Friday, April 17, 2015

Lady Gaga's Mother on Growing Up Different, and Why It's Time for an 'Emotion Revolution'

Lady Gaga's Mother on Growing Up Different, and Why It's Time for an 'Emotion Revolution':

Lady Gaga with her mother Cynthia Germanotta at the "Cheek To Cheek" taping
Lady Gaga with her mother Cynthia Germanotta at the "Cheek To Cheek" taping at Jazz at Lincoln Center on July 28, 2014 in New York City.  

    Lady Gaga has long been a source of inspiration to those who feel like outsiders, reassuring all the "Little Monsters" who idolize her idiosyncratic look and attitude that they should do exactly what they want since, after all, they were "born this way."

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    The path to such vehement self-acceptance has hardly been a smooth one, however. The pop star's early struggles with "anxiety, depression, and destructive behavior" inspired her and her mother Cynthia Germanotta to start the Born This Way Foundation, a journey Germanotta describes in a recent essay for the Daily Beast.

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    Gaga, her mother writes, "was creative and unequivocally her own person, but her peers didn’t always appreciate the things that made her unique—and different." The "persistent, thoughtless cruelty of her peers caused Stefani to question her identity and self-worth," she continues, creating "a ripple effect that ate away at her emotional well-being." Gaga herself spoke on why it's important to "tell the world how you feel" in the video below:

    Through her work with the Born This Way Foundation, Germanotta and her daughter have sought to provide support and resources for young people, like Gaga, who "felt like their voices weren’t being heard and their feelings weren’t being respected."

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    Their new campaign, the Emotion Revolution, is a large-scale study conducted through a partnership with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence -- as Germanotta put it, the study's online survey (open to all high-school age youth) is "an opportunity for young people to make sure their voices are heard and for researchers to study how young people actually feel, how they want to feel, and how to bridge the gap between the two."