It's a new year, and Lady Gaga has resolved to continue writing those controversial, very public open letters to her critics.
Thursday's target was Kelly Osbourne, daughter of Ozzy and Sharon, also a fashion critic in her own right. And although Osbourne is no Cathy Horyn (whom Gaga has previously taken up issues with), she is, like Gaga, a celebrity who is also subject to widespread public criticism.
Which is why the co-host of E!'s brutally honest, tongue-in-cheek humored show Fashion Police opened up to Fabulous Magazine about being bullied and targeted by Gaga's little monsters: "I'm the thinnest I've ever been and the healthiest I've ever been, said Osbourne in October, adding that Gaga's fans were, "the worst."
"They've said I should kill myself, that they hope I get raped. I mean it’s crazy but I’ve had this all my life and I just try and ignore it." The backlash Osbourne has received is not without reason. In 2009, she called Gaga a "butterface" noting that everything about the pop star "but her face" was fine. Osbourne added in her interview, "I actually think she’s a good singer but she has the worst fans in the world and you have a responsibility to stop that. I think you do anyway.”
In response, Gaga retorted with a very public letter stating that she wished Kelly had reached out to her personally. However, the pop star responded in a way that was far from personal by posting a public letter, "as the head of the Born This Way foundation."
She writes, "I have empathy for you Kelly, but I feel it culturally important to note that you have chosen a less compassionate path. Your work on E! with the Fashion Police is rooted in criticism, judgment, and rating people's beauty against one another. Your show breeds negativity, and over the years has even become comedic in nature. It glorifies you and Joan Rivers pointing in the camera, laughing, and making jokes about artists and celebrities as if we are zoo animals."
The pop star adds in a gentle-mannered way, "I am pointing this out not to take a crack at your character, as we’ve met before and you’re lovely. However, I urge you to take responsibility and accountability for the example that you are setting for young people. They look up to you because you are famous, and if you treat others that way on TV, many adolescents at home on twitter assume your actions are acceptable: well if she does it, why can’t I? I cannot control my fans, and I discourage them from any negativity and violence, because that is wrong and hurtful -- and I do feel baldy that your feelings were hurt."
Body image, a struggle for so many women, is more complex than most realize: The pressure to adhere to society's standards of attractiveness could, for so many young women, lead to psychologically and physically debilitating diseases like eating disorders. We hope these two stars can make amends in private, because both women are responsible for setting true examples for their legions of fans and followers. One thing's certain - we will be watching Kelly Osbourne on the red carpet this Sunday from the Golden Globes, including a recap with her fellow FP co-stars. Will Gaga's letter affect how Kelly critiques outfits from the awards ceremony?
Esther Lee is the style editor of Philly.com. Qualms, quips, questions? Email her, here.