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What to say to your children about Lady Gaga’s belly roll and fat shaming

Lady Gaga gave a killer performance at Super Bowl 2017. She jumped off the top of the stadium, played piano, and danced athletically the whole time. She must have spent hundreds of intense training hours preparing for the halftime show. But when she made her final costume change and exposed a tiny belly roll, the haters jumped in to attack her for being fat.

Lady Gaga could have eliminated that belly fat if she really wanted to, but she would have had to literally starve it away. She, like most women, has belly fat. All the hours she spends training for shows like this make her body strong and athletic, but only starving herself will eliminate that cute little belly roll.

Lady Gaga has been open about her struggles with eating disorders, including bulimia, which tends to be less acceptable for public consumption than anorexia. She says she has battled eating disorders and depression since her teens, and her body has been heavily criticized in the media, but she has consistenly fought back. In this case, not starving away that belly roll was a public f-you to body shamers, and a very positive move forward for feminism and body positivity.

How did you and your family react when you saw Lady Gaga’s belly roll? Did you raise your eyebrows in shock? Did people in the room say things like these ignorant Twitter posters?

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Were your children around when people said mean things like this? If so, please consider the following facts about women’s bodies:

  1. Belly fat is a natural part of a woman’s body – it is linked to our very purpose in life: to generate life.
  2. No matter how healthy a woman’s diet, and no matter how many crunches she does, most women cannot eliminate a belly roll without extreme food restriction.
  3. Lady Gaga has to be in excellent physical health to perform a show like that. Her belly roll is part of a strong, healthy body, not a sign of obesity.
  4. Even a woman who uses her body as part of her career, and who shows her bare belly on national television, deserves respect.
  5. No woman deserves to be called fat, no matter what size she is.

Whatever your feelings on Lady Gaga’s music or the woman herself (Stefani Germanotta), consider taking this opportunity to talk to your children about women’s bodies. Negative body image and eating disorders go hand in hand. This matters.

Body Image Printable Worksheets

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Ginny Jones is on a mission to empower parents to help their kids recover from eating disorders, body image issues, and other mental health conditions.  She’s the founder of, an online resource supporting parents who have kids with eating disorders, and a Parent Coach who helps parents who have kids with mental health issues.

Ginny has been researching and writing about eating disorders since 2016. She incorporates the principles of neurobiology and attachment parenting with a non-diet, Health At Every Size® approach to health and recovery.

See Our Parent’s Guide To Body Image And Eating Disorders

2 thoughts on “What to say to your children about Lady Gaga’s belly roll and fat shaming

  1. […] regarding the Superbowl: Lady Gaga needs to do some crunches if she wants to show her flabby […]

  2. […] to your child how they can “clap back” at body shamers (as seen by Lady Gaga, Busy Phillips, Chrissy Teigen, Rhianna, and others). They should be prepared for body shaming […]

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