In a trio of recent public outcries, Katy Perry did some things that most of us have done at some point in our lives: reflected on the most unfortunate incidents in her life and admitted that she sometimes feels like a total fraud in her own skin. She even admitted to having seriously considered suicide, something which not as many might have done but which is understandable for anyone who has to endure the tremendous pressure to which someone of Perry’s stature is subjected.
In an interview with Uproxx published on Sunday, Perry acknowledged that her pop music career has been dogged by racist cultural appropriation. She did not apologize exactly, but instead pointed out she had been totally ignorant of the fact the stereotypes could be so harmful until she distributed them to the entire country and a friend pointed out that wearing cornrows and eating watermelon during the music video for a song called “This Is How We Do” might be a bit offensive to some people — specifically African-Americans.
“I listened and I heard and I didn’t know,” she said.
“I won’t ever understand some of those things because of who I am. I will never understand, but I can educate myself and that’s what I’m trying to do along the way.”
Perry also claims that she only said she was “not a feminist” during her Billboards Award acceptance speech in 2012 because she did not actually know what the word meant.
“I didn’t know that I did it wrong until I heard people saying that I did it wrong. It takes someone to say, out of compassion, out of love, ‘Hey, this is what the origin is,'” Katy said.
Whether or not you believe Katy Perry’s “slip-ups” were actually due to ignorance and that they really became learning experiences, it should be noted that she has been accused of racist cultural appropriation many times before. Notable examples include the time she wore a sexualized Japanese kimono during a show (via Huffington Post) or when she used an image of a Hindu God in a meme post (via Teen Vogue).
Katy Perry A Fraud?
Katy Perry was born Katheryn Hudson and only changed her stage name once she began performing pop music. It is with the adoption of the Katy Perry name that her career took off, but Perry admitted in another interview published yesterday by The Guardian that she sometimes still feels awful about “hiding behind” the Perry name.
“I created this wonderful character called Katy Perry that I very much am, and can step into all the time, but I created that character out of protection,” Hudson (aka Perry) divulged.
She also alluded that her urge to create this alter-ego for herself was born from something that happened in her childhood. Presumably, it had something to do with the fact that her parents were strict Christians who, as The Inquisitr has previously reported, did not approve of her embrace of mainstream pop music or the expression of sexuality before that. “Katy Perry” was apparently her way of escape.
“A lot of people are living in fear from something that happened in their childhood, or some form of PTSD they picked up along the way,” she says.
Indeed, she is not alone.
“It was me going, ‘OK, I’ve been upset my whole childhood so I’m going to show the world I am something, that I am going to do something and that I am enough.’ I didn’t want to be Katheryn Hudson. I hated that, it was too scary for me, so I decided to be someone else.”
Perry may be one of the most famous people in the world of music at the moment, but that does not mean she is always happy with herself and her life. In fact, she revealed in a live stream seen on Saturday and reported by Billboard, she has often considered taking her own life.
The stream captured Perry in her therapist’s office, and in it, she says she has grown to really resent her Katy Perry alias, to such a degree that she has at times considered murdering her.
“I so badly want to be Katheryn Hudson that I don’t even want to look like Katy Perry anymore sometimes — and, like, that is a little bit of why I cut my hair, because I really want to be my authentic self,” she said tearily, referring to her new short and peroxide-blonde dyed hair style.
This, of course, connects to both of the previously discussed points; the woman born Katheryn Hudson realizes that her pop-star alias has committed sins like racism and sexism, and she wants to return to a truer version of herself.
“I feel ashamed that I would have those thoughts, feel that low, and that depressed.”
It sounds like Katheryn/Katy is just about at the end of her rope, and it is showing in her music — many critics, like the one at SPIN, complain that the new Katy Perry album released on Friday, Witness, is bland and “seems in search of songs it never finds.” Does this mean we are soon to see a major career shift from Katy Perry back to the country-gospel music of Katheryn Hudson? The Inquisitr will keep you posted on the latest from Katy Perry as it becomes available.
[Featured Image by Rich Fury/Getty Images]