‘m not a mom, but today as I was spending time with my beloved niece and nephew, something happened that really concerned me. We watched a movie that someone had recommended for all of us – my niece, nephew, my mom and me to watch. (My sister and her husband were out running errands, but she had said it was OK). It was Katy Perry’s documentary, Part of Me
, a sort of “day in the life” of Katy Perry during her world tour.
This may be hard to believe, but I had never really paid any attention to Katy Perry before, so I knew very little about her as a person or her music. I almost never listen to that type of music… it just doesn’t interest me. So this movie wasn’t what I wanted to watch, and I actually had a bad feeling about it from the start. My 8 year old niece, on the other hand, likes Katy Perry a lot, so she was excited to see this movie.
About 20 minutes or so into it I began to realize that, just as I suspected, this was a bad idea. During a couple of the performances, I actually cringed and wanted to cover my niece’s ears. (Thankfully, my 4 year old nephew slept through most of it.) But the movie wasn’t as bad as what I discovered afterwards. Holy Moley! It only took a little bit of research to find that almost all of her songs are totally inappropriate for kids.
At the risk of sounding like a grandma or something, I’m actually appalled that so many little girls are idolizing Katy Perry, and wanting to be just like her. Yes, obviously I’m a few years late on this one, but this is truly disturbing to me. I shouldn’t be surprised though. It’s not like KP is the only pop star that kids look up to. I guess it was just never an issue for me, because I don’t have kids. But I have a niece who is getting to that age where she wants to hear “fun” pop music on the radio, or look at YouTube videos of her favorite singers (Her favorite is Selena Gomez, but she also likes KP and Lady Gaga) so, I care… that’s all.
For anyone who doesn’t understand what I’m talking about, let’s look at some of the lyrics, that very young fans – girls as young as 6 or 7 – are listening to and singing along to, while admiring KP and wanting to be just like her.
“I want to see your peacock cock cock I wanna see your peacock cock cock…. come on baby let me see what you’re hiding underneath”
From California Gurls:
“We freak in my jeep…So hot, we’ll melt your popsicle”
From Teenage Dream:
“Let’s go all the way tonight, no regrets, just love… We drove to Cali and got drunk on the beach, got a motel and built a fort….I’m a get your heart racing in my skin-tight jeans, be your teenage dream tonight, let you put your hands on me in my skin-tight jeans, be your teenage dream tonight”
In E.T she sings about sex with an alien.These lyrics are disturbing:
“Take me, ta-ta-take me, Wanna be a victim, Ready for abduction”
And of course, her most famous song, “I kissed a girl”
“I kissed a girl and I liked it, the taste of her cherry chapstick…”
Her song Last Friday Night is basically a glorification of hedonism, stupidity, and some lawbreaking thrown in for good measure… (Great message for your tween, right?)
“There’s a stranger in my bed….I smell like a minibar…DJ’s passed out in the yard….Pictures of last night ended up online, I’m screwed, oh well, it’s a blacked out blur but I’m pretty sure it ruled.
Last Friday night, yeah, we maxed our credit cards, and got kicked out of the bar, so we hit the boulevard….Last Friday night we went streaking in the park skinny dipping in the dark then had a menage a trois…
This Friday night, Do it all again, This Friday night, Do it all again.”
I’m sure there are more songs, but you get the point.
Of course people are free to listen to whatever they want to listen to… that’s their choice. But do parents realize that their little girls listen to this and love Katy Perry, and that (whether she accepts this or not) she is a role model for these little girls?
I know that people will say, “She’s not a role model, because she has stated she doesn’t want to be a role model.” Yes, we’ve heard that many times before with other celebrities. The reality is, it doesn’t matter whether or not they want to be role models, or whether or not they should be role models, that’s not the point. The point is, they ARE role models. Like it or not, that’s the reality. Especially when the people behind the celebrity are actively marketing her towards young girls, and the young girls are going to her concerts in droves.
In light of the fact that Katy Perry comes from a religious background (her parents are traveling ministers and missionaries) she must realize that this is a horrible message for young girls. Or does she? Is she sincerely unaware of what she’s doing? Many of us were blind in our past, I know I was. Or does she understand that these messages paired with her candyland, bright and shiny childlike theme that appeals to 5 year olds is a sinister combination?
I don’t want to be too hard on her, but when I think about my niece, who I adore and cherish…Well, I don’t take misleading kids lightly. I know my sister feels the same way, but she also didn’t realize just how inappropriate KP’s music is for kids.
And remember Jesus’ very sobering words about leading a child astray:
“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.”
All that said, if she is simply lost and sincerely not aware of what she’s doing, then I feel sorry for her… and either way, she definitely needs prayer.
Update: Apparently, for her new album Prism, which I don’t think has been released yet, she is shedding her bubblegum persona and going for something different. Something tells me the message will be the same, whether it’s wrapped in candycane or tiger print.
If you agree with me or not, I’d like to hear your thoughts!