Guest Author Jeanette Castaneda writes about arts & entertainment topics, pop culture trends, and celebrity news (or feuds). You can follow her on Twitter @jeanettec03.
A provocative move seems to be an oxymoron when speaking about someone like Lady Gaga. After all, the pop singer has catapulted into mainstream success not just for her vocal and songwriting abilities, but largely for her ostentatious stage costumes and performances, which illicit more than just casual conversation. The girl oozes provocative nature in anything and everything she's ventured.
So when Lady Gaga states that she will offer free counseling sessions on her upcoming tour, it will no doubt be on a vibrant, flamboyant platform. Though, it may not be provocative just for the sake of being provocative.
This week, the Los Angeles Times reported that Gaga will extend free counseling via private and group chats on her upcoming Born This Way Ball tour. The services of the Born Brave Bus will be available to ticket holders at upcoming shows on the tour, and there will also be food and games to keep the environment fun.
You can't knock the songstress for her brazen efforts on this one; this is a positive way to help out young people who otherwise might not seek help.
In 2012, Gaga launched the Born This Way Foundation, a non-profit organization that focuses on youth empowerment, mentoring, and anti-bully initiatives. It also shares its name with the singer's 2011 single and album title, which can be where a sense of deliberate marketing is felt.
Personally, it doesn't matter if Gaga is engaging her fans with this endeavor for marketing efforts, or if she genuinely is linking her brand as a "Born This Way" pop star. She's been and continues to be a larger-than-life artist in everything thus far (A blood-spurting Gaga from her 2009 MTV Video Music Awards performance, anyone?).
She describes the Born Brave Bus service as follows: "BornBrave Bus is a place where mental health + depression are taken seriously w/ no judgement, FREE real help available to all. I feel like most kids don't look for help because they feel embarrassed so mom + I wanted to break the stigmas around 'help' and make it fun."
I don't claim to be a Lady Gaga fan generally, but I agree with this outlook on breaking stigmas surrounding "getting help". Unfortunately, it can take years for some people to admit to themselves that they would like to speak to a mental health professional. By making the environment fun and non-threatening (a pop concert is a bit much, but it’s on the right track), philanthropic efforts like these can directly reach youth and positively promote change in existing social stigmas.
Yup, I'll say it…Way to go, Gaga!Image Courtesy of Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com