Lady Gaga Goes To Harvard, Empowers Youth
12:00 pm, March 1st | by Rebecca Srulowitz
It’s safe to say that Lady Gaga is unique. And she’s talked about the fact that she was bullied as a child for that “uniqueness.” So it’s no surprise that she’s starting a foundation to get kids to stop bullying and embrace their inner “little monster.” Whatever that means.
Gaga often tells her fans to embrace the bizarre, to go wild, and to feel their inner crazy. Basically, she tells fans to empower themselves by being… just like her. I find it a bit odd that someone so hell-bent on getting people to emulate herself would start an organization dedicated to tolerance. Does she advocate tolerance for people who wear Sperry Top-Siders and Polo shirts? Or only for those who ignite flames from their breasts?
Criticism of Gaga’s well-marketed message of empowerment aside, I think it’s incredibly important to tackle the issue of tolerance head-on. We know too well what the tragic effects of bullying can be, and as we mentioned last week, the amount of power anonymous posters on the internet have on the self-esteem of already shaky teenagers is pretty frightening.
Harvard seems to agree. The university welcomed Gaga yesterday and lauded the goals of her Born This Way Foundation. Kathleen McCarthy, Dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, tells The New York Times she and her colleagues invited the artist because they had been seeking ways to address bullying as both a neglected area of education — and as a human rights issue. As many as one-fifth of children feel bullied, she said, and added: “If you don’t feel safe as a child, you can’t learn.”
So hopefully the singer’s foundation will work and will nip this whole bullying thing in the bud once and for all. And if all else fails, she can just sing some “Born This Way” lyrics and hope for the best.