- (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)
Lady Gaga has opened up about her life-long battle with bulimia.
Gaga described her experience with the eating disorder during a young women's conference hosted by Maria Shriver. "I used to throw up all the time in high school," she revealed. "I wanted to be a skinny little ballerina, but I was a voluptuous little Italian girl whose dad had meatballs on the table every night."
"I used to come home and say, 'Dad, why do you always give us this food? I need to be thin.' And he'd say, 'Eat your spaghetti.' It's really hard, but you've got to talk to somebody about it," she encouraged the girls. Gaga is an icon for the young ladies and has made no attempt to hide anything from her fans.
"Weight is still a struggle," she added. "Every video I'm in, every magazine cover, they stretch you-they make you perfect. It's not real life. I'm gonna (sic) say this about girls: the dieting wars have got to stop. Everyone just knock it off because at the end of the day, it's affecting kids your age. And it's making girls sick."
Shriver and Gaga spoke about the epidemic of bullying affecting thousands of youth. "I started having trouble with girls in middle school. I always knew that I wanted to do something very career oriented, and I always wanted to be a musician. That alone set me apart," Gaga revealed.
"I had such strong convictions and I was pretty delusional in the same way that I am now…in wanting to change the world and end bullying in America and do whatever I can to promote peace around the world," she added.
Gaga has spoken very publicly about her efforts to end bullying. In 2011 she stated, "Bullying must become illegal. It is a hate crime," after the death of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer. The young boy had been bullied prior to committing suicide. Gaga then met with President Obama to discuss the effects of bullying and ways to prevent it from happening.
"It wasn't until my senior year in high school when I finally confronted my main bully. She was always kind of mean to me, but I was always trying to be nice to her. And I said, 'I am always nice to you. What is your problem with me? Maybe if you just tell me, we can figure this out.' And she said something like, 'Well, I just don't know why you're so serious about music.'"
Gaga is set to launch a new foundation to help curb bullying and promote creativity and self-expression. The Born This Way Foundation will officially launch on Feb. 29 with the motto: "Empowering Youth, Inspiring Bravery."