Cynthia Germanotta is the mom of Stefani Germanotta, known professionally as Lady Gaga. As Lady Gaga prepares to perform in the Super Bowl halftime show, Cynthia shared this essay exclusively with TODAY Parents.
The Germanottas are football fans. My husband Joe, a New Jersey native, is a fan of both the Giants and the Jets and I’ve been rooting for the Steelers for decades. As a family, we spent countless Sunday afternoons watching games and we rarely missed a Super Bowl.
My daughter Stefani (or Lady Gaga, as you probably know her) was always the most transfixed by the halftime show. From the time she was in preschool, she dreamed of someday taking the stage herself for one of those iconic performances — she practiced her vocals, she perfected her dance routines, she planned her costumes.
And on Sunday, Feb. 5, that dream of hers will come true.
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Few events in modern life are more viewed or more talked about than the Super Bowl halftime show. It’s a tremendous moment for my daughter and for her fans, but it’s also a tremendous moment for us as a family. There is perhaps no feeling more moving or satisfying for a parent than witnessing your child achieve one of their dreams. So on Sunday, my husband and I, her sister Natali, and the rest of our family will be there in Houston to cheer her on.
All those years ago, when my daughter had yet to finish kindergarten but was already hard at work practicing for her halftime show, my husband and I didn’t know that one day she would actually take that stage. But we supported her all the same. It was not our dream for her, it was her dream for herself and it was our job to support her in achieving that goal.
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We encouraged her creativity and imagination. We told her to envision a big, bold future. We taught her to be brave and to have faith in herself. And we were fortunate enough to be able to give her resources and opportunities, from voice lessons to dance classes, that she needed to move closer to the reality she pictured for herself.
We did this for both our daughters. Stefani’s sister Natali is equally creative and has grown up to become a talented designer. In fact, she was on the team that helped to create some of the costumes for Sunday’s performance.
Joe and I could not be any prouder of our daughters, not only because they are strong, successful women but because they are kind, generous, and compassionate humans. My daughter wanted to use the incredible platform she has been given this weekend to put on a one-of-a-kind performance, but she also wanted to use it as a chance to foster just a little more good in the world.
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That’s why Born This Way Foundation, which my daughter and I co-founded, is calling on everyone planning to tune in — from the sports fans to the Little Monsters — to help us #KickoffForKindness. We want you to turn your Super Bowl party into an opportunity to watch the game, spend time with friends and family, and do small but impactful acts of kindness. Collect cans for your local food pantry, donate to your favorite nonprofit, write thank-you notes — there are countless ways to be kind, so pick the activities that resonate most with you and your guests.
My daughter and I believe that, now more than ever, it matters how we treat one another and we need to be doing better. We need to treat each other with greater understanding and to love each other more. That’s a simple sentiment but no easy task. As my daughter would tell you, however, great things can be accomplished when you’re not afraid to dream big, work hard, and refuse to give up.
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