People

Lady Gaga Pens Powerful Essay About Being a Woman

People

Lady Gaga Pens Powerful Essay About Being a Woman

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In the December/January issue of Harper’s Bazaar, covergirl Lady Gaga explored what it means to be a woman. Along with a Little Women-style photo shoot, the singer penned an essay about fame, her family, Joanne and womanhood. The ultra personal piece gives insight into Gaga’s background and her ideas of success and femininity. For Lady Gaga, being a woman is all about strength.



On Joanne:

“Joanne died when she was 19. I called my album Joanne because Joanne’s presence was always important to me. The best way to describe my relationship with her is that it’s like the relationship someone might have with an angel or a spirit guide or whatever you think of as a higher power. Joanne died of lupus, which is an autoimmune disease, and from what I know of the history of my family, one of the reasons her disease may have worsened was that she was assaulted when she was in college. She was sexually assaulted and groped. Joanne passed away in 1974, 12 years before I was born, so I learned about her mostly through stories and pictures. But I also learned about her through the rage of my father and watching him pour a drink every night and through seeing my grandparents cry at the Christmas dinner table when it was clear that there was an empty seat they wanted to fill.”

On being a lady:

“Being a lady today means being a fighter. It means being a survivor. It means letting yourself be vulnerable and acknowledging your shame or that you’re sad or you’re angry. It takes great strength to do that.”

On getting back to her roots:

“I wanted to experience music again the way I did when I was younger, when I just had to make it, instead of worrying what everybody thinks or being obsessed with things that aren’t important.”

On fame:

“Fame is the best drug that’s ever existed. But once you realize who you are and what you care about, that need for more, more, more just goes away. What matters is that I have a great family, I work hard, I take care of those around me, I provide jobs for people I love very much, and I make music that I hope sends a good message into the world. […] I want to be somebody who is fighting for what’s true—not for more attention, more fame, more accolades.”

On the kind of woman she wants to be:

“Health, happiness, love—these are the things that are at the heart of a great lady, I think. That’s the kind of lady I want to be.”