Lady Gaga, who exercises daily and admits she “starves” herself to be thin, was bullied in high school for being overweight, ugly and having a big nose.
But Gaga, 27, is getting the last laugh since she’s rich, famous and globally popular, thanks to her edgy style and diverse musical talents.
“Being teased for being ugly, having a big nose, being annoying [was tough],” Gaga told Rolling Stone. “[People always said] ‘Your laugh is funny, you’re weird, why do you always sing, why are you so into theater, why do you do your make-up like that?’ I used to be called a slut, I didn’t even want to go to school sometimes.”
Gaga, who was born and raised in New York City, adds: “I had a very big nose, very curly brown hair and I was overweight. I got made fun of.”
Her early struggles is part of the reason Gaga, born Stefani Germanotta, relates to her fans, many of whom are eccentric misfits, she says.
“I see myself in them,” Gaga has said. “I was this really bad, rebellious misfit of a person — sneaking out, going to clubs, drugs, alcohol, older men, younger men. You imagine it, I did it. I was just a bad kid.
“And I look at them, and every show there’s a little more eyeliner, a little more freedom, and a little more ‘I don’t give a f*** about the bullies at my school [attitude].’ “
One place where Gaga feels free to express herself is on stage. “When I am not onstage I feel dead,” she says. “Whether that is healthy or not to you, or healthy or not to anyone, or a doctor, is really of no concern to me. I don’t feel alive unless I’m performing, and that’s just the way I was born.”
That’s a refreshing admission, since most celebrities claim they’re starved for privacy even as their PR people plant stories in tabloids and set up photo ops.
But Gaga, who adores her fans almost as much as they worship her, says her love of the limelight isn’t simply narcissism; she just has a lot to say.
“I [already] have attention,” Gaga explains. “Is it that you believe that I am attention-seeking or shock for shock’s sake, or is it just that it’s been a long time since someone has embraced the art form the way that I have?
“Perhaps it’s been a couple of decades since there’s been an artist that’s been as vocal about culture, religion, human rights, politics. I’m so passionate about what I do, every bass line, every EQ.
Why is it that you don’t want more from the artist, why is it that you expect so little, so when I give and give, you assume it’s narcissistic?”