Fighting with the Sky

Domestic Violence in Music Videos

Posted on: September 28, 2009

Have you seen Lady Gaga’s new music video for “Paparazzi”?  I have mixed feelings about Lady Gaga, but this music video is just a little too much.

The extended music video has the embedding disabled on youtube, so I wasn’t able to bring it here.  But you can watch it here.  There is a short excerpt of a different music video before “Paparazzi” starts.

I can’t always understand what she is saying when she is singing this song, but I can definitely see what the music video looks like.  The music video seems to be glorifying domestic violence and violence against women.

The opening part of the music video features Lady Gaga with her boyfriend, played by Alexander Skarsgard (Eric on True Blood, swoon).  He takes her out onto the balcony so the paparazzi can get pictures.  When Lady Gaga resists, her boyfriend starts to hit her a little bit then pushes her over the edge of the balcony.

Lady Gaga is then rolled around in a wheelchair and has to use crutches to walk around (but being a music video, she doesn’t have to for long).  Throughout the music video, there are pictures of dead models that flash across the screen.  At the end of the music video, she poisons her boyfriend and calls the police.  After being released from jail, the paparazzi love her again.

I think the song is about how the paparazzi have been killing her personal life (but I could be majorly wrong).  I get that.  But I don’t think that we need to glorify violence against women to get that message across.  By depicting a horrifying case of domestic violence and then showing numerous dead women throughout the video, that’s pretty much uncalled for.

Her song and music video is not intended to promote violence against women and domestic violence (I hope) but with the position that Lady Gaga is in to be influential and what her music video is depicting, it kind of comes across that way.  Depicting domestic violence and the dead models makes these things kind of sexy, which they completely are NOT!  I just wish that Lady Gaga had a little more class and tact that this music video, but I guess she doesn’t.

4 Responses to "Domestic Violence in Music Videos"

I’ve always thought the song’s lyrics were more about the paparazzi preying on celebrities (and young, female celebs especially) in general, since the entire album is supposed to be a comment on fame and materialism (whether it’s successful at that goal is another topic, of course). She was unknown outside of small circles in NYC when she wrote the album, so I doubt that it’s a comment on how the paparazzi have treated her specifically.

I took the video in the same way that I took South Park’s episode where the photographers kept taking pictures of Britney Spears after she died. The bit that had me cringe a little was when she was walking with the crutches – I get what she was going for, but the imagery was insensitive.

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Laura. Laura said: Domestic Violence in Music Videos […]

Wow. I admit that I haven’t heard the song nor seen the video, but based on that description, that sounds absolutely horrific.

Huh. I thought the song was a pretty generic one about romantic obsession, using paparazzi as a metaphor for the obsessed pursuer. That video sounds like something else entirely… pretty disturbing.

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