Editor’s note: This post includes language and tweets that some may find offensive.
What has the world done so bad to deserve yet another shitastic Katy Perry video that displays her amazing ability to take appropriation to a whole different level?
If you’re not familiar with Perry’s astute appropriation abilities, she’s already donned a full geisha costume, dressed as Cleopatra and performed with mummies that looked like big-booty chicks from a hip-hop video.
Perry tried to explain the reasoning behind her images to Rolling Stone: “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.”
And about that appropriation, which Rolling Stone told her was “increasingly uncool,” Perry doesn’t seem to understand why.
“I guess I’ll just stick to baseball and hot dogs, and that’s it," she told the magazine. “I know that’s a quote that’s gonna come to f—k me in the ass, but can’t you appreciate a culture? I guess, like, everybody has to stay in their lane? I don’t know.”
Thursday, on the heels of telling Rolling Stone that she doesn’t understand why people make a big deal about appropriation, Perry released her new video for “This Is How We Do.”
First, “This Is How We Do”? Who is this “we” you speak of?
Let’s count the ways she’s offended people so far:
1. Cornrows in her hair
3. The usage of slang and her “blaccent”
5. Gelled-down baby hair
6. Gaudy nails she calls “Japanessy”
If I had to take a gander, I’d say she was trying to emulate what she thinks black culture involves.
Why must you be so dense? I’m quite sure the video was done before the Rolling Stone interview, but she knows people have an issue with her lack of f—ks when it comes to being Mrs. Christopher Columbus parading her caricatures of black culture.
Of course, those on social media are having a field day with the video:
Not everyone is going to find the elements of her video offensive, but to those folks, save yourself the trouble of trying to explain to people why it’s not offensive, especially if you’re not black.
What Perry fails to realize, once again, is that there are ways to appreciate something without co-opting, fetishizing and appropriating it.
Yesha Callahan is editor of The Grapevine and a staff writer at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.