Lady Gaga stood behind her “Born this Way” message this past weekend as she spoke candidly about her struggles with self-esteem and bullying. The 25-year-old superstar was a surprise guest for the “It’s Our Turn” Women’s Conference an L.A’s. Brentwood High School over the weekend, which also featured a talk with R&B icon Mary. J. Blige. During an interview moderated by Arnold Schwarzeneggar’s estranged wife Maria Shriver, the Huffington Post reports that Gaga shockingly admitted that she struggled with bulimia in high school, stopping only when it threatened to ruin her vocal chords.
“I used to throw up all the time in high school,” Gaga admitted, answering one student’s question about how she got her confidence. “So I’m not that confident. And maybe it’s easier for me to talk about it now because I don’t do it anymore. I wanted to be a skinny little ballerina but I was a voluptuous little Italian girl whose dad had meatballs on the table every night. I used to come home and say, ‘Dad, why do you always give us this food? I need to be thin.’ And he’d say, ‘Eat your spaghetti.’ It’s really hard, but you’ve got to talk to somebody about it.”
Gaga opened up about the fake aspects of her image in the media, such as air brushing, and how she still struggles with self-consciousness. “Every video I’m in, every magazine cover, they stretch you; they make you perfect. It’s not real life,” she said.
The singer ended her time with the students by urging them to seek help if they suffer from body-image issues. “It’s really hard, but you’ve got to talk to somebody about it,” she said. “The dieting wars have got to stop … Because at the end of the day, it’s affecting kids your age. And it’s making girls sick.”
Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Germonotta, has long been an advocate for anti-bullying and met with White House officials in December to discuss the issue. She will open the “Born This Way Foundation” later this month to promote individuality and self-expression in youth.