Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta — or Lady Gaga, as most of us know her by — is and has always been a force to be reckoned with, both on and off the stage. Not only has she won six Grammy Awards and gave a truly spectacular performance at the Super Bowl, but when she’s not performing or dominating the charts, she’s an incredibly vocal supporter of human rights — especially via her nonprofit, the Born This Way Foundation, founded in 2012 “with the goal of creating a kinder and braver world.”
Back in 2015, Lady Gaga addressed Yale students as part of the Emotion Revolution, which encouraged more positive learning environments for students and adults alike. Gaga opened up about her anxiety and depression, encouraging students and young people not to be afraid to express themselves, not to be afraid to feel and express their pain.
More recently, Gaga continued to use her voice in support of March For Our Lives, proudly supporting the young people marching for safer schools and communities.
.@BTWFoundation & I believe in the power of young people to create a better future. We’re so proud to stand with @MTV & @NAACP to support the young people marching for safer schools and communities. I am proud to sponsor a bus, heading from Harlem to DC for #MarchForOurLives
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) March 24, 2018
And we’ve only just grazed the surface. Below, we’ve gathered 24 of the most powerful Lady Gaga quotes — many from the Emotion Revolution summit, others from various interviews.
It’s time to get inspired, love yourself, speak up and take action.
Breaking the mold
“You have to be a rebel. We’ve done the research — at least three-quarters of what you read on the internet is negative. So, be somebody that’s the 25 percent. That’s how rebellion begins. You have to be the antithesis of the status quo. You have to work against it. It’s not about a reaction. You don’t need to react to anything. We need to be proactive in our own movement of positivity.” — at the Emotion Revolution summit
It’s high time we begin embracing one another’s differences. Most movers and shakers are slightly off-center.
Our inner heroes
“You don’t need to or should not feel like a victim… Nobody can help you more than you can help yourself.” — at the Emotion Revolution summit
We’ve all felt victimized at some point, but Gaga reminds us at the Emotion Revolution conference that we can be our own heroes.
The importance of emotion
“Feelings are important. Emotions are important. I’m not just an emoji even though I live in that age.” — at the Emotion Revolution summit
If we could insert the hands-raised emoji here, we would.
Time to unplug
“The opposite of being mindful is being unconscious. So don’t be unconscious. All day. On your fucking phone.” — at the Emotion Revolution summit
At the very least, look up and into the eyes of the person speaking with you — your phone won’t mind.
Spirit of equality
“I believe in a passion for inclusion. I believe in the spirit of equality, and the spirit of this country as one of love and compassion and kindness.”
When asked if she was going to unify America with her Super Bowl performance in 2017, this is what she had to say.
“I am you. We are each other.” — at the Emotion Revolution summit
You are me. I am you. Gaga is all of us. The bottom line? We’re all in this together.
The sum of her parts
“I am not just a pop star. I am not just famous. I am not just my outfits. I am not just my anxious, anxiety-ridden, depressed self. I am you.” — at the Emotion Revolution summit
The danger of putting people in a box is that most of us, Gaga included, don’t fit into just one.
Setting a standard of decency
“We have set a standard where it’s not OK to act without morality and values and human respect. No person is better than another.” — at the Emotion Revolution summit
When did it become OK — cool even — to be cruel? Gaga stresses the need for decency and kindness.
The end of trolling
“Is there anybody that likes reading negative comments? Not really, right? Isn’t it boring now? It was fun for, like, a second because it felt dangerous. But it isn’t now.” — at the Emotion Revolution summit
Enough with the hateful commentary already! Here’s looking at you, keyboard warriors.
“Nobody is going to remember what you tweeted, but you will never forget all that hateful shit that you read every single day that made you sick at school. That made it hard for you to read. That made it hard for you to focus, get a boyfriend, make a friend, be able to have sex. I couldn’t even tell you the number of things that depression and anxiety did to me growing up — all the problems.” — at the Emotion Revolution summit
People may not tweet, points out Gaga, but they won’t likely forget the way hateful barbs made them feel.
Pain is part of the process
“Kids need an outlet to express their pain, and we shouldn’t ignore that pain.” — at the Emotion Revolution summit
It’s inevitable that kids will feel pain, so we must do a better job of giving them a sounding board for that hurt.
“It’s about time we take kids seriously when they say, ‘I’m sad.’ And we don’t say, ‘Just toughen up,’ or ‘Buck up,’ or ‘Just deal with it.’ We say, ‘I’m here. I’m listening. Reveal yourself.'” — at the Emotion Revolution summit
Turning a deaf ear to others in need doesn’t just hurt them; it hurts all of us, ultimately.