Opening up about being sexually assaulted takes an overwhelming amount of strength. Thousands of women have come forward and shared their own stories since the wake of the #MeToo movement. Their courage is admirable and their experiences are harrowing, but most notably, they’re real.
Influential actresses and singers have shared their stories of sexual assault, including Lady Gaga.
Regardless of their success and status, these women are just like us. They’ve been through a traumatising ordeal and no amount of fame or money makes it any easier, something we all need to remember.
At the mere age of 19, Gaga was raped by a music producer. The Born This Way singer may have been one of the biggest names to come forward in the #MeToo narrative, but she is also a victim who continues to be affected by that assault every day.
She told Teen Vogue: “I feel stunned. Or stunted. You know that feeling when you’re on a roller coaster and you’re just about to go down the really steep slope?”
“That fear and the drop in your stomach? My diaphragm seizes up. Then I have a hard time breathing, and my whole body goes into a spasm. And I begin to cry. That’s what it feels like for trauma victims every day, and it’s miserable,” the A Star Is Born actress shared.
“I always say that trauma has a brain. And it works its way into everything that you do.”
She continued to explain that sharing her story was her own personal choice, but it is different for every victim: “I feel like I’ve been an advocate but also a shocked audience member, watching #MeToo happen.”
Gaga explained that speaking out about being raped was like facing a monster: “It took years. No one else knew. It was almost like I tried to erase it from my brain. And when it finally came out, it was like a big, ugly monster. And you have to face the monster to heal.”
It is important for us to remember that the celebrities who come forward and share their personal experiences are human too.
They may be Oscar winners or Grammy nominees, but we need to remember, more than anything, they are victims and the courage it took for them to publicly open up makes them fearless heroes.