Lady Gaga is using her celebrity-gained power and prestige today to make waves at the White House. Gaga has a scheduled meeting in the West Wing this afternoon to address issues of school bullying, according to ABCnews.com.
Some might think that celebrities should keep their noses out of public affairs and stick to their celebrity spotlight. But many fans see the spotlight as a platform which can be used for good, such as a group of young Toronto students who recently sent Gaga fan mail which addressed this issue of school bullying, according to MSNBC.
For Gaga, she takes her fan mail seriously. At the end of November, Gaga sent a video response to these fans (“Little Monsters” as she calls them in the video). In this video, she praises the students for taking a stand against bullying.
“I just wanted to tell you how proud I am of you for being such a strong advocate with the LGBT community [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] in your school. There should be more ‘little monsters’ like you,” said Gaga in her video response.
“It is important that we push the boundaries of love and acceptance. It is importance that we spread tolerance and equality for all students. In light of the recent suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer – because of the bullying he experienced in school – I am going to be working as hard as I can to make bullying a ‘hate crime,'” said Lady Gaga.
Jamey Rodemeyer, whom she refers to, was a 14-year-old boy from NY who took his own life this past September. His parents claimed his despair was due to years of bullying because of his struggles with his sexual identity, according to The Huffington Post.
Lady Gaga’s visit to The White House today is proof of her pledge. While she will not meet with President Obama directly since he is in Kansas making a speech, she is to meet with a presidential advisor and other administration officials, according to ABCnews.com.
So, is it appropriate for a celebrity to take up such a cause? Is Lady Gaga experienced enough to give solid advice to government officials? It’s a tough call. Some would claim this is just a ploy to get more exposure. And one can assume cameras will be ready to capture her arrival to the Whitehouse, covering the rather shallow angel of her wardrobe – which has nothing to do with the matter at hand.
But on the other hand, celebrities carry an interesting torch of power. Everyone knows them. Many look up to them. They somewhat ‘define’ a cultural norm as their fans emulate their styles and actions. Thus they become, over time, an icon of representation for the people.
As a people’s representative – with money and prestige as a backing – why not wield that power for good? It can’t hurt, at the least.
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