Born This Way

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.

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

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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; OK 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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Kid, 11 years old January 29, 2014
age 9+

I love it!

This song is truly genuine. I think is song should be nine and up because nine year olds probably can't tell what she is saying by "I was born this way" in which they will be themselves.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent Written byBeatrix Kiddo-Orteza October 13, 2013
age 12+


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 messages while Fashion of His Love is clean but lacks positive messages. 10+. Marry The Night and You And I are tame but not totally clean. 12+. Bad Kids and Scheisse have inappropriate languages but are not that profane. 13+. Bloody Mary and Black Jesus † Amen Fashion are clean but hard to understand. 13+. Heavy Metal Lover and Electric Chapel
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byMusic/Movies July 23, 2013
age 13+

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 messages like Born This Way, Hair, Marry the Night, The Edge of Glory... ect. But some songs are a little mature and mention some sexual stuff. The songs Government Hooker & Judas are the ones to watch out for. They talk about sex, hookers and not wearing a condom. Other songs like Americano, Bad Kids, You and I & Schliebe, aren't dirty, but they aren't clean. They have mentions of gay people, making love and one use of the word sh*t. Also on this CD, there is mild language such as a bleeped out f*ck and a bleeped out b*tch, but the only word that is actually heard is sh*t. The drinking/smoking content is a bit strong, but mainly it only uses strong content about drinking in the song Bad Kids. So overall, this Cd only has a few songs to watch out for, and there is iffy content that probably only teen ears should hear.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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