Last weekend at my parents workshop most parents were shocked to discover that Lady Gaga was rapidly becoming one of the biggest role models and hero for this young generation.
Many of our Christian kids are confused. One moment they see her stripping down to a g-string and dancing seductively in her music videos, and the next minute, she’s thanking God and raising money for homeless, or more recently, the people of Japan.
Pay attention. Gaga is playing it smart in her marketing of herself. She’s giving kids everything they want, plenty of eye candy, permission to be risque’ (indulge in every desire you feel, after all, you were born this way), and then wraps it up in a pretty “I care for this world” package.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Gaga is a fake do-gooder. I think she truly is looking for something more in her life, and it feels good to help others. Gaga has given away premium concert tickets to people who volunteer at least 8 hours helping LGBT youth, and recently, she raised literally millions for Japan relief. Gaga was one of the first to jump on the “Help Japan” wagon. She immediately created a place on her site where people could buy wristband with profits helping Japan… efforts that were extremely successful.
I was pleased to see that the Christian community responded to these efforts as well. YFC international urged people to help Japan, and even local churches like Bayside in the Sacramento area helped Japan, raising $170,000 for relief efforts.
But when it comes to “do-gooders,” it’s Gaga who tops the list in many young people’s minds. DoSomething.org, a charity organization for teens and social change, took a poll of the top celebs who used their celebrity powers for the most good. They named Gaga the #1 key influencer, beating out Taylor Swift, Ellen, Justin Bieber… even Oprah.
Two month ago I taught a workshop where I spent some time talking to young leaders about today’s youth culture. In my presentation I talked a little about Gaga and what she was teaching young people, specifically the sexualization of our young girls. Afterward my workshop, a student leader, 17-years-old, came up to me and said, “Gaga’s not bad you know. She actually prays and helps homeless people.”
Well there we have it.
This was a kid that was one of the spiritual leaders of her group.
What would your kids say about Gaga? Does helping Japan trump promiscuity and irresponsibility? Maybe it’s a conversation worth having.