Lady Gaga launches social media initiative -- #IamNotJust

This past weekend, Lady Gaga launched a new social media initiative through her Born this Way Foundation, using the hashtag #IamNotJust. She invites people to fill in the blank -- taking a stand against the way others label them.

Gaga, born Stefani Germanotta, posted on her Instagram account yesterday, "This is about changing people's behavior, changing culture, changing the tone of how we value our feelings."

On the outside, it may seem like Gaga is the epitome of self confidence. But she too has dealt with self doubt and is no stranger to being labeled.

Do you remember when Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro called her a slut? Or when, in 2012, the band Die Antwoord made fun of Gaga for her weight gain?

She says that, in her school days, she was bullied and made fun of for her appearance. Cynthia Germanotta, her mother and president of the Born this Way Foundation, said in an interview with the Daily Beast, "(Gaga) was creative and unequivocally her own person, but her peers didn’t always appreciate the things that made her unique—and different. As a result, they would sometimes taunt, humiliate, or exclude her."

"This mean-spirited treatment did more than sting in the moment—it shook Stefani’s confidence. The persistent, thoughtless cruelty of her peers caused Stefani to question her identity and self-worth."

Germanotta said this self-doubt led to anxiety, depression and self destructive behavior. And, in a recent interview with Billboard, Gaga said she still suffers from depression and anxiety "every single day."

Because of her own struggles with depression, Gaga created the Born this Way Foundation to show teens that they are not alone.

She told Billboard, "I just want these kids to know that that depth that they feel as human beings is normal. We were born that way. This modern thing, where everyone is feeling shallow and less connected? That's not human."

"This is my life purpose, this foundation. This is why I was brought to life, I think."

Despite what others may have said about her in her life, Gaga didn't let that stop her. She marches to her own drum. And, by staying true to the person she is and, as a child, not letting the taunts of other students in school define her, she is now not only a household name but, more importantly, is a role model for others. We could learn a lot from Gaga -- to, instead of letting our past hold us hostage, to use it to help others going through the same thing.

Here's my #IamNotJust:

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