Internationally celebrated for her wildly original performances, Lady Gaga may have a wildly unoriginal habit: going hungry to look good onstage. A new biography penned by Maureen Callahan, ‘Poker Face: The Rise and Rise of Lady Gaga,’ reveals startling claims about the seemingly confident singer, according to RadarOnline. Gaga’s former tour manager, David Ciemny, alleges in the book that the 24-year-old binged on junk food when not depriving herself of calories altogether. And he claims that in 2009 alone, the Grammy winner landed in the hospital six times while dieting to slim down. Not once, not twice, but six times last year.

Back in March, fans fretted about her health when she nearly collapsed onstage, seemingly exhausted. And in April, the pop star’s rep denied that Gaga was on a bizarre baby-food diet, after rumors circulated that she was subsisting on the small jars of pureed food — rumors that sounded crazy to some, but since Gaga’s a darling among fashion insiders, it isn’t difficult to believe that she conforms to that industry’s golden standard: be as tiny as possible, whatever it takes.

Wendy Starland, who helped discover the unknown New York City musician Stefani Germanotta before she became Lady Gaga, is also quoted in the new tell-all, and says of the singer’s rising-star days, “The pressure on her to lose weight was very high.”

Today, after millions in record sales, Gaga’s success seems to hinge on promoting a very non-conformist, in-your-face persona: she’s rebellious, audacious, and according to Time magazine, very influential. Her image isn’t all she is, though; her intense connection to her fans is legendary, and she clearly yearns to inspire them.

But what would be truly inspiring is if Gaga found a way to be whatever size is healthiest for her, because she could help her little monsters do the same. If all this talk of dangerous dieting is true, it simply begs the question: Are Lady Gaga’s provocative looks and even more provocative comments — about drugs, her vagina’s creativity, prayers to become insane, you name it — really smoke-screens for a young woman who’s so starving for fame and acceptance that she’s actually just…starving?

(For more insights about Gaga, check out our exclusive interview next week with Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Maureen Callahan, all about her upcoming book ‘Poker Face: The Rise and Rise of Lady Gaga,’ on sale Sept. 14).

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