Sunday night I saw an interview of Lady Gaga by Oprah. Now let me say for the beginning that I had a preconceived idea of what I thought Lady Gaga would be like during an interview. I have not really looked past the crazy things I have seen on music award shows. I expected some crazy outfit that had sparks or meat hanging off it and her usual aloof answers to questions as I have seen in a few other interviews of her. I had no desire to hear about her unconventional ideas, but curiosity caused me to pause and watch the interview. I was pleasantly surprised and dare I say shocked in a completely different way. There Lady Gaga was with her mother in their New York apartment dressed in a beautiful red suit looking very un-gaga like. Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was poised and elegant as she told Oprah details about her life, childhood and work.
What struck me as significant was her new foundation that she started with her mother at Harvard. The “Born this Way Foundation” is a mentoring program to stop bulling. As she described how she was bullied as a child and how she overcomes the need for hiding her personality, I was enthralled. Stefani was talking, not Lady Gaga, but the real person behind the crazy costumes and antics that have given her the notoriety as a risk taking pop star. She is on a mission to empower young people and, get this, older people, to refuse what society says you should be but rather be who you are all the time. To be who God made you to be.
As I listened to her speak of her work that she calls performance art, I came to understand that my preconceived ideas of who she is were completely wrong. I had been guilty of doing just what in previous blog post I had asked my readers not to do. I should never have assumed that the woman on stage in wild garb singing about hair and other insane things was who she was underneath her work. I judged that book by the cover.
I would not have taken her message seriously if she had been in her stage persona, but as Stefani a smart caring young woman I was encouraged to be brave, to take a chance on what I know I am and what I know I should be doing with my life. She is awe inspiring.
I encourage you to watch the interview with an open mind. (You can see it here.) This woman is going to change society for the better. If you listen to her very carefully you will also hear a small confession, she is a Christian and has a personal relationship with God. She doesn’t come out and say it, but you can see it on her face as she talks about her first communion and what it meant to her. You can see it in other things she says about her life.
Who would have thought it?