her own personal battle with the disorder and comforting others who also struggle with mental illness, saying, “I will never give up on my dreams of art and music. I am continuing to learn how to transcend this because I know I can. If you relate to what I am sharing, please know that you can too.” Gaga mentions that she is taking medicine as well as attending psychotherapy sessions for her PTSD, but in addition to those measures, she reveals what she believes to be the best medicine of all – words. “Kind words… positive words… words that help people who feel ashamed of an invisible illness to overcome their shame and feel free. This is how I and we can begin to heal.” And it’s with Lady Gaga’s endless supply of kind and positive words that she continues to give people the voices they deserve and the support they need to keep on going. Now it’s up to us to follow in her footsteps and spread healing words of positivity, support and love to those around us.