September 12th, 2013
05:10 PM ET
Lady Gaga is a warrior, the pop star tells Elle magazine in its October issue. But Stefani Germanotta? That's a different story.
"Wait a minute," you're probably thinking. "I thought Stefani Germanotta is Lady Gaga?"
Yes and no.
As Gaga explains, "I am - Stefani is - a perpetually tortured artist. That's why I changed my name," she tells Elle. "I can't be her in public. She would be a mess!"
The Mother Monster, on the other hand, is cool and calm under pressure - so unfazed she doesn't even realize when it's there.
"What are you talking about, pressure?" Gaga asks. "I'm great under pressure. I'm a warrior. I'm Rocky, round 12."
She can probably credit that toughness for helping her survive in the industry, seeing that for every fan she's attracted, there's someone else who's a critic.
"Everyone is so cynical," Gaga says of the detractors. "I can't purely love my fans, or share an honest story about my past, without someone asking me if I really, truly struggled. Do you know how much dirt I ate? Do you know the men I had to crawl through, the people that disrespected my body, my mind, my heart?"
If there's anyone who understands what it's like to have haters - at least at this very moment - it's Miley Cyrus. In Gaga's eyes, the sniping is unfounded.
"I just think everybody needs to lighten up and leave her alone," Gaga told Bravo's Andy Cohen on Wednesday's "Watch What Happens Live." "It's pop music. Everybody's entitled to their own artistic expression, and if you have a problem with it, just change the channel."
Too, Gaga continued, Cyrus' critics should consider that she's only 20 years old and is likely still refining her artistic point of view.
"She's growing up in front of the entire world, and maybe she's not so happy with the things she did in her career when she was younger and she wants to be free," Gaga said. "So let her do what she wants."
Gaga's full interview with Elle magazine arrives on newsstands September 24.
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