Lady Gaga’s Mom Wants to Empower Youth and Inspire Kindness

By Cynthia Bissett Germanotta

May 26, 2016

Every time you ‘like’ and share this post, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (per social action), up to $350,000, via the Global Moms Relay, to help improve the health and well-being of families worldwide in support of Shot@Life, Girl Up, Peace Corps Let Girls Learn FundUNICEF USA and Nothing But Nets. More below!

As a mom, it is difficult to watch your child struggle. Sometimes, the obstacles they face are physical. But the mental and emotional challenges are just as heartbreaking and frustrating to witness.

When my daughter Stefani — who most people know as Lady Gaga — was a child, she was creative and unequivocally her own person. But her peers did not always appreciate the things that made her unique … and different. As a result, they would sometimes taunt, humiliate, or exclude her. This thoughtless cruelty by her peers led to self-doubt and, in time to anxiety, depression, and destructive behavior. It was hurtful for her to experience and devastating for me to watch.

When she started to speak out about her experiences at her shows, she found that so many of the young people she spoke with had endured similar situations. Again and again, we heard stories of depression, anxiety, and isolation hampering their ability to thrive personally and academically. But most worrying were the stories that included self-harm and suicide attempts. That’s why my daughter and I founded Born This Way Foundation.

With collaboration and the right investments, we can help our children build the kinder and braver world we need and they deserve.

Grounded in the belief that the world can — and must — be a kinder and braver place, our organization is working to inspire young people to lead the best life possible and empower them with the tools they need to get there. That means equipping youth with the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) skills they need to manage their mental and emotional wellbeing, and allowing them to overcome the challenges they will face in the short term so that they can thrive in the long term.

Our fearless leaders, @LadyGaga + Cynthia Germanotta, hosted a SoulCycle ride tonight to benefit the foundation. We raised over $50K at the new SoulCycle Chicago studio to support mental health + wellness for young people. Go Team!

A photo posted by Born This Way Foundation (@btwfoundation) on

An increasingly robust body of research is demonstrating the critical role emotions play in an individual’s ability to succeed throughout every facet of their lives. From physical health to academic and professional success, how someone feels has a tremendous impact on many key aspects of his or her life.

A recent analysis of 213 studies showed that students who have quality SEL instruction demonstrated improved attitudes and actions, fewer negative behaviors, and reduced emotional distress. Even more surprising, academic achievement scores were an average of 11 percentile points higher for students who received SEL instruction when compared to those who do not.

As the mother of a daughter who has faced, struggled with, and continues to overcome the very real effects of difficult emotions, I understand firsthand how important it is to take these issues seriously. I want to see a world where every child is empowered with the tools, resources, and services to ensure not only their physical health but their mental and emotional wellbeing as well. With collaboration and the right investments, we can help our children build the kinder and braver world we need and they deserve.

Love you mommy. ❤️ thank you for raising our home with so much kindness. We should celebrate our mothers everyday, there are so many who are without theirs. ????????

A photo posted by Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) on

That’s what Born This Way Foundation is dedicated to doing, but we can’t do it alone.

You share, they give: Each time you ‘like’ or share this post via the social media icons on this post, or comment below, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (per action) up to $350,000 to Shot@LifeGirl Up, Peace Corps Let Girls Learn Fund, U.S. Fund for UNICEF and Nothing But Nets.

The Global Moms Relay was created by the United Nations Foundation and  Johnson & Johnson with support from BabyCenter, Global Citizen and Fatherly, to  help  improve the lives of families around the globe. Share this post with the hashtags #GlobalMom and #JNJ, and visit to learn more.

You can also use the Donate A Photo* app and Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 when you upload a photo for Girl Up, U.S. Fund for UNICEF or Nothing But Nets, up to $150,000. You can help make a difference in seconds with the click of your mouse or snap of your smart phone.

* via the Donate A Photo app for iOS and Android. Johnson & Johnson has curated a list of trusted causes, and you can donate a photo to one cause, once a day. Each cause will appear in the app until it reaches its goal, or the donation period ends. If the goal isn’t reached, the cause will still get a minimum donation.

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