Inside Katy Perry

Katy Perry has been in the limelight quite a bit lately, hosting the Teen Choice Awards on Fox on Monday night, on the current cover of Rolling Stone magazine, breaking records with her summer hit California Gurls, and now watching her song Teenage Dream climb the charts (it’s the #3 most downloaded song on iTunes as I write this, and #9 on Billboard’s Hot 100).

I read the Rolling Stone interview over the weekend, called up my buddy David R. Smith (who writes many of our Youth Culture Window articles) and told him, “We’ve got to chime in on this to our readers.”

So David has been working on a nice little piece about Katy Perry… you’ll see it soon.

It’s fascinating. Here’s a girl that was raised in a strict (and dare I say “weird”) religious home…. she wasn’t allowed to say “deviled eggs” they had to call them “angeled eggs,” no TV, no secular music. So… whenever she was away from home at her friends’ house… she says she was glued to MTV.


Rolling Stone portrays her as a “good girl,” actually comparing her to Taylor Swift. But a paragraph later she is spouting off the f-word, joking like she’s going to show her pubic hair to prove her “real hair color,” and making sexual references that sadly, probably wouldn’t make many kids in this culture wince.

The lyrics of her new song speak pretty loudly as well. I already ranted a bit about that in my expose’ about the Teen Choice Awards where she sang Teenage Dream, singing:

We drove to Cali
And got drunk on the beach
Got a motel and
Built a floor out of sheets
I finally found you
My missing puzzle piece
I’m complete

Let’s go all the way tonight
No regrets, just love
We can dance until we die
You and I
We’ll be young forever…

All that to an audience of teens and tweens.

What a “good girl.”

Sad. Katy is really talented and seems like a lot of fun. But she’s learned what sells and she’s not worried about who’s becoming corrupted, or sexualized along the way.

Keep your eyes open for our entire Youth Culture Window article on her in another week.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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