The Elephant Man.
You name it, I heard it. And even after years of therapy and countless surgeries to remedy the scarring on my face, I am still haunted by those names I was called as a teenager in high school.
In watching Oprah’s interview with Lady Gaga and Mama Gaga last night, I learned about the Born This Way foundation, a marvelous cause in which the only goal is to help people realize they are beautiful – no matter who they are, how they look, or what anyone says. Their mission statement reads:
To foster a more accepting society, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated. The Foundation is dedicated to creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a braver, kinder world.
We believe that everyone has the right to feel safe, to be empowered and to make a difference in the world. Together, we will move towards acceptance, bravery and love.
If you’ve seen Lady Gaga perform, you know she’s pretty wild. Some would even call her a freak (who wears a dress made out of meat?). And let’s not forget about the whole Grammy-Performance-Egg incident.
It’s easy to judge people – especially performers like Gaga who not only push the envelope of eccentricity; they tear it to shreds with their ideas and ideologies. But when you peel away the layers of outrageous costumes and theatrics, you have a real person with feelings, not to mention a shit load of talent.
|David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust|
The 70s gave us Ziggy Stardust through David Bowie, and Elton John showcased platform-shoe-glittered-star-glasses fashion.
This generation, we have Gaga.
I was surprised to learn Gaga was bullied as a child. She has memories of being grabbed by school mates and thrown in a garbage can in public. Of this incident, she tells Oprah – “those moments create emotional scars – you carry them with you forever”.
As tears trickled down my perfectly flawed cheeks, I never thought I’d feel it – a sense of connectivity with the extravagant singer. She gets it.
After landing on the Born This Way Foundation website, I entered my name as a supporter. What a powerful wave to ride, knowing that we can join such a mission of kindness and compassion.
It may not be realistic to envision a world without Hate, but it sure does feel good to know that by joining the cause to try, we can make a difference.
“Whether life’s disabilities left you outcast, bullied or teased – rejoice and love yourself today, ’cause baby, you were born this way” – Lady Gaga