lady-gaga-bulimiaI might not always be a huge fan of her music, but I love Lady Gaga for the things she stands for and how passionately she defends the LGBTQ community. She’s just given me another reason to respect her when she attended the “It’s Our Turn” young women’s conference at Brentwood School (Los Angeles) as a surprise guest (Mary J. Blige was also in attendance!). In an interview with Maria Shriver, Lady Gaga revealed that she had struggled with bulimia when she was a teen. She said that her eating disorder developed from the desire to be thin:

I used to throw up all the time in high school. 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.’

The singer also brought awareness to how distorted beauty standards have become, urging girls not to compare themselves to media images of women:

Weight is still a struggle. Every video I’m in, every magazine cover, they stretch you – they make you perfect. It’s not real life. I’m gonna say this about girls: The dieting wars have got to stop. Everyone just knock it off. Because at the end of the day, it’s affecting kids your age. And it’s making girls sick.

These are really powerful statements, coming from someone whose body is constantly being scrutinized – from articles about crazy diets to workout tips on how to get her body. I’m hoping that Lady Gaga starts promoting anti-dieting messages as publicly as she has for LGBTQ rights. It’s really positive for celebrities of Lady Gaga’s popularity to talk about issues like this, because the message has the potential to reach so many. So many people – men and women – look up to her and if she is promoting self-acceptance and healthier lifestyle choices, I hope they are listening.