Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lady Gaga and Teenage Self-Perception

One of my students gifted me a collection of Lady Gaga discs this week. I've been enamored of the Mother Monster since watching a Tevo'ed copy of her Monster Ball concert at Madison Square Garden. And so I got curious about who she was as a high school student, because what if one of my students has a Gaga lurking underneath their fragile exterior.
Source

And it's this quote from Wikipedia that got me thinking:

She described her academic life in high school as "very dedicated, very studious, very disciplined" but also "a bit insecure": "I used to get made fun of for being either too provocative or too eccentric, so I started to tone it down. I didn't fit in, and I felt like a freak."[16][17] Acquaintances dispute that she did not fit in at school. "She had a core group of friends; she was a good student. She liked boys a lot, but singing was No. 1," recalled a former high school classmate.[

People see us in one way, but inside we have our own perceptions. We take our experiences and bundle them up to create sense of self. In our teenage years, we've only just begun to explore it.

But what if this early interior sense of self is our roadmap? The kernel of who or what we are going to become? For me, I always felt a little different, like an observer, someone who sat outside and looked in. As an adult, it makes sense to me that I've become an artist and a writer. Both are professions that involve observation and both have, at times, made me feel a bit like an anomaly (yeah, figuring out I preferred a wife to a husband was part of it, too).

Maybe when we're fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, that little voice inside of us, the one that thinks we know who we are, is right. And if we can listen to it sooner than later, we might save ourselves a lot of heartache.  And then we could just stand up and proclaim "Cause baby, I was born this way!"






9 comments:

  1. I think there are a lot of teens who have their heads on right and can really use their early sense of self as a roadmap. Of course, then there are others I've come across who are even beyond their teens, and honestly I wonder just what they're thinking... :)

    Now I have a serious hankering for some Lady GaGa. If I end up singing Born This Way at my grandparent's later, I may blame you! LOL!

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  2. I wouldn't want to be a teenager again if it was the last position on Earth...what a tough road to navigate nowadays and I thought we had it rough growing up in our day!

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  3. Lady Gaga is quite a character. I do everything within my power to help my kids have a realistic sense of self-esteem. They should know they can make mistakes but still be okay, fit in and yet still stand out and be different. I hope they get it. Hope!!

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  4. Gifted you the Lady Gaga collection. Love it.

    Seeing where people go after their teenage years is fun, sometimes heartbreaking, and always interesting. As a teacher, I love when former students contact me later and fill me in on their lives.

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  5. I feel like that's a lot of the part of adolescenthood, and even early adulthood, finding the courage to be who we are inside...or not.

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  6. Lovely post! The teens are definitely years that form our self-perception, to the point that how we feel about ourselves by the time we're 20 never changes in core until we die.

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    1. Except, of course, if we bash our head against our fists and realize we need to change our attitude or live in hell. But that happens fairly rarely.

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  7. You couldn't pay me to relive my teen years!

    Although, I do miss my 18-year-old waistline. o_O

    I get a kick out of Lady Gaga. I don't know all of her music, but what gets radio play, I end up singing. :)

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    1. Right? I'm too far from that 18 y.o. weight - I should count the ice cream cones from then to now. Ha!

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