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Katy’s Candy

| July 18, 2011

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Katy Perry’s California Dreams Tour came to my home town last night. The sugar-laced extravaganza of candy canes, cupcakes, lollipops, cotton candy, and other sweet treats is an ode to childhood fantasy. The show features a mish-mash of references to the Brothers Grimm, Alice in Wonderland, the Wizard of Oz, and Rainbow Brite as it tells the story of a girl named Katy visiting a vibrant candy land in search for her pet cat, Kitty Purry, and the love of her life, the Baker Boy.

But the kid-themed bright colors, spinning peppermint forest, and wide-eyed kewpie-doll smiles belie Perry’s underlying ranchy adult-themed sexual message.

Eating it Up

Perry joked about s-l-u-t-s and b**ches, sang about kissing girls, pretended to eat a pot-laced “brownie,”  and talked in code about getting drunk, partaking in sexual orgies (meanage a trois), melting boys’ popsicles, dissing parents, and having wrong things feel so right. She appeared in an endless parade of glittery, precociously sexual “little girl” outfits that focused attention on her breasts–with spinning peppermint candy plastered on them like targets, bras shaped like cupcakes and Hershey’s Kisses, and even one that projected from the center of her nipples to shoot the audience with whip cream bazookas.

The audience ate it up.

The crowd, largely made up of screaming pre-adolescent and teen girls and their moms, matched Perry’s candy-coated visuals of rainbows, hearts and peppermint swirls. They were almost as colorful as the action on stage – sporting blue and pink wigs, cupcake bras, blinking hearts and glowsticks covered in cotton candy. Girls just wanna have fun! Right?

It’s Just Mindless Fun

The local media lauded Perry for providing endearing pop entertainment that “appealed to the 10-year-old girl in every young woman” . . . “Mindless fun!”

. . .  But is it? Really?

To me, the fluffy, pink, girly, candy-and-fun-wrapped package is just an underhanded way to deflect criticism from the way the show subtly promotes the sexualization and perversion of young girls. The over-the-top, frivolous nature of its presentation shouts, “Hey, this is silly, fun fluff, so don’t take it seriously, OK?” (Katy’s only joking. Lighten up! Ha. Ha. Ha.)

But is this the type of message that we ought to toss at our children under the guise of “fun”? Wrap it up in as much pink cotton candy as you like, but the idea of an adult telling a 10-year-old girl that she should get drunk, disobey her parents, use pot, dress provocatively, kiss girls, have sex, and try to melt a boy’s popsicle is appalling and irresponsible. Not fun.

Just a Bit of Poison in this Apple

I know that the millions of parents that paid to have their little girls take in Perry’s worldwide tour will differ. I know that they’ll say that the negative message is negligible . . . that the good far outweighs the bad. That it IS just harmless fun. Yet I can’t help but think that the reason Perry needs to use so much sugar and sweetness in her presentation is to mask a message that parents would otherwise find extremely distasteful.

After all – as the fairy tale makes abundantly clear – you can’t get a girl to swallow the poison unless you hide it in a beautiful, sweet apple. Or in this case, a sticky sweet piece of Katy’s candy.

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  1. Juanita says:

    There was an interesting editorial by Terence Corcoran in the National Post last week about the concert in Toronto. Interesting because even though he lauded some of it, he was confused because of all the pre-teen and teenage girls there with their parents. http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Bonding+Katy+Perry+concert+embarrassing/5111534/story.html

    I was embarrassed to read the article and some of the lyrics; I can’t imagine taking my 10 & 12 year old daughters to a concert like that.

  2. Kay says:

    It’s just so sad what we have resorted to calling fun, wholesome, family entertainment. I wish so badly that parents would learn they do not have to give in to this. We may be few and far between, but there are plenty of parents out there who do not let their children (or even their teenagers) listen to artists like Katy Perry or attend her concerts. I just try to encourage other parents whenever I have the opportunity because I think their kids make them feel like they’re the only “uncool” parents out there. We need to support one another as we resist this sort of pop pressure. Thanks for the input Mary!

  3. Ashley says:

    I agree, why is “wholesome family entertainment” hyper-sexualized, promoting the break down of the family structure, etc…? I mean, just look at ABC Family! Myself and a friend had a long discussion about how disgusted we are with the string of shows promoting teen pregnancy, being sexually active, recreational dating, disrespecting of parents, drinking and ‘partying’ in general in a manner that resembles frat houses, sneaking out…I mean I was a teenager too, and I was not doing all that stuff but I still had a great time. I’m sick of seeing that lifestyle glamorized, and especially at such a young age.

  4. I couldn’t agree more! So happy that you published this article. I too have written about Katy: http://www.projectinspired.com/katy-perry-a-singer-with-a-terrible-message/

  5. Lisa says:

    The “Child Catchers” (remember “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” or even “Hansel and Gretel” ? ) know how to lure innocent children to the dark side. It’s easier to put poison in a cupcake then to feed the poison directly from a spoon, right?

    Child predators have always used candy, games and toys. And now we have the children’s God-given protectors participating in handing the children over to the evil one. It causes me to feel such dread and I shudder at the price they may ultimately pay for this betrayal. May the Lord have mercy upon their souls.

  6. Chel says:

    I did not go to the concert, but I have the same feelings about her. She comes across child-like and sweet, yet she radiates sexuality. It is plain creepy! Excellent insights from posters too. So glad to see I am not the only one who saw this.

  7. Sarah says:

    Lots of my friends listen to Katy Perry. I personally use to love her music, it wasn’t until I actually stopped dancing to her songs and sat and listened to the lyrics of her music that I realized what she was promoting was vastly different from what I as a christian believe. It dawned on me that thousands of girls listen to lyrics that promote sex and feminism. With cute girl colors, catchy beats about California girls, candy land backdrops,and baby doll like outfits, the singer attempts to mask her sex driven songs with a child like atmosphere. The opposite of wholesome, godly, and pure.

  8. RJ says:

    I couldn’t agree more! Katy Perry looks SO innocent, but really she’s not! Her new song ET is worse then ever! And the hidden message is awful.

  9. Robin says:

    I am outraged! I just saw the lyrics to her Peacock song! Dear Lord have mercy! There is NO WAY I am allowing my children to listen to such belittling, disgusting crude let alone taking them to a concert! I am so offended by her and the fact that parents, CHRISTIAN PARENTS (it doesn’t really surprise me with the lost) stand up for her! :( WOW!

  10. Perla says:

    It’s no surprise and it’s sad that so many are blind. We need to wake up. Media, entertainment is no good for our kids, for ANYONE. http://vigilantcitizen.com/latestnews/katy-perrys-who-am-i-living-for-interesting-lyrics/

  11. Del says:

    I’ll be honest, I am somewhat of a Katy fan. I loved her before I knew Christ, when I was a teen. Now I am a 20 something mama of little girls and I have to say that while I definitely don’t agree with many of her lyrics and listen to her songs far less, I still like her and pray for her to find her way back to the Lord. I would not take my children to see her in concert, even if they were much older. Her lyrics and gimmicks are quite inappropriate for ALL ages. I don’t play her music around my kids, and what I do listen to of hers now is played in my head phones or when I am home alone and I am very selective as to which of her songs I listen to at all because many of her songs are just not okay anyway I look at them.