To what extent does the media represent people/places by using stereotype?
Lady Gaga’s music video ‘LoveGame’ was directed by Joseph Kahn in 2009. The video starts with the heading ‘Streamline presents’ and shots of Lady Gaga naked with purple and blue paint and glitter all over her body. The lighting is dark and there are flashing lights. She is seen fooling around with two fully clothed men on a bench. The two men have the words ‘Fame and ‘Love’ shaved on their hair. In many music videos this is evident as women are normally perceived as sex objects and drive home the message that exposed bodies and looks are what count.
The scene changes to a subway where Gaga is intimidating a group of men who are a crowded around her. She starts singing in a grey leotard with a hood and wears chain-linked glasses. She carries her trade mark ‘disco-stick’ which is mentioned a lot lyrically in the song. This scene subverts many stereotypes in the music industry. In music videos it is common to see men surrounded by lots of semi-naked women. However in this video Kahn has switched it up and has put Gaga surrounded by men, making her dominant.
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The next seen shows Lady Gaga making her way through the subway and dancing with three other men at the bottom of the staircase. The subway seems damaged, used and neglected, very similar to those found in cities and other urban places. It is a very realistic representation of train stations/subways as there is also pieces of rubbish lying about and ticket machines in the background/
The scene then shifts to a train where Gaga is dancing amongst male dancers, The train is also a very standard train commonly found in cities, there is nothing luxury about it which makes it very familiar to the audience. She is wearing a different colour to the dancers so she stands out. However she dancing on the same level as them which could represent equality. She soon changes her attire to a black jacket and black leotard, she is now wearing the same colour as the male dancers which show that neither one of the sexes is dominant and that they are equal however this is very short lived as she gets lifted to a higher platform which shows her as powerful and dominant.
One element in Lady Gaga’s video that conforms hugely to the stereotype of pop videos/music is the amount of choreographed dancing which is commonly used in pop videos. This may have been done to remind the viewer that it is a pop music video and so it complements the upbeat vibe of the music. It may also encourage viewers to join in and dance along.
Gaga and her dancers move on to an under-ground car park. She is seen dancing on a top of a car and her dancers are shown dancing on the floor. This represents status and that Gaga is yet again more dominant than the male dancers and that she is in control. By putting Lady Gaga on a higher platform than the male dancers it she is very clear that she is constantly in control and is just as able as the male dancers around her.
She is then shown entering a ticket booth with a male inspector. The ticket booth scene shows Gaga and the inspector kissing, however Gaga is then shown kissing a female inspector in the booth. The inspector changes from a man to woman in each frame. This sexual reference subverts the typical ‘male and female’ stereotype. This scene shows the audience that Gaga clearly does not have a ‘preference’ when it comes to her sexuality. This could connect with an audience who are either bi-sexual or homosexual. It does not have a bias towards any certain type of sexuality and does not discriminate either. This could also create a larger fan base of people who are gay as it is showing that it is acceptable in today’s society.
However it may cause controversy and would most likely be discussed in certain magazines and the news in particular countries, the reason for this is that homosexuality has not yet been embraced in every country/society, and it is only just starting to be accepted in certain communities and certain places.
The final scene shows Gaga in a choreographed dance routine with her male dancers. As the artist, Gaga is placed at the forefront of the dance crew so that the audience are not side tracked from the main aim of the video which is naturally to promote Lady Gaga and this new style of music. She is dressed in a similar type of outfit as her male dancers and is pulling off the exact same dance moves. This could represent as women being as equivalent to men.
The ideology of this video is to show that not all women are subservient to men. Gaga is used as an example to show that women can be sexy, provocative yet powerful.
Gaga is shown in a positive light as someone new and fresh and also very unique in her sense of fashion. By the amount of choreographed dancing in this video it also implies that perhaps she wants to be viewed as more than just a singer but also an entertainer and someone who is talented in more ways than others. However this music video can have quite a few negative points to it, such as the sexual references throughout the video, visually as well as lyrically. This video could easily be portrayed as a bad influence to the younger audience.
The way Gaga has been represented could go either way, many people will embrace the fact she is empowering women and on the other hand, many will criticise her for being very sexual and explicit.
Now that Lady Gaga has begun to subvert stereotypes, it can give other similar artists a reason to be edgy and individual. Many critics will look to these artist and debate whether or not it is suitable way of women to act and be shown in the media behaving in an independent and unique way. This constant debate can seep into the average person’s everyday life; they may discuss certain music videos with friends, especially if they have controversial issues such as ones raised in Lady Gaga’s music videos. It can start conversations, discussions and build the relationship between the groups of people.
- Media – Pre production piece, storyboard for music video
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