Why Does Katy Perry Find Interviews So Very, Very Difficult?

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Katy Perry may sound meaningful as hell when she's telling the downtrodden they are metaphorical fireworks, but over the years, the pop star has repeatedly struggled during interviews with both articulating, and not contradicting, herself. Sometimes, it seems like Perry's mouth starts moving before she's figured out what point she's trying to make, and the results are baffling on fairly regular occasions.

The most recent example emerged this week in an interview with  Entertainment Weekly, in which Perry was asked whether or not her new album would include a "reaction" to Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" (a song widely purported to be about Perry attempting to wreck a T. Swift tour via the medium of dancer theft). Perry's response to this relatively straightforward question was quite literally amazing. She tried to answer the question, while not answering it, while also attempting to deflect, while also God Bless and also nuh-uh, honey! This thing needs to be read to be believed:

"Well that’s not my question to answer — if it’s about me. I think [my new album is] a very empowered record. There is no one thing that’s calling out any one person. One thing to note is: You can’t mistake kindness for weakness and don’t come for me. Anyone. Anyone. Anyone. Anyone. And that’s not to any one person and don’t quote me that it is, because it’s not. It’s not about that. Honestly, when women come together and they decide to unite, this world is going to be a better place. Period end of story. But, let me say this: Everything has a reaction or a consequence so don’t forget about that, okay, honey. [Laughs] We got to keep it real, honey. This record is not about anyone else! This record is about me being seen and heard so that I can see and hear everyone else! It’s not even about me! It’s about everything that I see out there that I digest. I think there’s a healing in it for me and vulnerability. If people want to connect and be healed and feel vulnerable and feel empowered and strong, God bless and here it is."

This isn't the first time Katy Perry has answered a question in a manner that made little to no sense. Back in 2013, in an interview with NPR, Perry criticized other pop stars for getting naked, while also recalling that she too gets naked sometimes, but not really, and she will take her clothes off one day, but only when she's desperate and old, but the reason she can't right now is because she doesn't have the body for it and...  What the hell was she trying to say here again?

"Like females in pop -- everybody's getting naked. I mean, I've been naked before but I don't feel like I have to always get naked to be noticed. But it's interesting to see... I'm not talking about anyone in particular. I'm talking about all of them. I mean, it's like everybody's so naked. It's like put it away. We know you've got it. I got it too. I've taken it off for -- I've taken it out here and there. And I'm not necessarily judging. I'm just saying sometimes it's nice to play that card but also it's nice to play other cards. And I know I have that sexy card in my deck but I don't always have to use that card. Maybe when I’m 35 I will. I don’t need to do it now, because I’ve got great songs. If I get super-desperate, maybe I will then…”

It's not over yet! Perry went on: “Actually, I did take all my clothes off for Teenage Dream. I was on a cotton-candy cloud, showing my… back. I don’t have the body for it. If I had like, Rihanna’s body, I’d take my clothes off. But I don’t. I just hide my body in a way where you think I have it.”

Nothing to see here!


Later that same year, in Marie Claire, Perry tried her darnedest to express her religious beliefs (which apparently encompass nothing and everything simultaneously), and somehow made her belief in God about the fact that other people are scared of saying no to her, because she's a celebrity:

"I believe in a higher power bigger than me because that keeps me accountable. Accountability is rare to find, especially with people like myself, because nobody wants to tell you something you don't want to hear. I actually don't trust people who start to turn on me because they get scared of telling me the truth. I'm not Buddhist, I'm not Hindu, I'm not Christian, but I still feel like I have a deep connection with God."

It's a side note, but that "deep connection with God" got Perry into extremely hot water with Hindus around the globe last month, when she posted this image of the Goddess Kali to her Instagram page, with the caption "current mood."

Indeed, sometimes it's the shortest of sentences that cause Perry the biggest headaches. Like in February, on the Grammy's red carpet, when she talked about shaving her head -- clearly referencing Britney Spears' 2007 breakdown -- twice. She told Ryan Seacrest that taking a break between records was "Fantastic. And I haven’t shaved my head yet.” That same night, Perry also declared: "The only thing left to do is shave my head, which I’m really saving for a public breakdown. I’m down for that."

Incidentally, this is what Katy Perry's haircut looks like on the cover of her new single. Is this a cry for help? Impossible to know.

It's hard to say exactly what's behind Perry's dazzling lack of self-awareness in some of her interviews. There is a tendency to speak too soon, combined awkwardly with a desire to not offend anyone, which seems to get her tied up in knots at every turn. Perhaps it's a lack of media training that prompts the off-hand comments. Perhaps it's too much media training that stops her, mid-thought, and forces her to start back-peddling.


Perhaps Perry would be best served by letting her music speak for itself, or sticking to scripted award ceremony appearances, where she actually makes a modicum of sense. In the end, maybe Katy Perry would be best served by taking a leaf out of the Beyoncé / Sia / Adele playbook and barely talk to anyone ever. It would certainly make a lot more sense.