Tuesday, June 18, 2013

W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I. Post 7: Katy Perry

This is a series dedicated to women who despite success in the U.S. Music Industry, have est. a very complicated image for themselves.

Round 7 of this series is geared toward Gospel turned Pop sensation whose image and career is more twisted than a French Cruller, Katy Perry.

Katy started off raised in a strict religious upbringing in Santa Barbara, California (As in the "Put a dollar in the box-ah! It is for the Lord-ah!" type of strict upbringing). After a few years, she would actually debut musically with an eponymous Christian Rock album, Katy Hudson. Apart from the Christian Rock thing, the main problem with this was the fact that even though she was using her actual last name, it sounded too much like sort of maligned but not special enough to be castigated actress, Kate Hudson (Cracked.com hates this woman with a burning passion. *You Just Got Learned*).

After being read the house down commercially, 2008 would mark the first step towards her major label debut and her place as one of many W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I. Her first song released was the shit-storm inducing "Ur So Gay". The song is intended to be a slant against a vain pretty boy who barely notices the female character Perry assumes. However, the title of the song and the song itself was read for filth as homophobic. Admittedly, when I subjected myself to listening to the song, I sort of got what Katy was going for. However, I grew tired of it and the shock value of having her end with [and this is not a joke]...

"You don't even like...penis!"

...was just utterly bullshit laden. Add to the budding W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I. repetoire, the earworm contribution she made with the "Lez"tastic "I Kissed a Girl". Apart from its tacky existence, the consensus reached this; it wasn't right that she was exploiting the "2 girls? Sweet! 2 dudes? Icky." trope just to sell albums.
However, 2 more recognizable songs, "Hot n Cold" and "Waking Up in Vegas" showed her ability to not use the trope ["Hot n Cold" showing that she has some singing ability. Limited, but existing singing ability.] All of these combined pushed her major label debut, One of the Boys, towards commercial success.

Cut to her candy-coated megalith effort, Teenage Dream, and Perry would experience a feat that made jaded music lovers sob. Teenage Dream tied Michael Jackson's Bad for unleashing five #1 singles from the same album [this made her the first female artist to achieve this feat]. The lead single from the album was the crudely spelled, "California Gurls" ft. Snoop Dogg (Before he smoked enough weed to change his name to "Snoop Lion"). The video and song was intended to have listeners be whisked away to a magical candy filled land as they watched Perry be adorably slutty with cupcake bras...and whipped cream being rocketed from her boobs. The song eventually became a "Summer Jam" [meaning the song would be overplayed for one summertime's length.] Then she released some shitty song that would make Darren Criss a thing on "Glee" and fuck over so many people on The Voice; "Teenage Dream" (Thanks for your contribution, Katy. We mean it -_-)
Then, she cashed in on the "self confidence anthem" trend Lady Gaga started. Her "self confidence anthem", "Firework" was a success. It not only had some of the most inspirational sentiments, but this became Katy's best singing effort the public had heard of her yet. Granted, the video for the song became legendary for fireworks being shot from her boobs; a "big girl" stripping to her skivvies and cannonballing into a pool; two dudes making out in the video [as the shyer one had finally come to terms with himself being gay]; a terminally ill kid walking from the hospital to the public; a little kid coming between an ugly fight their parents had; and a magician going all "Jedi mind trick" on potential muggers preventing his ass from being robbed.

However, the budding W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I. rep came with the next song released. "E.T." ft. Kanye West would be her most artistic attempt (Though singing wise, it's a bit of a bust), but was read the house down for its video. Reason being, by then Lady Gaga's batshit tendencies imagery and musically related, made anything artistic seeming released by other artists look like half assed imitations. "E.T." centers around an alien like creature played by Perry storming towards some post-apocalyptic wasteland version of Earth. The extravagant outfits and piles of cosmetics on her kind of makes it a bit too "Gaga" for her [though as TheBacklot.com video web log contributor and creator of "Needs More Gay", Rantasmo, suggests the "Weird Pop" of today kind of stems from Grace Jones. Pretty much, same thing; different nouns.]
Cut to her next single and something that solidified Katy's complicated status. "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" was a song and video package that looked like a gigantic 80s movie (That for some reason had infamous YouTube celebrity Rebecca Black featured as "She who sluts up the image of 'Kathy Beth Terry' for the house party"). Before they changed their name to TheBacklot.com, AfterElton featured the video for the song and shit got intense in the comments. What I saw were reminders of Katy's cardinal sin; her initial homophobic tendencies from "Ur So Gay" and why some members would absolutely refuse her the time of day after that song.
Cut past her doofy song, "The One That Got Away", a re-release of the album with 2 more songs "Part of Me" and other cursed song of The Voice, "Wide Awake" and the Teenage Dream era came to a close.

Apart from a movie about her "California Dreams Tour", Katy Perry; Part of Me, voiceover work in the latest "Smurfs" related movies, a perfume called "Purr" *Fun fact: she named her cat [and I'm not joking], Kitty Purry* and making Gym Class Heroes lead singer, Travie McCoy and British comedian and FX host of Brand X, Russell Brand's "Teenage Dream" come true (She isn't shallow; so I give her credit), all that comprises Katy Perry's place as one of many W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I. is this...

- An incident of homophobia in the form of "Ur So Gay" which she can't take back [even though she has come full circle being on board with marriage equality despite her strict religious upbringing].

- Limited singing ability trumped by incidents of hyper-sexualized music video work; which every other current mainstream chanteuse is guilty of in the U.S. Music Industry.

Although credit must be given to her for having a sense of humor about one particular bit of needless controversy; around 2010 she was slated for an online special for Sesame Street. The bit drew controversy when Katy's outfit was called into question for a kid's show. Mainly for the fact that her boobs looked like they were spilling out of her admittedly tacky lime green outfit. She would spoof herself as a character for an SNL sketch known as "The Bronx Beat" [Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph's bit] where she appeared in a deconstructed Elmo shirt meant to emphasize her boobs [which looked bigger in that shirt than they did in the Sesame Street bit].

Despite that, there's a lot Katy has done to hinder her sort of talent and mega-star presence. That alone justifies her place as one of many W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I.

Next up; any Umbrella could collapse from the shit this next artist has received.

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