Born This Way

Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
Born This Way Music Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Tamer tunes by pop diva still mention some sex, substances.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 35 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

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 & Representations

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byBeatrix Kiddo-Orteza October 13, 2013


This is tamer than The Fame and The Fame Monster. SERIOUSLY. Hair, Born This Way, Highway Unicorn, The Edge of Glory and The Queen are tame and have positive me... Continue reading
Adult Written byMusic/Movies July 23, 2013

Positive but somewhat explicit

Though this Cd still has mentions of sex and drinking, most of the songs have good and positive messages for teens. About half the songs are clean and have good... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bylovelovelove May 4, 2018

Amazing, Emotional Album!

I have grown up in a family of people who love Lady Gaga's work. No joke, I have been listening to her music since birth. I was basically Christened into t... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byAdamb666 April 22, 2018
There are great messages on this album about being yourself and loving yourself. A couple of the songs are dirty but overall a great album that everyone should... Continue reading

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.  

Talk to your kids 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
  • Type: Album
  • Label: Interscope Records
  • Genre: Pop
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate