by Madeline Iva
We’ve been having a Katy Perry moment at our house. We’ve watch her video “Dark Horse” I don’t know how many times a day. Should I be embarrassed by this? I don’t think so.
I’m trying to think back to when I became aware of Katy Perry. I know I saw her in magazines first and because for a long time I thought of her as ‘that woman who wears the colorful wigs’. I know that I was aware of the song “I Kissed a Girl” at some point in my life, but it wasn’t until recently that I became aware that it was a Katy Perry song. So that wasn’t it.
I think it had to be when I started hearing a lot of her songs on “The Voice”. I’m such a Voice-whore, people. You have no idea. Show me a TV moment where someone who’s working hard on their dream suddenly gets a helping hand upward and I’ll show you me on my couch, crying.
At some point this whack “lost in the 80’s” duet performed “E.T.” on The Voice. I was like “Man that song is hella cool, I’m gonna look E.T. up on You Tube and see who first performed that awesome sh**.”
*That* was when I became aware of Katy Perry. There she was spinning around in space with all this bat-sh** weirdness going on. That Kanye was there spinning with her as a part of the duet was just another part of the whole Big Crazy. Well, dear reader, I loved it.
That lead me directly to her “Wide Awake” video–and how could any true-blue fan of Labyrinth not love *that* video? but I also got some Lady Gaga and other artists (David Guetta? Who’s David Guetta?) mixed around in that whole learning curve. (Now, Sia I know–because she was on The Voice.)
So how did I find out about “Dark Horse”? Can’t remember. THIS is the song that not only rocks my world, but I just can’t get over how awesome the video is as well. I like her song “Roar” a lot, and “This is How We Do” is quite catchy. But for me “Dark Horse” is IT. The lyrics are awesome, yet the video is a whole other level of amaze-balls, cray-cray, over-the-top imaginative bliss.
My “Katy Perry Moment” epiphany started when I began thinking about how positive her message is, and how she’s much stranger and more layered that I would have thought back when she was “that woman wearing all the colorful wigs.”
And she is strange. Did you know she was raised in a poor yet super-uper-duper religious family? Pentecostal, people. I don’t know what that signifies to you all in the mid-west or the West Coast, but here in the south the Pentecostals are those folks who sometimes like to handle the poisonous snakes during a religious service. As one friend put it: Pentecostal people are enthusiastically whack about Christ.
Katy Perry does not look like what she is. She looks like she came from some happy upper-middle class background where she was super-popular in high school. She got her GED from some crap-tastic high school in California and lit out for a musical career–get this–a religious musical career. Finally turning to mainstream pop, it was one long struggle through the swampy backwaters of the “I signed with a record company but then they dropped me” jungle, where she managed at last to get some true believer record execs on her side. They hooked her up with a crazy-good song writer and that is when “I Kissed A Girl” got written. The rest was a hard climb upwards to stardom.
The last thing I want to note about Kate Perry as you watch this video is she has a woman’s body. It’s not a girl’s body, and it’s not a crazy sexy body exactly. It’s an amazon body. “She’s got amazing thighs,” DH points out. That is a challenge to navigate in today’s pop culture.
And she’s a leetle bit awkward in that athletic bod of hers. Frankly, if you watch her in other videos you can see that she’s most comfortable with being a comedic over-the-top kind of funny girl. When it’s time for the dancing stuff? Not so much. Oh, she’ll do a wee bit — perhaps not even the same moves as the other dancers. Yet there are expectations of being able to dance and being in touch with one’s sexuality–whatever that sexuality is–in the biz. Katy doesn’t seem so interested in that, really, and I don’t know–I’m kinda loving it. It’s a breath of fresh air. She just isn’t (poor girl–I sympathize with her so) the *best* of dancers, but hey, she’s Katy Perry with a message of crazy-cool empowerment for us all, so they’re working around it.
What I respect is that it’s clear Katy Perry is a hard worker. What I like is that she’s powerful — both physically and mentally. And she’s supremely playful–even when being powerful. Lurve it! There’s a part of me that wants to say she’s a great model for young girls growing up today, but f*** it, she’s my role model.
Thank you Katy. With a little help from you, I’m getting up every day ready to come “atcha like a dark horse.”
And all you other dark horses out there, follow us at Lady Smut. We’ll help you roar.