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Gaga responds to the ‘fat’ haters with a call for courage

Lady Gaga poses for a portrait in her hotel suite prior to an event at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Wednesday Feb. 29, 2012. Gaga launched her "Born this Way" foundation at Harvard.

Charles Krupa/AP

Sticks and stones may break her bones...

After being mocked widely on many Internet sites for being "fat," Lady Gaga hit back at her critics and, in the process, turned the debate about her weight on its head.

Over the weekend, the singer stepped out in a Comme des Garçons dress that conjured up images of fat suit. Perhaps a not-so-subtle jab at her detractors?

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But she didn't stop there. On Tuesday, she tweeted links to several photos of herself on her Little Monsters social networking page wearing only her underwear. The captions included "Bulimia and anorexia since I was 15" and "To inspire bravery."

Sure, she wasn't wearing much. But the images appeared to be less about showing off her body than putting herself fully out there without crazy costumes or meat dresses, for anyone to see – and judge. The photos are part of a campaign Lady Gaga has just launched called Body Revolution 2013, where she encourages people to love their bodies as they are and post their own photos.

So far, the response has been overwhelming and the pictures her followers have been posting are inspiring. Take this one, posted by a young woman with a prosthetic leg and scars who wrote that they "keep [her] strong." Or the photo of a woman who says a rare bone condition has left her very short and in a wheelchair, but that Lady Gaga makes her feel five feet tall and that "anything is possible." Or this, from a woman who says she was raped a year ago and decided to keep the baby. The picture shows her stomach, full of stretch marks, and she says that she wants her daughter to learn that "no matter what you are beautiful."

Does this mean the constant scrutiny over celebrity shapes and sizes (or all women for that matter) will die down any time soon? Likely not. But Lady Gaga has shown that you don't have to listen to the criticism.

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About the Author

Carly Weeks has been a journalist with The Globe and Mail since 2007.  She has reported on everything from federal politics to the high levels of sodium in the Canadian diet. More

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