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Mass cultural phenomenon Essay

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Updated: Nov 30th, 2019


The five elements chosen for analysis are five Lady Gaga videos; these are videos of her most popular songs and they include: ‘Telephone’, ‘Bad Romance’, ‘Paparazzi’, ‘Poker face’ and ‘Just dance’. This pop icon was selected because she is the ideal representation of what Americans look for in pop culture as seen through her videos.


The first is the Telephone video. Some critics have claimed that this video took pop music to another level. In the video, Lady Gaga shows up in prison attire where she has to enter her cell. A strip search is done and Lady Gaga remains with nothing but pasties. After the prison scene, Lady Gaga along with her co-singer Beyonce Knowles are spotted at a restaurant.

While in the restaurant, famous celebrity Tyrese Gibbons is killed. As this happens, Lady Gaga and her co –singer get onto motorcycles with American flag like attires and appear to ride into the sunset (You Tube). The video goes on and on but these earlier portions are enough to give a reflection of pop culture and hence mass American culture.

First, the ease with which violent scenes are enacted illustrates how American music consumers have become comfortable with such scenes. Also, half nude depictions of the singer indicate an over sexualization of females in pop culture. This video also depicts female strength since Lady gaga and Beyonce appear to ‘handle their own’ when they easily escape from the restaurant after the motorcycle scene (Donnelly, 15).

The second video is Just dance. This video starts when Lady Gaga gets into a dull party. People can be seen sleeping and are visibly bored by the lack of music (MTV). However, Lady Gaga’s acquaintance switches on the stereo and this soon injects life into the party. All the people at the location start to dance.

Most of the scenes in the video involve different dance moves and Lady Gaga herself. This video still propagates the theme of sexualization of women owing to her dressing. However, it also shows that Americans tend to appreciate self expression. The video is about being oneself and simply letting go without caring much about what others think.

In the Paparazzi video, Lady Gaga is first seen with her boyfriend getting intimate; however, some paparazzi appear and try to get shots of them. She soon realizes that this was a trick by her boyfriend and confronts him violently about it (MTV). Eventually, she is thrown over by her boyfriend and then lies in a pool of blood (Saxberg, 6).

The paparazzi capitalize on these moments by taking snapshots of her. In another scene, Gaga walks from her vehicle into an aisle with crutches on and the help of some dancers. She is wearing silver attire that looks metallic like. After this scene one can see pictures of dead models. The latter video shows the inclination of most pop music listeners towards the bizarre.

When Gaga lies around in her own blood, this is a bit wacky and can really disturb those who may be watching. Also the scenes of the dead models are also stomach churning to say the least (Lamb, 13). The video illustrates how freakish scenes seem to attract more attention or how American culture is inclined towards dark scenarios. Even the kind of dressing that she chooses i.e. metallic is testimony to this inclination towards rebellion in music.

Poker face is set in a mansion where Lady Gaga wears a mask made out of mirrors. She then appears in another scene where people are playing strip poker (MTV). The females appear to be loosing and as each of them looses, they are required to keep removing elements of their clothing.

Eventually, these women start to kiss one another. The video then shows other scenes of her doing crazy things but these all relate to the theme in the song which is gambling and sex. The poker face video addressed a rather controversial issue i.e. bisexuality. Women can be seen kissing each other even when they are humoring flirts from their male counterparts. The video appears to endorse freedom of sexuality.

The unconventional choice of theme is what has led to a lot of buzz around this video (Cinquemani, 7). Lady Gaga’s success illustrates that members of the pop culture appear to endorse freedom of choice as seen through the gay scenes in the video. One can assert that American culture promotes free will and lets people decide what they want even in this video.

In the Bad Romance video, lady Gaga is kidnapped by some Russians who then go on to sell her. She has on glasses that have a razor shape and a golden dress. The songs starts and she can be seen in white and knee length boots where she frequently sings while facing the mirror (Lapowsky, 45). At some point, Gaga emerges with a crown and diamond studded outfit. She is auctioned to some men and one of them takes her. In the next scene, she is scene with the same individual on a bed.

A fire starts and burns this man while she continues with her music. At the end of it, she is seated next to a skeleton with a cigarette in hand and the bra she has on appears to give off some sort of sparks (Interscope records). The continual appearance of death in lady Gaga’s videos is testimony to the prevalence of violence in American mass culture. However since Lady Gaga is triumphant on this scene, then it shows that females can take care of themselves and do have the ability to tackle whatever comes their way.


The Lady Gaga’s continual success in pop charts all over the country shows that she has been received by the public. Consequently, her messages are acceptable and even a reflection of what her supporters are looking for.

Works Cited

Lapowsky, Issie. Lady Gaga’s on fire in her new Bad Romance video. New York Times, 2009.

Interscope records. Lady Gaga’s bad romance video. Interscope. 2009. Web.

Lamb, Bill. Lady Gaga: paparazzi. New York Times, 2009.

MTV. Lady Gaga paparazzi music video. Official page. 2009. Web.

Cinquemani, Sal. Lady gaga: the fame review. Slant magazine, 2009.

Saxberg, Lynn. We have seen the future and it looks a lot like Lady Gaga. Ottawa Citizen, 2010.

MTV. Poker face video. 2008. Web.

MTV. Lady Gaga Just dance music video. Official page. 2008. Web.

Donnelly, Matt. Lady gaga, Beyonce world premiere their telephone video. Los Angeles Times, 2010.

Youtube. . 2010. Web.

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"Mass cultural phenomenon." IvyPanda, 30 Nov. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/mass-cultural-phenomenon/.

1. IvyPanda. "Mass cultural phenomenon." November 30, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/mass-cultural-phenomenon/.


IvyPanda. "Mass cultural phenomenon." November 30, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/mass-cultural-phenomenon/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Mass cultural phenomenon." November 30, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/mass-cultural-phenomenon/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Mass cultural phenomenon'. 30 November.

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