Leiden Psychology Blog

Gagaism: “Applause” for the promotion of psychological well-being

Gagaism: “Applause” for the promotion of psychological well-being Lady Gaga giving a speech at EuroPride 2011, in Rome, Italy. Photo by pink_daisy via Wikimedia Commons.

Applause, the new single by Lady Gaga, is out. Again, a big success. What are her secrets? Why do young people love her so much?

“Tonight I want [you] to forget all your insecurities. Tonight I want you to reject anyone or anything that has made you feel like you don't belong, or don't fit in, or has made you feel like you're not good enough or pretty enough or thin enough, or like you can't sing well enough or dance well enough, or write a song well enough.”

“The Monster Ball is by nature a protest: A youth church experience to speak out and celebrate against all forms of discrimination + prejudice.”

“I want you to walk out of here tonight not loving me more, but loving yourselves more.”

Lady Gaga

Applause is yet another hit for Lady Gaga. Again, adoring little monsters waiting for Mother Monster’s new musical creation. Lady Gaga has been named by Time magazine the world's second most influential person of the past decade. No other pop icon has more followers on twitter. What are her secrets? Why do young people love her so much?

Well, simply because Lady Gaga promotes psychological well-being, fosters individual human potential. Because during her concerts, with her human rights activity and her lyrics, she makes people feel they are OK and can  be proud of who  they are . Her philosophy resembles the Transactional Analysis (TA) Association, according to which:

  • People are OK: each person has validity, importance, equal respect
  • Positive reinforcement increases feelings of being OK

Just like a controlling parent generates an adaptive child (conforming to the demands of society), Lady Gaga, like a nurturing parent , fosters a creative free child. She (Mother Monster) creates a corrective emotional experience during her shows, a process by which her audience (little monsters) relearns, in an “accepting” atmosphere, new patterns by re-experiencing previous feelings of rejection.

In contrast to other most beautiful pop icons, such as Beyonce, Lady Gaga never hides her weaknesses and never pretends to be perfect and it is her imperfections that make her so appealing. Through her eyes imperfections are beautiful and all “imperfect” people feel beautiful, just like the way they are.  

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