On Sunday, February 24th, Lady Gaga took home the Academy Award for Best Original Song, thanks to her smash hit “Shallow” from A Star Is Born. It was the singer’s first Oscar and capped off a year in which she made her acting debut, won numerous awards for it, and started a Las Vegas residency. Her win on Sunday also made her the first person ever to win a BAFTA, an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy in the same year, according to Harper’s Bazaar. Gaga is, without a doubt, one of the most talented and successful people in the world. But before she became the Mother Monster, she was an ordinary college student—one who was the target of an seriously mean Facebook group.
After the pop star’s Oscar win, several Twitter users unearthed screenshots of an NYU-based Facebook group called “Stefani Germanotta, you will never be famous” (Stefani Germanotta is Gaga’s real name). It’s hard to believe that even Gaga was cyberbullied, but the page vilified the singer for her aspirations. Now, of course, the Facebook page is just an example of how unnecessarily cruel (and completely wrong) bullies can be.
The group has been discussed before. In a 2016 op-ed for Public Radio International, Lauren Bohn, a Middle East correspondent for The GroundTruth Project, wrote that she remembered coming across the group as a college student when she “was a freshman at NYU and Facebook was only a year old” (which would have been around 2005). Bohn wrote that members of the group called Gaga an “attention-whore,” and one user posted a picture of a flyer for one of her upcoming shows, which he had stomped on.
Years later, when Bohn realized that Germanotta had gone on to become Gaga, she wrote that she felt “a dizzying emotional cocktail of stage-mom-at-a-beauty-pageant and nerd-revenge triumph.” We can only imagine the satisfaction Gaga must feel after proving her haters so wrong.
This story is just one more reminder to fight for your goals—no matter what others say.