This afternoon, Lady Gaga took the stage at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society with her mother Cynthia Germanotta, Oprah Winfrey, and assorted prominent academic, professional and political figures to introduce her new anti-bullying Born This Way Foundation. While her efforts are undoubtedly coming from the right place and positively impact her zillion fans worldwide, only ol’ Meat Dress could find a way to make such a solemn subject feel a little, well, vaudevillian. We’ve compiled a list of 10 ridiculous things one should do at a launch event if one wants to become a pop star, start a foundation, and emulate Lady Gaga.
1. Wear a large, sparkly black hat with flaps reminiscent of fly wings. Everyone knows that this may be the most low-key outfit in Gaga’s wardrobe (see: Bubble Dress and Lace Demon), but for such a serious moment in her career, maybe leave the look-at-me glitter at home.
2. Gush over how much you’re obsessed with and inspired by John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s refusal to elaborate to the media on their well-known platitude, “Give peace a chance.” While the sentiments Gaga, Lennon, and Ono have all promoted are positive, well-meaning messages, “giving peace a chance” didn’t end war, right? (Also, it’s been pretty well-documented how many mind-expanding substances John and Yoko were doing back then.)
3. Lean over to Deepak Chopra and humblebrag the shit out of the fact that you two are tight. In fact, the whole event was riddled with humblebrags, but the time where she proclaims, giggling, “I know you would like to call me ‘a global leader’ because I know you,” was just ludicrous.
4. Trivialize the reasons behind your mind-boggling social media influence. “I think I have 22 million followers just because I write nice stuff. I don’t complain.” But we know a marketing team backstage who would get really mad if they heard you say that.
5. Deflect when the psychologist asks you direct questions about how your foundation will work in environments where kids are naturally cruel to each other, then talk up all the Googling (sorry, “research”) you’ve been doing about the Columbine High School shooting. This interaction smacked painfully of what doctors must go through with hypochondriacs who’ve watched too much House, or worse, who’ve found WebMD.
6. When you’re faced with a question you’re not sure how to answer, deflect by saying (a) that you don’t know (and that’s okay, of course), or (b) that someone else is responsible for making your foundation effective. Choice quotes: “I don’t know the answer” at least twice, and “I’m not going to [do anything to teach kids]; youare. The model is you.”
7. Say, “Programs sounds like school! [Let’s call them] parties!” Gaga did say this when her mother Cynthia began explaining the first steps the Born This Way Foundation would be taking (in concrete terms, mind you, without using her daughter’s platitudinous “love, acceptance and tolerance” catchphrase). Runner up on this category: Cynthia begins, “We are not philanthropists, and we don’t profess to be—” when her daughter cuts her off, throwing her arm around her mother’s shoulder and cries, “But we hope to be good friends!”
8. Be mean to Grandmother Monster. (Similar to number 7.) Throughout the nearly 90-minute event, Gaga interrupted her mother on at least five occasions, in a manner that could only be captioned as “Aaaaand back to me!” Considering that Mrs. Germanotti was the only one onstage (with the exception of psychologist Susan Swearer) to address tangible, practical steps the foundation will take to fulfill its goals, and considering that Gaga herself has a beast of an upcoming world tour to deal with, it’s safe to say that mom will be running this operation by herself, for the most part, so respect yo’ momma, Miss Germanotta!
9. Loudly proclaim (yes, also interrupt) that teachers don’t give a shit about teaching kids how to get along. After a long, drawn-out, applaud-here pause, she backtracked, “It’s not that I don’t believe that parents or teachers are capable; we’ve been talking about [the problem of bullying] for so long, but it’s not working.” Instead, she suggested that it was all up to the kids, bullies and bullied alike, to join hands and show the grown-ups they can do it better alone. Wait, wasn’t she just talking about including everyone in this?
10. When in doubt, bring Oprah for moral support. And, in some mindboggling feat, manage to sound like you’re talking down to her while thanking her for being at your event.