Pop superstar Lady Gaga is embracing her age as she approaches her 30th birthday, confessing she has "already mourned" the end of her 20s.
The Born This Way singer will celebrate the age milestone on 28 March (15), and although she admits to previously being upset about her advancing years, she has since realised growing older is nothing to be afraid of.
"My birthday is in March, so these are the last moments of my 20s," she tells Billboard magazine. "I already mourned that in a way, and now I'm really excited about showing girls, and even men, what it can mean to be a woman in her 30s. Why is it that we're disposing of people once they pass that mark? It's suddenly, 'You're an old woman.'
"I'm not f**king old. I'm more sexual and powerful and intelligent and on my s**t than I've ever been. I've come a long way through a lot of heartache and pain, but none of it made me damaged goods. It made me a fighter."
The Billboard Woman of the Year honouree is determined to prove that age is nothing but a number and show that older artists can be just as successful as their younger counterparts.
"I want to show women they don't need to try to keep up with the 19 year olds and the 21 year olds in order to have a hit," she continues. "Women in music, they feel like they need to f**king sell everything to be a star. It's so sad. I want to explode as I go into my 30s."
And recognising the kind of career path she wants to pursue has helped Gaga embrace her maturity.
She adds, "Once you start being mindful and really going, 'Do I actually want that?,' you start to feel empowered and you find your value. I love being the annoying girl. I was a theatre kid. I was in jazz band. I went to the Renaissance Faire. I was that girl who got made fun of, that nerdy girl. I believe in that girl. I believe in the integrity, intelligence and power of people like her, and I want to ignite it."