Born This Way

Common Sense Media says

Tamer tunes by pop diva still mention some sex, substances.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

A few eyebrow-raising messages about being drawn to hurtful relationships, but also lots of positive lyrics about accepting yourself for who you are and having self-esteem.

Positive role models

Offers encouragement to not hide your true self and to value others.


One mention of carrying a gun -- "With blonde hair and a gun smokin' under her toes" -- and another to involving pain in a sexual situation -- "Whip me, slap me." 


A smattering of racy sexual references like "I want your whisky mouth all over my blonde south." 


The occasional bleeped-out swear word in English, as well as the German word for "s--t."


Budweiser, Jameson.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A handful of references to drinking and smoking cigarettes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Born This Way is much tamer than Lady Gaga's first record, The Fame. It lacks explicit references to sex, substance use, and violence, opting instead for more positive themes related to self-confidence, tolerance, and acceptance. Though the record still contains some mature content (including biblical and religious metaphors), it's an OK choice for younger teens who love Lady Gaga.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

BORN THIS WAY is the second album from one of the world's biggest pop phenomenons, Lady Gaga. The record is far less mature than her first, with significantly fewer allusions to hardcore sex, substance use, and violence and almost no overt profanity beyond a couple of bleeped-out and foreign swear words. It's so much cleaner, in fact, that it didn't even earn a Parental Advisory sticker. In addition, the record offers some especially positive messages for younger ears about valuing your uniqueness and accepting others for who they are. Though the album does include some mature religious references and a handful of steamy lyrics, it's an OK pick for younger teens. 

Is it any good?


Cleaner lyrics aren't the only difference between this album and Lady Gaga's earlier releases: Born This Way also features a fresh sound on several tracks, like the guitar-based power-ballad "You and I." Though a few songs such as "Judas" still sound a little like the same old thing, Gaga breaks out of her overall musical box here with an appealing new approach that's already won over her army of fans.  

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Lady Gaga chose to create a cleaner album this time around. What are some of the factors that may have contributed to her decision to cut a super-racy debut record and then a tamer follow-up?

  • How can you emulate the positive behavior that Gaga mentions here -- like loving yourself no matter what and accepting others for who they are -- in your own life?

  • What do you think about Lady Gaga? Is she a role model? Why or why not?

Music details

Artist:Lady Gaga
Release date:May 23, 2011
Label:Interscope Records
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of Born This Way was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byDexterSmith May 28, 2011

Excellent record

This is an excellent pop album with tons of positive messages for kids. Some of the sexual references ("I want your whiskey mouth all over my blonde south"), profanity (most of it is bleeped, though one s-word is heard unedited), and drinking references are a little more mature, but I wouldn't have any problem with kids over the age of 11 listening. If your kid is 9-11 I'd listen to the album before buying it for them. I don't think it's appropriate for children under the age of 9. (Note: There is not an edited version of this album available.)

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byJeddaShell June 2, 2011

Born This Way is NOT for children

Lady Gaga is a fantastic entertainer. I am a huge fan of hers. On the other hand, this album is NOT for children. There are many religious references, complicated relationship references, and complicated/adult words that most children wouldn't understand. There is a bisexual theme on the album. This could lead to gender confusion. There are too many things on this CD that would lead to unwanted questions from your child. A child would be better off listening to The Wheels on the Bus.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written bySpielberg00 June 2, 2011

This is absolutely some of Gaga's best work yet.

Surprisingly positive messages in the title song. Gaga also took a daring aim at controversy by releasing her hit song from the album, "Judas", just a few days before Easter. (If you are a Christian, you would see how that could be a little uncomfortable, in other words.) Also, just as in her previous albums, Gaga uses lots of (censored, but recognizable) swearing as well as references to sexuality. I recommend, therefore, that only maturer ears listen to this album.

What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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