People wonder why I like Lady Gaga so much. I’m not exactly her target audience, which is mostly late teens/early twenty-somethings and gay people. (Although, in my defense, I have heard more than one male newscaster on TV say they also think she is kind of hot looking!)
What completely sold me on Lady Gaga was an interview she gave early in her career. The interviewer asked her if she would be willing to empty out the contents of her purse as a way for people to get to know her better. Rather than balk at this unreasonable invasion of privacy, she said sure, and unceremoniously dumped her entire purse contents out all over his desk. Along with gum, lipstick, a brush, and the usual items, there were feminine products. There was also a bottle of Xanax, a prescription drug used to treat anxiety. Naturally, the interviewer seized on this unusual item and asked her if she had emotional problems. Lady Gaga nonchalantly replied, “Oh yeah, I suffer terrible anxiety all the time, and I have for years, so I really need those.”
I was amazed by her candor and openness. Society still does not accept such open admissions of emotional difficulty very readily or compassionately. She was, and is, such a huge celebrity, and so young, and yet willing to be so open about something that is usually only whispered about in quiet corners.
I couldn’t help but think that had I been so honest and open about my anxiety at her age, I wouldn’t have suffered so terribly over the years. The disease itself is difficult enough, but hiding it from everyone, and feeling the shame, can make it almost unbearable.
Yes, Lady Gaga became my idol that day. She is one of the bravest people I have ever encountered. I can only aspire to her level of courage and fearlessness in the face of life’s obstacles and difficulties.
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