Thursday, August 14, 2014

More "Roaring" and less "Abductions"

I love listening to pop music. I have ever since I was little. Now, whenever I turn on the radio, I hear a Katy Perry song. She dominates Top 40 radio stations. Doesn't matter if you like her or hate her, you can't escape her. 

I went to her Prismatic concert last night and had a great time. It was incredibly entertaining! The costumes were out of this world and it felt like I was at a Cirque du Soleil show instead of a concert. There were lots of young girls in the audience and that mad me think about whether Katy Perry's songs were appropriate for children and if they were sending a positive message. 

Something I found fascinating is that the same artist can perform songs inappropriate for children like "E.T."  but then also inspirational female-empowering anthems like "Roar."  How can she have such polar opposite songs? 

The lyrics of "E.T." are quite straightforward and troubling: 




Take me, ta-ta-take me
Wanna be a victim
Ready for abduction

                     Then, Kanye West chimes into the song: 


Tell me whats next? Alien sex.
Imma disrobe you
Then Imma probe you
See I abducted you
            So I tell you what to do

I like this song but it always pains me to sing along because I know what that the lyrics are basically condoning rape. I don't know why Katy Perry or Kanye West didn't get more criticism for these appalling lyrics. I disagree with the claim that the song is about "falling in love with a foreigner." It's not about falling in love, it's about sexual assault.  

So there you have "E.T." from 2011 Fast forward three years to 2014 when "Roar" debuted. Check out these lyrics:


'Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar


You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground

I could include the whole song's lyrics because all of it demonstrates a strong female standing up for herself. Great! Where were these lyrics in 2011? The majority of the songs from her "Teenage Dream" album don't have a troublesome message (except Peacock, which I think is too much of a silly double entendre). I find it troubling that "E.T." blew up on the Top 40 charts when it has such problematic lyrics. 

I'm glad that "Roar" had such success and that young girls are now singing along to that song.