Katy Perry Talks Pop Stars & Nudity: “Put It Away”

“[A] lot of people see me as a role model, but I’d like to kind of turn that around and say I appreciate that but I’d like to be seen as an inspiration. Because a role model, I think, will fail you. I mean, I couldn’t tell kids when it’s time for them to try things or do things. I mean, that’s not my role. But, you know, it’s funny. I do see myself becoming this, whatever, inspiration out of default right now,  ’cause it’s such a strange world. Like females in pop — everybody’s getting naked. I mean, I’ve been naked before, but I don’t feel like I have to always get naked to be noticed. But it’s interesting to see … I’m not talking about anyone in particular. I’m talking about all of them. I mean, it’s, like, everybody’s so naked. It’s, like, put it away. We know you’ve got it. I got it too. I’ve taken it off for — I’ve taken it out here and there. And I’m not necessarily judging. I’m just saying sometimes it’s nice to play that card, but also it’s nice to play other cards. And I know I have that sexy card in my deck, but I don’t always have to use that card.”

It’s so hard to know what to make of this interview that Katy Perry did with NPR.

Here’s my conflict, after the jump:

See, I am grateful Perry spoke up about the sexualization of young pop stars, because she manages to get her point across without slut-shaming Miley Cyrus or anyone else.  (Although I do wonder what her BFF, risque selfie queen Rihanna, thinks of this.) Not making it personal is important when having this conversation, especially since Katy is more Miley’s peer than Sinead O’Connor or Annie Lennox and she admitted she’s played the “sexy card” herself.

However, it seems like Katy Perry is deemphasizing her own contribution to the past decade of naked teenaged and twentysomething pop stars.  I mean, “I Kissed A Girl”?  “Peacock”?  All those bras with whipped cream shooting out of the nipples? She’s Katy Perry, not Taylor Swift — her costumes, songs and public persona have pushed boundaries on sexualized imagery for years.  It’s a sign of maturity, I think, that she’s trying to see herself more as an inspiration for young girls now and wants them to know, like she does, there are a lot of cards to play. Still, I also roll my eyes a little bit when she says “I don’t always have to use that card,” because this is really a very pot/kettle situation. [NPR]

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