Katy Perry’s Cultural Appropriation Problem: Did The Singer Go Too Far?

Katy Perry is known to celebrate all different kinds of cultures through elaborate music video sets and costumes, but usually her homage hits a raw nerve and goes a little too far. Basically, it borders on mocking a culture rather than truly understanding its origins.

The latest snafu by Katy Perry happened in China during her Prismatic tour. According to E! Online, Perry decided to wear a sunflower dress as a “pro-Taiwanese statement” while performing in Taipei. Although Perry has performed in this dress before, she added a flag of Taiwan. Most didn’t see this as offensive, but it’s what Perry said while speaking to the audience that might have been taken the wrong way.

During her set, she addressed the audience, “I don’t even know how to speak Mandarin. That’s what you speak, right?”

Those who were in support of Perry’s costume thought the singer was making a statement in regards to the anniversary of the Sunflower Student Movement. Last month, students occupied Taiwan’s parliament for 23 days as an act of protest of the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement, due to the impact that Taiwanese people thought China would have if given too much economic influence.

The last time Perry was slammed for cultural appropriation was during her “This Is How We Do” music video, which featured the singer wearing cornrows and holding a watermelon. The clip also found Perry using a “black accent” and showcased cluttered nail designs, which she referred to as “Japanese-y” in the song.

When the video dropped, it caused controversy on Twitter.

Another music video of Katy Perry’s that came under fire was “Dark Horse” which featured the burning of a necklace of Allah. After an outcry, Perry decided to digitally remove the Arabic word for God from the video. A petition to have the pendant removed was signed by 65,000 angry people.

One said, “using the name of God in an irrelevant and distasteful manner would be considered inappropriate by any religion.”

Katy Perry’s video has put me off music all together. If we had a Jesus necklace burning away then I’m sure we’d be called ‘racist’ for it. — Kiya (@RuqayyaMohammed) February 23, 2014

Here’s another look from the video “Dark Horse”

Perry was also widely criticized on a large scale when she decided to perform at the American Music Awards in a geisha costume. In another performance, she was dressed as Cleopatra surrounded by mummies.

During the height of controversy, Perry explained these looks in a Rolling Stone interview.

“As far as the mummy thing, I based it on plastic surgery. Look at someone like Kim Kardashian or Ice-T’s wife, Coco. Those girls aren’t African American. But it’s actually a representation of our culture wanting to be plastic, and that’s why there’s bandages and it’s mummies. I thought that would really correlate well together… It came from an honest place. If there was any inkling of anything bad, then it wouldn’t be there, because I’m very sensitive to people.”

When the journalist suggested that her looks were “increasingly uncool,” Perry seemed to take offense.

“I guess I’ll just stick to baseball and hot dogs, and that’s it. I know that’s a quote that’s gonna come to f–k me in the a–, but can’t you appreciate a culture? I guess, like, everybody has to stay in their lane? I don’t know.”

Do you think Katy Perry has a cultural appropriation problem?

[Image via YouTube]