Right, first of all many thanks go out to RandomEnigma for posting my last interpretation of this video! Since then, I have dug deeper into (particularly) the symbolism of the video. This next post explores that as well as the theme of gender roles in today’s society, I realise it’s abominably long so I tried to break it up as much as I could.
BEWARE AGAIN: LONGER THAN LAST INTERPRETATION (the first part is just explaining the symbols used. Then it develops into explaning the video again… Sorry… Couldn’t help myself ;)).
The soldier holding the gold gun to his groin, tied up with string:
This is to symbolise that despite being a soldier (probably the most masculine occupation in the world) the man who was borne of Adam’s loins is still the image of God, as Adam was 2000 years ago. But even so, he is yielding this gun: he has the power to ‘be God’ by having the ability to take life with the gun, but he is tied up with string. A large nod toward the fact that Catholics can sometimes just end up as God’s ‘puppet’s.
Lady GaGa swallowing the rosary beads:
Steven Klein has defended this by saying it’s her “desire to take in the Holy”. GaGa probably does this because she is trying to cleanse herself after being unfaithful and homosexual, which is condemned by the Bible so ultimately, she is seeking forgiveness.
The bowl haircuts:
These haircuts were chosen because of their unisexuality. Both men and women ‘work’ this style which is why wee see GaGa with very-short bob and the men with bowl/mullet cut – so the gender roles swapping throughout the video are supported with the unisexuality.
The inverted crucifix around GaGa’s crotch on her cream habit:
An inverted crucifix is a sign of someone who believes they are not worthy of the Lord’s respect (hence why St. Peter asked to be crucified upside down). By placing it on her crotch, GaGa is implying she is caught between her religious boundaries and her sexual desires. Whilst you could also argue it’s to do with her chastity as a nun.
BIG JUICY BIT: The gradual switching of male and female roles within the video:
At the start, we see a soldier in a Cabaret bar in fish-nets and stilettos. This is an indication of what is to come, would you not agree?
But when the ‘real’ video starts, the men are marching, imitating the marching style of the Nazi Party, – probably a big one-fingered salute to the fact the Nazis condemned homosexuality as well – this shows the men at their most masculine (as I mentioned before, they are soldiers; it is seen as a very masculine occupation which also discriminates homosexuality) and we then see GaGa playing the role of a forlorn woman leading a funeral procession. Female playing female, male playing male.
Later on, we see the roles switch slightly – God would see the men as patrons of himself and woman as a lesser being which is why it is peculiar to see a sexually dominant woman in the scene with the three beds. GaGa is dominating the sex that is depicted by the Bible as the greater sex (which is why at the time of the Lord only men became educated; became priests, scholars, astronomers etc.) this is a seriously mis-understood scene – people just see it as GaGa being a bit promiscuous with three gay men, but as you can see now, it’s much more than that, and a hint that nowadays we live in a society where women can be dominant over males: which goes against the Bible’s teachings; the Bible also discriminates homosexuality, so why do people in today’s society believe a woman can be dominant over a man yet same-sex couples are “going to Hell”?
Continuing with this theme: throughout the video gender becomes erroneous and subsidiary, and sports the theory that we are defined by our soul, not by our body.
Once the video becomes black and white, a sequence where GaGa sports a suit, the men come marching out with dignity in every stride like the beginning, but this time with a feminine flair, as if they were on a cat-walk. Know the scene? Well this is where the gender roles really get mixed up, because GaGa is wearing the suit, and the men are modelling the designer clothes – this is mirroring the swapped gender roles in today’s society and how men are no longer bound to do ‘manly’ things and vice versa. And in that light, it comically exploits the fact that military groups discrimination homosexuals, and were even targeted and killed by Nazis. It’s this play on gender and sexuality that makes ‘Alejandro’ a social message to the masses.
After that scene, a dance sequence follows with the now very feminine ‘soldiers’ with GaGa centre-stage. Many a GaGa hater will see the gun-bra as a healthy nod towards Madonna’s con bra from the 80’s. But it’s now clear that she is not just dominating these men sexually and religiously, she is now dominating them militarily by closing off her woman-hood with air-rifle shafts.
OTHER JUICY BIT: The characters GaGa and Klein use to illustrate the video’s message:
And now, for something a little different… it seems that all this is good and proper and gets the message across after HOURS and HOURS of observing the symbols but GaGa, being GaGa, has to put her own spin on it, which she does. Very, VERY cleverly.
After watching the video a good 50 times, you can see GaGa and Klein set up multiple characters in the video, each one with an important purpose: the Tyrant, the Widow, the Nun, the Rebel, and finally, and most importantly: the Human Being.
The Tyrant: represents government, politics, and modern society. We see her at the start of the video, wearing the crown, goggle glasses and smoking a pipe. She is only there to represent a certain view of homosexuals, especially seeing as homosexuality can be discriminated in gonvermets.
The Widow: is a tragic, mourning woman, perhaps a simple glance to the realities of war. However, it’s through the other four characters does her story and the real meaning of the video come to the foreground.
The Nun: is a quintessential figure of maternity, she sacrifices her womb and God-given ability to give birth for a devout religious following of the Lord. She is shown praying and then symbolically swallowing a rosary. While this can be interpreted many ways, I think we can all agree that it’s really quite simple: she is swallowing religion; her beliefs, and what she was raised to be in order to liberate herself from the depths of Satan and the temptations he presents to her in the form of lust. By swallowing the rosary it is not blasphemous in any way, she is just accepting her religion back into her body; cleansing it or purifying it if you like.
The Rebel: There is a sequence within the video that I first thought was completely pointless and would probably end up being edited out for TV viewing. You can definitely quote me now that although the musicality leaves a lot to be desires, the clip is actually integral to the video’s plot.
She repeats the chorus “Alejandro, Alejandro, Ale-Alejandro, Ale-Alejandro” over and over again in a near hypnotic way and is seen wearing a leather jacket. As you can imagine, this is the Rebel. This repetitive chant of “Alejandro” is quite simply, a call to arms. Showing clips of revolt and terror in the background enforces her message that as a society we must fight for change; we must all fight for equality of cultures, orientation, etc. because even though it may seem as if homosexuals are more accpeted than they were in the days of Jesus, there’s still a large majority within the world with relatively archaic points of view.
Which leaves us finally with GaGa as a Human Being. In this look, she is androgynous. She is neither male nor female. Her message of equality has changed and developed into simply existing harmoniously and indifferently, as a message that we should all do the same.
Deep stuff. And thanks for reading it, if you could manage it :L