There’s an old saying that the best revenge is massive success. And no one has lived that quite as nicely as Lady Gaga. While she has a loyal base of fans, the singer and actress hasn’t always had an easy start. In fact, when she was just starting out during her early years in college at NYU, she had a loyal base of bullies. During those years, Lady Gaga was a regular performer in local bar shows. This attracted the attention of a couple NYU students, who then created a very small Facebook group that was dedicated to trash talking the singer, calling it “Stefani Germanotta, you will never be famous”. It was regularly inundated with posts about how she was “an attention whore” and would never succeed.
The group first came to light back in 2016, when a former classmate of Gaga’s, Lauren Bohn, made a Facebook post detailing the inner workings of the group.
She wrote about how Lady Gaga’s experience is a prime example of what happens when you focus on your dreams and visions of success for yourself rather than listen to the naysayers around you.
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
Her post is below:
“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.”
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 Mangazine 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?’
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. Stefani, thank you. Thank you for always thinking you’re a superstar, for using your cracks to let the light come out more brightly. Humans, let’s follow suit. #LadyGaga #ThatsWho“
When I was a freshman at NYU and Facebook was only a year old and people created/joined groups like "I have dimples,…Posted by Lauren Bohn on Sunday, January 17, 2016
Needless to say, Gaga got the ultimate revenge by becoming the famously beloved icon of our generation. What’s more, she broke barriers this year by becoming the first woman to win an Oscar, Grammy, BAFTA and Golden Globe all in the same year.
People are legitimately curious about those 12 Facebook Members, and how they must feel about their pettiness and cruelty all these years later.
Others online have used this as an example of how people are quick to hate on anyone different, and it should never be a reason to stop pursuing your dreams.
And of course there’s the people out there that can’t stop roasting the group, especially the fact that there were only a measly 12 members.
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
Regardless of everything, Lady Gaga’s story is a definitely reminder for everyone out there with a creative dream: pursue it no matter what people say and maybe by a stroke of luck, you too will be able to have the last laugh.