One of the most disappointing ramifications of the Miley Cyrus VMA debacle (besides that fact that I still have nightly nightmares of dancing teddy bears and long, slithering tongues), is that her junk-show of a performance got more attention than one of the most rocking performances the night: Katy Perry’s ringside performance of her latest single, “Roar.”
With or without the backstory of Katy Perry’s recent break-up from the sharp-tongued Brit, Russell Brand, this song and her Rocky-inspired performance set just in front of a well-lit Brooklyn Bridge made every woman, young or old, feel stronger, more empowered, and more comfortable in her own skin. Despite the less-than-flattering boxing shorts, Katy still looked sexy and feminine, while still classy and artistic.
Given the nature of our bosom-obsessed culture, the headlines following Katy Perry’s performance were more about her bouncing knockers than about the knock-out message of her song, but that I blame on the press and not on her poor taste or lack of artistry. She had a theme and she went for it and I thought it was a TKO by the time she finished the first chorus:
I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
I admit, I am partial to the lyrics of Roar because it references the 80’s kickass anthem, Eye of the Tiger by Survivor, which, by the by, was one of all-time best songs of the early 80’s. However, regardless of whether or not that hook is part of your chemical make-up as it is mine, you’d be hard pressed to not find the strength and power that lies beneath Perry’s lyrics.
And speaking of what lies beneath her lyrics, in her red carpet interview with Sway Calloway, Katy explained that the title of her upcoming album, Prism, came from the fact that she wanted to shine light and color out into the world as a result of her recent dark times, aka her breakup with Brand. After seeing her VMA performance I give a major Alanis Morissette-approved fist pump as she clearly succeeded in her mission.
Granted, Katy Perry is 8 years older than Miley Cyrus, so I understand that with youth and fame comes misjudgment and rebellion. But the fact that both women are role models to innocent, impressionable young girls, is what has me concerned. I am much more willing to have my daughters sing lyrics like these from Roar:
Now I’m floating like a butterfly
Stinging like a bee I earned my stripes
I went from zero, to my own hero
As opposed to Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop”
Everyone in line in the bathroom
Trying to get a line in the bathroom
We all so turned up here
Getting turned up, yeah, yeah.
“They’re over thinking it. You’re thinking about it more than I thought about it when I did it. I didn’t even think about it. That’s just me.”
A-ha! There’s the problem right there. When a performer is about to go on to the world’s stage and perform in front of millions, they owe it to themselves, the audience and their fans to THINK about what they are doing, to put some thought behind their actions and their messaging.
Which brings me back to Katy. KP had a theme and costumes and choreography that were clearly thought out. I am grateful to performers like Katy Perry, who yes, put out some provocative/questionable lyrics of their own, but who still bring class, style and creativity to the table.
Thank you, KP. Well done!