Category: Being Different

Cyndi Lauper



“I didn’t want to be made over, and I didn’t want to be a balladeer. I tried wearing jeans and T-shirts, but I wasn’t really comfortable in my skin. Then Lady Gaga came out, and it woke me up again. I realized I didn’t have to worry about looking like a freak. I wanted to rock out! I like colors in my hair… I love dressing up. I’m more comfortable like that. I just want to combine art and music. It’s who I am.” People Magazine

Lady Gaga


“I was a deep thinker and was spiritual and creative when I was very little. I would posture ideas to myself and those around me. Who am I? Who are we as humankind? Then I began channeling this into music, characters in school plays, poetry. Needless to say, at some point, lots of people found me peculiar. Weird was a word I heard a lot. Thus began my journey with bullying. Once I was thrown in a trash can by a group of boys shouting, ‘That’s where you belong!’ I had depression, anorexia, bulimia, anxiety, and masochistic tendencies that included scratching or cutting my arms with knives when I was in emotional distress. I still struggle with some of these things. My trauma history is extensive. I was repeatedly r**ed when I was nineteen. I grew up around alcoholism. Finally, I have at least figured out the through line of all the things I’ve been through. In every instance, there was an absence of kindness. It’s important to pause and think about what you’re doing, in case you might hurt someone. And by someone, that includes yourself. Don’t just respond with kindness, fill the empty with it.” People Magazine

Amanda Gorman


“Having a speech impediment forced me to think creatively about the ways I was going to communicate onstage. It wasn’t enough to just rely on my orality. I had to siphon other instruments. So if I wasn’t pronouncing a word ‘correctly’ because of my speech impediment, people might be able to look at my hands and say, ‘Oh, she’s saying running because she’s making a motion with her index and middle fingers.” ALLURE

Billie Eilish


“When I was growing up and I was around my group of friends back then and they would all be drinking and smoking and doing drugs and whatever. I think because of the way that my personality is I’m a very strong-willed person, and I think at the time I was very alpha. I’m coming to realize that I may have felt a feeling of superiority.” Vanity Fair

Dove Cameron


“When I was younger, the idea of being a role model made me so painfully self-aware. I couldn’t explore who I was because I was so focused on being everyone’s idea of me. But I decided to give myself permission to be human. You go through fire, and you come out different but alive. I’ve gone through so many things, but I’m so much less afraid of life because of them. I cut my hair like a boy and pretended to be a vampire while the other girls wore Juicy Couture and perfume. I was a loner. My capacity for happiness is much greater because of the traumas. I know that my time here is finite and it’s all about love.” People Magazine

Sofia Wylie


“I constantly struggle with doubts and insecurities, like any teenager. It takes practice every day to overcome those things. Practically everybody I knew as a kid all of my friends, all the adults around me had straight hair. That was difficult, having big curly hair and not wanting to be ‘different.’ I wanted to belong. Looking back now, I wish I could put my hands on young Sofia’s shoulders and tell her that her hair is such a big part of who she is and that to lose it would be so sad. Now, I love my curls. They make me unique, and I would never change them for the world. But, at the time, no one could tell me different. Eventually that confident person I was pretending to be when I was performing became the person I truly was. But it took time. It’s taken a lot of mental repetition. Telling myself that I’m enough, and to not have fear. I still have anxiety that I’m not good enough. That I’m not ready for this big life. But we’re all on our own path, and everyone is going to shine at their own pace. Knowing that I’m doing everything I can to grow and continue to live this passion of mine, that’s really what gives me confidence.” GL

Nancy Pelosi


“My bad*** advice is to be you. Be confident in what you have to offer. It’s nice if you want to have role models, but be yourself. That has an integrity about it, an authenticity about it. That is what is necessary. Know your power, know what you can do. I was basically a shy person, believe it or not, so I didn’t really like the spotlight, but I loved the issues.” InSTYLE