Every day millions of telephone calls are made all over the world. In the 1980’s, a teenager would ask their parents for a telephone in their bedroom. Today, more of the American population has telephones than do not. It is a concept that we take for granted and probably always will. In prisons, you get one telephone call. Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” music video starring herself and Beyonc֢é Knowles takes an extreme take on prison life, sexuality, and the importance of that one telephone call. It debuted in 2010 as one of the most controversial music videos of all time and is compared to movies because of the way it was directed and it’s length [9:32 minutes].
The video starts with Gaga being taken to a prison cell at the "Prison for Bitches". She is guided to her cell by two female guards who are wearing minimal clothing. Once in the cell, she is stripped of her designer clothing and thrown on the ground. A censored naked Gaga lies on the ground as the guards walk away and one makes a reference to Gaga not having a penis. This was a reference to many of her critics claiming she is a man. The next scene has Gaga walking to the prison’s yard with a pair of sunglasses that have a dozen or more lit cigarettes attached to them. She takes a seat and acts very intimately with another woman inmate. It is examples like these that express the general idea of the video, that socially unacceptable concepts and actions should be considered as normal. In some ways, this can be seen as almost mythic, because so few Americans are willing to accept social uniqueness. Being an American is about what it is to be unique and individual. When the inmates come inside for lunch, a violent fight breaks out in the cafeteria and Gaga watches until she is notified that she has a call on the phone. This is the symbolic “One telephone call.”
As the account continues, Gaga is bailed out of prison by Knowles. They have somewhat of a sensual conversation before leaving the prison about the recent behavior of Gaga. The video uses numerous stereotypes about women and their behavior both in public scenarios as well as their sexuality. This includes the lesbian kissing scene, and the apparent love relationship that builds between Gaga and Knowles in the second half of the story. Another is the general misleading view that women who are in prison are large and strong women. This is often not the case. One label that is broken in an attempt of feminism is a pretty simple stereotype about women. The vehicle that they leave the prison in is a large Chevrolet pickup truck that says ‘Pussy Wagon’ on the back. This argues that not only men drive big trucks. Olivia Smith of the New York Daily News wrote “Beyonce - who else - sporting black lips, has come to rescue her…in a souped-up fire engine red and yellow pick-up truck with a flame motif seared into the paint.”
After leaving the jail, they commute to a middle-of-nowhere diner and kill the man that they meet. Though it is not...