'Have no shame': Gaga launches body image Revolution

Lady Gaga has shed her outlandish fashion to pose unadorned in her underwear to launch a campaign encouraging positive body image among fans.

The pop star posted the images, along with the caption "Bulimia and anorexia since I was 15", in response to recent media fixation on her increasing weight. Earlier this month, a series of unflattering photos of her performing prompted her to open up about gaining 11 kilograms.

Now the pop star has launched 'A Body Revolution 2013' - a project that aims "to celebrate 'perceived flaws'". It forms part of her larger Born This Way Foundation, which seeks to celebrate individuality and empower youth.

The 26-year-old appealed to her 'Little Monsters' to post photos of themselves on the site: "Now that the body revolution has begun, be brave and post a photo of you that celebrates your triumph over insecurities."

It took Gaga's own post to get the ball rolling. Since then, thousands of images and comments have flooded in.

Uploaded photos from the megastar's astonishing fanbase - she has close to 30 million Twitter followers alone - show a young cancer victim's scarred neck, a teen with open heart surgery scars, a teen with psoriasis, a double mastectomy survivor, a host of obese bodies and an amputee.

One teenage girl has added an image of her scarred arm, the result of self-harming. She writes: "been suffering with cutting since i was 13. Im very self conscious about my body but today I'm inspired to be brave and share this with you. Thank you gaga."

Many of the photos had many thousands of likes within hours of being posted.

Gaga added her own messages of encouragement to the candid shots.

"I have been startled and overwhelmed with pride and emotion the past few days. Gratitude mostly. Seeing you post photos of things on your bodies and in your minds that you feel society tells you you should be ashamed of. You are showing them you have no shame" she wrote at the site.

"My weight/loss/gain since i was child has tormented me. No amount of help has ever healed my pain about it. But YOU have," she continued. "My boyfriend prefers me curvier, when i eat and am healthy and not so worried about my looks, I'm happy. Happier then I've ever been. i am not going to go on a psycho-spree because of scrutiny. This is who I am. And I am proud at any size. And i love you, and want you to be proud in any form you may take as well."

Writing on her Little Monsters site earlier this year, Gaga laid out a mandate of sorts, encouraging her fans to embrace their bodies and redefine self-perception.

"My mother and I created the BORN THIS WAY FOUNDATION for one reason: to inspire bravery," Gaga wrote about her global philanthropic initiative. "This profile is an extension of that dream. Be brave and celebrate with us your 'perceived flaws,' as society tells us. May we make our flaws famous, and thus redefine the heinous."

An advocate of LGBT and human rights, Gaga topped Forbes' most powerful celebrity list in 2011, was named as one of its most influential women earlier this year and appeared in Time magazine's most influential people of 2011 list.

Anyone seeking help and support with eating disorders or body image issues is urged to call 1800 334 673 or e-mail support@thebutterflyfoundation.org.au.

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