People can be so mean. You probably don’t need a reminder of that, but that’s just what this story is. On the other hand, you never have to let other people’s opinions of you get you down. They’re completely inconsequential and who cares, right?
It can be hard to keep that attitude, though, when people are ganging up on you. Like, making a whole orchestrated attempt to make you feel bad, for absolutely no clear reason whatsoever.
In a strange turn of events, years ago, when Facebook was still brand new, a woman randomly came across a Facebook group made entirely for the purpose of making one aspiring singer/songwriter feel bad about herself. The name of the group was “Stefani Germanotta, you will never be famous.” She didn’t know the woman who was their target, but she felt disgusted that a group so mean could exist.
When Lady Gaga was in university, there was a Facebook group called “Stefani Germanotta, you’ll never be famous” and now she is the FIRST woman in history to win an Oscar, Grammy, BAFTA and Golden Globe all in the same year. pic.twitter.com/UHMDQR84G4
— Majd (@majdgeorge98) February 25, 2019
The irony is almost too sweet to bear.
One of the pictures of the group shows it having only 12 members, so it hardly seems like it was very successful recruiting people petty enough to join.
Still, you have to wonder, how do those people feel now knowing that Stefani Germanotta would one day become the beyond-famous, absolutely iconic Lady Gaga?
Lauren Bohn, the woman who had come across the group lo so many years ago, told the whole story on Facebook.
When I was a freshman at NYU and Facebook was only a year old and people created/joined groups like “I have dimples, f*** me” and “Fake ID, please!,” I remember coming across a Facebook group that broke my heart. It’s name: “Stefani Germanotta, you will never be famous.”
The page housed pictures of a pretty Norah Jones-esque young 18-year-old NYU student who sang and played piano at local bars. The group was peppered with comments, sharp as porcupine needles, vilifying the aspiring musician for being an “attention-whore.” Scores asked: “Who does she think she is?” I also remember one dude posting a flyer for one of her upcoming gigs at a local village bar. He had clearly stomped on the flyer, an outline of his muddy sole [soul] struggling to eclipse her name.
Bohn felt bad for this young woman, but she quickly forgot about both her and the Facebook group. Until…
I couldn’t shake the raw feeling of filth while scrolling down that Facebook page, but I pretty much — and quickly — forgot about that group and that girl with the intense raven eyes.
Until about five years later. I was on an Amtrak train from NYC to Philly, reading a Vanessa Grigoriadis New York Magazine profile on Lady Gaga. I floated somewhat mindlessly through the piece until I got to the first sentence of the second graf:
“Before the meeting, I assumed that someone with a stage name like “Lady” (her given name is Stefani Joanne Germanotta) was going to be a bit standoffish…”
HOLY SHIT, I screamed to an empty car (Those who hang with me will know that I actually shrieked). LADY GAGA IS STEFANI GERMANOTTA? STEFANI IS LADY GAGA?
When she made the connection between Lady Gaga and the Stefani Germanotta from the Facebook group, she was excited, but she also felt bad that she never defended Germanotta on the group page.
I was overcome with a dizzying emotional cocktail of stage-mom-at-a-beauty-pageant and nerd-revenge triumph. But also shame. Shame that I never wrote on that group, shame that I never defended the girl with the intense raven eyes — the girl whose brave flyers were stomped on, probably somewhere near my dorm.
But again, I soon forgot about that revelation and that feeling. Feelings. They’re so fleeting. Even more so, revelations. We need to constantly re-discover them every damn day.
Like last week, when I woke up to this meme.
I saw the muddy sole eclipsing her name. The eye-rolls. The cowardly virtual-giggles. The “Who does she think she is?”
I’ve got a lot of feelings, but the easiest one to articulate: gratitude.
Bohn ended by thanking Germanotta for “always thinking you’re a superstar.”
It’s awful how many people are threatened by ambitious, confident people. And the way they react is by trying to drag that person down by any means necessary.
Sadly, this wasn’t even Gaga’s first experience with bullying. Bored Panda reports that she was made fun of when she was attending Convent of Sacred Heart, a private Catholic school in New York’s Upper East Side.
Speaking to Rolling Stone in 2011, Gaga said, “I used to do these really big Evita brows. I used to self-tan, and I had this really intense tan in school, and people would say, ‘Why the fuck are you so orange, why do you do your hair that way, are you a dyke? Why do you have to look like that for school?’ I used to be called a slut, be called this, be called that. I didn’t even want to go to school sometimes.”
People on Facebook and Twitter couldn’t help but point out how stupid the group looked…
…Not just because their star-prediction power was so lacking, but because they were so unnecessarily cruel.
I wonder how those 12 members feel now. Not just that they were so wrong, but that they were so mean.
— Kim Hunt Harris (@KimHuntHarris) February 25, 2019
She should have invited all 12 of them to the Oscars.
— kc jones ✌❄?? (@krs10_) February 26, 2019
Someone commented on Twitter that she bet those same group members would now try to be all friendly with Gaga.
Probably trying to push and shove to the front of the line. “sign this please, we went to university together” You’re so awesome!!
— Creme Egg Greg (@jonochapman82) February 26, 2019
And someone else revealed that something similar had happened to Winona Ryder. Apparently some means girls beat her up in seventh grade, but forgot that it was her.
Probably. Like what happened to Winona Ryder. pic.twitter.com/oxbJxtzG2M
— Tom | White Wolf ??? (@Defiler_Wyrm) February 26, 2019
Well, clearly Gaga is having the last, and best, laugh.