Lady Gaga asks fans to love themselves

“I’m not just gonna prance around in a bra and underwear and not stand for something,” pop phenomenon Lady Gaga said mid-ballad Tuesday night at the Verizon Center.

Her declaration came shortly after telling fans, “You can change the world if you want to,” setting the tone for her eye-catching, fire-filled show.

Performing fan favorites like “Telephone” and “Speechless,” Lady Gaga opened Tuesday’s show with Semi Precious Weapons, the same opening act from 2006 when they performed in “a little bar on the Lower East Side.”

Four years later, in a larger arena filled with enthusiastic fans, Lady Gaga unleashed a two-hour affair with flaming pianos, fake blood and spark-spewing brassieres. The singer’s unique relationship with her audience stems from her great admiration for her fans, whom she calls “Little Monsters.”

“You guys all built this,” she said with gratitude, motioning to the stage, the costumes and burning piano she was crouched upon.

Gaga continuously addressed the LGBT community throughout the show, not only by highlighting one’s inability to choose his or her sexual orientation, but by emphasizing her opposition to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” She asked the District to celebrate its “gay pride,” citing that she could “rely on [her] deepest and most loyal friends” in the city’s LGBT community. To further declare her love for her audience, in true Gaga fashion, she took it a step further. “Tonight, my religion is Washington D.C.!”

But the real message Gaga had for the night was self-acceptance, as she urged the crowd to leave the concert “not loving me more, but loving yourselves more.” She told her audience to “let go of all of your insecurities” and “forget anyone or anything that has ever made you feel like you’re not good enough, or you don’t fit in, or you don’t belong, or you’re not pretty enough…”

“You just remember,” Gaga said to the crowd. “You’re a superstar, and you were born that way.”

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