3. BORN THIS WAY
Lady Gaga—pop star, musician, fashion pioneer, performance artist and humble leader of an army of fans she affectionately calls “little monsters”—waged a successful campaign against inhibition so that we could benefit from her amazing talent. This year brought us Gaga the LGBT activist, campaigning for DADT repeal in Maine; and Gaga the style revolutionary—who can forget Gaga‘s meat dress at the MTV Video Awards, or her dramatic arrival at the 2011 Grammy Awards, where she was carried onstage inside a semi-transparent egg? After “hatching,” she launched into the debut performance of her defiant anthem “Born This Way.” Whatever you think of Gaga, it’s hard to listen to that song and not feel the urge to break out of your shell.