Lady Gaga launches her anti-bullying ‘Born This Way Foundation’ at Harvard

We haven’t talked about Lady Gaga in a while, have we? She’s been keeping a lower profile. Either that, or people have simply gotten better at ignoring her. I think it’s mostly the lower profile thing, though – she hasn’t been giving twenty-million interviews lately, and she hasn’t done daily photo shoots with the paparazzi. So, enjoy this post, monsters. Lady Gaga was in Cambridge, Massachusetts yesterday for the launch of her Born This Way Foundation, at the Harvard campus. You might ask – why Harvard? Why did Gaga go all the way to Massachusetts to discuss bullying? I have no idea. I do know that she was wearing a Prabal Gurung coat and sunglasses, and an elaborate headpiece.

Guess who else was there? Oprah Winfrey. It seems Oprah gave a little speech about Gaga and the foundation too, saying: “Lady Gaga, with her music and her message and her own story, is breaking the form, and she is changing consciousness. She says that she wasn’t put on earth just to sing songs; her passion is to be that force for good. The Born This Way Foundation is in line with so many of my core beliefs.” Here’s what Gaga has to say about it:

Lady Gaga’s ambitious new Born This Way Foundation aims for nothing less than to have kids rethink and rework their entire social structures. And she has some specific ideas for how that might work.

Asked by Time how an 11-year-old girl might follow Gaga’s advice and become more empowered, the singer-songwriter, 25, replies: “She could go up to one person in class who maybe is not one of the cool kids and say, ‘I really like your T-shirt.’ That would be her one great loving and accepting deed for the day.”

That would be a brave step, which is what the whole initiative is about – combating meanness and cruelty and inspiring bravery in young people to work toward a more accepting society.

“I’m doing everything that I can, working with experts, really studying the statistics to figure out a way we can make it cool or normal to be kind and loving,” says Gaga, who has said she was bullied in school.

Gaga acknowledges it will be long process to shift people’s perceptions, but says one first step is not to demonize bullies.

“We do not make a distinction between the bully and the victim,” she says. “Each person is an equally important and valuable member of society. What the foundation is about is a transformative change that is going to take a long time to affect the overall culture. Bullies were born this way, too.”

[From People]

Er… I think of “bullying” as a learned behavior. As in kids LEARN to bully the kids they view as “different” or “weaker”. This behavior is learned from parents, from teachers, from society, from everyone who doesn’t course-correct the behavior of bullies. A bully is not born that way, just my opinion.

Oh, and you know who needs a lesson on bullying? Gaga’s monsters. Gaga still hasn’t said anything about the way her “little monsters” attacked and bullied Adele. Just sayin’.

Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet.

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30 Responses to “Lady Gaga launches her anti-bullying ‘Born This Way Foundation’ at Harvard”

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  1. AudreyS says:

    Love that coat!!

  2. Hanna says:

    lmao. What a mess!

  3. Alcidie says:

    Here’s a much better account of what this is all about:

  4. ladybert62 says:

    She looks like someone from outer space – an alien bug life form.

    Go away gaga.

  5. Happy21 says:

    Go Gaga!

    Back when her annoying little Minions, er I mean Monsters were mocking Adele, Gaga did say something. She said something along the lines basically that she would never approve of certain fans bullying like that and that it goes against everything she stands for. I can’t find the exact quote but I know that I read it somewhere right after that story broke.

  6. Jayna says:

    It starts in the school system. Instead of dumping money into a Harvard think tank, she would be better off funding pilot programs in schools at the grassroots level to come up with the best and most effective program that works.

  7. Ainsley says:

    It’s a nice idea, but does anyone really believe that we can stop kids from picking on other kids? Bullying behavior is learned, but I think kids naturally notice anything about people that is different and they don’t know how to handle it. It seems like bullying is the new trendy issue that everyone wants to take on but it won’t do any good in the long run.

    • Tiffany says:

      It think that is the point of this foundation…to find ways to prevent bullying. She has partnered with the The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Harvard University, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services was there…those are not small potatoes.

      I think it is great of her to start the conversation that leads to more discoveries of how to prevent bullying.

    • AudreyS says:

      Excellent point.

  8. spinner says:

    Yeah…where is all that money going to go? Bullying will never be eradicated. It is age old. How do you use money to stop bullying? This is a tax shelter for her & another way to bilk money out of the public. Can’t stand her utterly fake ass.

    • Tiffany says:

      Yeah, considering she had the Secretary of Health and Human Services there, I doubt that she is using it as a tax shelter. You usually don’t invite the Feds in when you want to escape their rules.

      Secondly, the foundation is partnered with The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation which has a long and very respectable history, and Harvard. You don’t partner with legit organziations if you are setting up a front.

  9. Ashley says:

    The guy in the last picture looks like Tin Tin..:)

  10. Oi says:

    Ok this pisses me off. Maybe she is not a great speaker, maybe I took this the wrong way, but there is so much wrong with what she’s promoting.
    That advice about complimenting the “outcast” kid; That’s so obviously consciousness changing! Gag me with a spoon…
    And maybe if you really wanted to fucking CHANGE something, or really make the awkward kid feel included, you could do more than ONE THING! Doing the bare minimum and then patting your own damn self on the back for it is bullshit. Kids learn nothing from that. The outcast kid is not comforted, they are singled out.

    And what a crock of shit that “bullies are born this way” is! I hope to God that she gets called out on that by every behaviorist, physiologist whatever -ist there are out there that apply to this discussion about how freakin WRONG that is.

    Ive got a couple other points but I’m so mad I cant keep going. I hope she and Oprah are laughed off the planet with this shit and leave the behavior problems to the experts. An anti bullying PSA is one thing, but this “oh, I a celebrity; studied it now I’m an expert here to teach you’ is another.

    Drop dead Gagme.

    PS: yes, I am mad so maybe I’m not reading this right. I know I’ll get attacked by the “monsters” for that rant, and that’s ok. But if any rational person has anything constructive to say about this and would like to discuss it with me feel free.

  11. Lis says:

    I hate the “born this way” line of defense, which she and others have used as a line against homophobic bullying.

    It’s completely irrelevent why some people are gay, straight or bi. Even if it turned out everyone could, through sheer force of will, decide their orientation, why would that change anything?

    If everyone could choose their race, would that justify things like slavery and Jim Crow?

    The important thing to remember is that there’s nothing wrong with consensual, non adulterous, adult sex. Anything else plays into the bigots’ hands and puts us on the defensive.

    This goes for everything else – the question is whether or not something is morally right, not whether we were “born this way”. We are human beings with the ability to control ourselves. We are not animals working from our basest nature.

  12. DreamyK says:

    Is that her real nose? It looks like those gag glasses with the fake nose. Wow.

  13. logical says:

    I have to admit, I do not understand this “bullying” crisis that is supposedly having an irreparable and damaging effect on kids today. When I was in school (not too long ago), people got picked on. Growing up isn’t rainbows and unicorns and sparkles all the time… so am I missing something? What is different now? Why now are we teaching our kids “people will love you no matter what you do” and “everyone should like you all the time” when that’s definitely not how life actually is? I have a nephew who is on a soccer team where they don’t keep score. He is TWELVE. Apparently they don’t want them to get their feelings hurt by losing and feel bullied. Since when is losing a game considered being “bullied?” Am I missing something here?? Sorry for the rant.

    • Missfit says:

      Very well said Asli, I agree with you 100 percent. We as parents have to be pro-active about this and our child’s life. Raise your children right, for they are our future. We are obviously not perfect, but by trying our best to the best to our knowledge to raise our kids right…hopefully we can raise heroes…even if they are just heroes in our own eyes. Raise our babies to where we can be proud of them regardless if they are in college or a manager at a grocery store. The school my son goes to is being strict with them touching each other and I mean…even if they are just being sweet and kind or a cuddle. I tell my son…I know you want to cuddle baby and be nice…but sometimes it gets out of control and someone gets hurt, so that’s why the teachers say that. I try to talk to him about it so he can understand. I make sure I tell him I love him every day. I give him a kiss and hug before her leaves to school in the morning, cause I want him to know that and I never know. Like the sad news that happened in Ohio with the kids in the high school being shot. We should cherish our children…for we don’t know when is the last time we might see them….

    • Eleonor says:

      I was bullied at school.
      I don’t know why, but at a certain point I’ve found myself (age 12, I wasn’t still playing with dolls, but nearly) against a wall with two boys trying to touch my non-exitent boobs because they thought it was “fun”. I screamt but nobody in my came to help me. This is one of the worst memory I have. Things got worst because they used to punk me in every way,I didn’t have friends, I was completely isolated, and in the end my parents made me change school. It’s not the pressure for some bad notes, but the unmotivated violence which is EVIL.

      • logical says:

        I am truly sorry that happened to you. 🙁

      • AudreyS says:

        That really sucks! That’s assault! I was bullied and picked on in junior high. One horrible experience I had was when the girls in my gym class hid my bra while I was taking a shower. I was a very early bloomer and the thought of having to spend the rest of the day without a bra was terrifying. Luckily, a couple of good friends help me find the bra so I didn’t have to go through that. It’s still painful, but funny thing is that one of the girls that did that is now an FB friend of mine. I’ve thought about asking her if she remembers it…don’t know if I should let it go or not. And, she’s the type of person that says “love ya” a lot on FB…

    • logical says:

      Thanks for the response. I understand that there do exist very serious cases of bullying, I am using the example of the soccer team to show that I feel like the term is being overused at this point. I think it almost takes away from the idea that there are kids out there suffering the ways that you just pointed out… seriously suffering. Bullying has become this all-encompassing word used to describe anything that causes a kid pain or sadness, and I just think some of that stuff can be healthy in the long-run.

      Obviously, I don’t wish on any child for them to be picked on or disliked. I am just trying to say that the concept of “not fitting in” during school years is an old one, so why now is this such a big deal? And by grouping any act that suggests one child does not like another child as “bullying,” it does a disservice to those that are truly being targeted and suffering physical and serious emotional damage. I just feel like there’s very little distinction.

      Not sure if that made sense. It’s been a long day already. Also, I hate her sunglasses.

    • Charlotte says:

      I don’t know about you and/or your family but as the parent of a daughter who was bullied for years, this is a real problem in society today. My daughter was the target of a bully for years. After a death threat on myspace we pressed charges of cyber-bullying and the other girl was convicted. It may be an excuse for some kids but for others it is a major problem that needs to be studied and addressed, especially in the schools While I am not a Gaga fan, I have to give credit where it is due. At 19 my daughter is doing great. I can’t stress how hard it was for our family to try to deal with this problem. Like any kind of abuse, it can lead to poor self esteem, alcohol/drug abuse, poor choices in dating and depression. We stood by her and got her the help she needed. I think anyone addressing this issue is long overdo. Just imagine if it were your son or daughter. Put your money where your mouth is and try to help in your community. IMHO!

  14. Ron says:

    You know I applaud her for taking a step forward with this message. However, if she had worn a simple (for her) outfit the message would have been clearer and it wouldn’t have seemed like another photo op for her.

  15. Amanda G says:

    That coat is amazing!

    I’m not sure when the whole bullying thing happened to Adele, but if it was after the Grammys, Gaga did write a nice tweet about Adele winning.

  16. Stubbylove says:

    Good for her – and I’m glad she was wearing a garment below the crotch.

  17. Jover says:

    Sorry i’m sceptical as others have said this appears just too trendy from a narcissist that must know her “fame” is fleeting. My larger point is that this has nothing to do with art; gaggles is a product, not an “artist” for every artist that was political, just as many great ones weren’t many of the Impressionists Mozart symbolst poets weren’t political in the least; real artists spend hours and hours every day on their art (read how Balzac spent 18 hrs. per day writing the human comedy), gaggles has a battalion of people to do everything for her, hence she has ample time to dabble in whatever is trendy; because so much of today’s so-called art is weak, thin, simplistic, and done by committees the “artist” has plenty of free time – not so in the past. Gaggles brings nothing to this cause however meritorious it is, but she does highlight that the term “art” is meaningless. Just a different take on this that’s all posters.

    • Eleonor says:

      Do you remember Madonna’s Raising for Malawi project?

      • Jover says:

        yes eleonor and you and i know Madonna has essentially been given a pass and walked away from that fiasco A number of articles, including a fairly substantial one in Newweek, went into the details, but you can be sure when she starts her tour nary a word will be asked about it by fawning media types and late nite talk shows, etc. While Madge is not a politician, if she dabbles in international politics she should be held accountable if its just for her own benefit – but we know that won’t happen.

  18. NinaG says:

    She needs to stick to her music, before her career continues to go down hill. I’m all for causes but who is really going to take a women who wears a meat dress seriously. Plus none of this stuff helps, it’s starts at home first. If you teach your kids right from wrong, or correct their behavior than you can combat bullying. Not having LG go to a University dressed as a fool.