I’ll admit it. When Katy Perry (…ya…I’m gonna call you Caty), first came out, I was on it like a homosexual on a new beautiful female solo pop act. Katy debuted with the mildly offensive “Ur So Gay” in 2007, and with a rare, ego boosting nod from Madge herself, so I stood up and paid attention. It was funny, I think Vancouverites could relate to the then still trendy scenester boys and the scarves she was singing about. She followed up with the continuing theme of passive and again mildly offensive same sex themes when she broke number one for seven consecutive weeks on Billboard when she crooned about kissing another chick, and her controversy gave her the fame she needed.
Beth Ditto was the one to finally go on record about what was in the back of some of our minds. I know I was thinking it.
I hate Katy Perry! She’s offensive to gay culture, I’m so offended. She’s just riding on the backs of our culture, without having to pay any of the dues and not being actually lesbian or anything at all. She’s on the cover of a fucking gay magazine.”
Some thought this a little farfetched. I had discussions with friends about it. The jury was split between homophobia, and camp cheek. But Beth’s point was noted. Was it really the perogative of a straight person to be able to use decades of fighting for rights and to be taken seriously, to make money and gain fame, or was this a great way to put free sexuality into the mainstream? Regardless, it came down to personal opinion and the single was a hit.
Katy’s other singles, “Hot ‘N’ Cold” and “Waking Up In Vegas” mellowed the heated discussion as all was soon forgotten with the incorporation of a couple of more acceptable, and obviously less controversial songs. There was risk at being a one album wonder.
The ex-preachers daughter’s personal life became news, as do all rising stars. She dated Gym Class Heroes Travis McCoy, had a messy breakup, dated another rising star, comedic Russell Brand, got engaged, and all the pieces were in place to have someone that a lot of people could look at and say,”Katy Perry? Ya her and her perfect boobs are dope!”
But she just seemed like such a bitch!
She called Lily Allen fat when she said she was a skinnier version of Lily, talked smack about Miley Cyrus back stage saying “She’s Britney Spears all over again…It’s worse. Look at those outfits. It’s bad.”, started bashing her ex Travis in a public forum, and then made a very dumb move with the gay, and dissed Lady Gaga’s Allejandro video by saying:
“Using blasphemy as entertainment is as cheap as a comedian telling a fart joke.”
…Comparing The Gaga to a fart, is one way to lose an audience Perry.
I started seeing Katy Perry as another insecure Hollywood kooze queen, not sure enough about herself to let things slide, and unable to admit that more than one female singer can be on top in the industry. She lost points. She lost brownie points in a major way. And I was off the boobie train.
Well this summer, in a shock of blue mane, I was surprised to see myself a boppin’ and a groovin’ to California Gurls, when katyperry.com released the single. Of course, the music video took a little too long to come out, and I was over the tune by the time I had a visual for it (and the visual came at a subpar, nearly camp, but not quite camp enough to take seriously level), but nonetheless, I gave over my power to the music industry machine, and decided to try to let go of any issues me and Katy hadn’t ironed out. And then today, I hear this Teenage Dream song, play it five times in a row, and find myself disappointed with mineself. I’m riding the Perry train!
The music industry is so powerful, so influential, and not just for teenagers and children. Me, closer to thirty than any other age, with a brain capable of making informed moral decisions for myself after a short lifetime of experience, am supporting someone I just really don’t like. I wouldn’t go to a bar, meet someone I thought was kinda mean and maybe a little feral, and buy them a double vodka soda extra lime if they asked me to. So why am I helping the fame and fortune of a chick who’s image, personality and comments rub me the wrong way?
It’s a little bit of a fight I guess actually realizing that all this music, especially in Katy’s case, is synthesized, mashed into a nice little box from the corporate man, and distributed into soulless mass production. But Katy just doesn’t have the “it” factor that gave Britney or Christina the power they did, even though they pretty much all came from the same machine. I think Katy Perry is a try hard, and despite her perfect boobs and catchy singles, I’m never going to be excited for her to release another single, or make it into the news with a breakup or make up. Because really, you can only make a first impression once, and if she had ate a piece of humble pie a little earlier and came across a little more genuine than disingenuous, I think a lot of people that share my opinion could’ve been behind her and her career.
Sorry Katy, you can wear any colour wig you want to disguise yourself, but I’m just not a fan.