Oprah interviews Lady Gaga in this month’s Elle, and while it’s every bit the gushfest from her that you’d expect (and fairly name-droppy; Oprah would like you to know that she has seen Bradley Cooper with his daughter and that he’s a beautiful beautiful father), she does ask the questions that tee up the answers about mental health and beauty and self-perception that the interview sought — while also, yes, promoting Gaga’s new makeup line Haus Labs. But, especially on the heels of Elle UK’s nothing sandwich of a Katie Holmes interview, I do appreciate when a celeb is a willing player in the game. Obviously Gaga knew what she was going to be asked, and she delivers, talking about everything from her fibromyalgia to her history of self-harm, to how Stefani created Lady Gaga in a mirror one day as a way to lift herself out of depression and give her the guts to keep going.

You know, it’s very easy to say to someone, “Be brave,” but it’s not so easy to practice. I mean, if you feel shame for who you are, and you don’t feel supported by people around you, you’re afraid. Shame is powerful. But give yourself time. Allow yourself to take little bites every day. That’s what I would say: Take little bites of bravery. I wouldn’t say it’s a false life. I would say that’s a reality, and that reality can change.

Celebrities are in no way obligated to give us this much, or anything at all. But doing a cover is a choice, and it tends to come with an interview. There has been a lot of open talk about mental health lately, and the willingness of Gaga and other celebs like her to discuss it and go deep is a real kindness for the fans who might read it and  find their own hope. If all that also helps promote her makeup line? Hey, life is often transactional, and I’m fine with that one.

[Photos: Elle]
Tags: Elle, Lady Gaga