Katy’s the Top Pick

Posted on: 08/23/10 4:00 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Katy Perry is going to be the top pick in most teenagers’ iPods this week with the Tuesday release of her new “explicit” album Teenage Dream. That’s why we released a Youth Culture Window article yesterday, not only giving you a peek into Katy’s world, but also providing you with a glimpse at the content you can expect from her.

Her album cover should tell parents enough. It’s a full body picture of her, lying naked on a cloud (with the Parental Advisory label on the bottom right). But unfortunately most kids will be downloading it anyway, and sadly… many parents really don’t care.

Her title song, Teenage Dream is already #1 on iTunes right now, and the very racy video is #2. My article goes into more details. Here’s just a snippet:

She’s the daughter of not one, but two, pastors. She says she’s a believer, and often prays…sometimes in tongues! She’s even released a gospel album.

Then why is it that she’s one of the worst role models for young people these days?

A Good Run
When she takes the stage nowadays, it’s as Katy Perry, even though she was born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson in 1984. Regardless of what you call her, this young lady has had quite a run over the last two years.

On May 6, 2008, her smash hit “I Kissed a Girl” was released and quickly hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (where it stayed for seven weeks). Her follow-up song “Hot N Cold” peaked at #3 on the charts very soon after.

More recently she’s offered the world her version of summertime pop in “California Gurls.” (No I didn’t misspell her title; that’s her way of invoking the Beach Boys without paying royalties.) It sits at #3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

August 2010 is proving a watershed month for Perry as well. On August 9, she hosted FOX’s annual Teen Choice Awards. Her latest photo op is the August 19 cover of Rolling Stone, where the lead feature article tells of “The Hard Road & Hot Times of a Fallen Angel.” Perry’s latest hit “Teenage Dream” is riding the #9 position on Billboard’s Hot 100 (and, depending on the day you look, usually #2 on iTunes’ song and video charts). Her highly anticipated new album (also titled Teenage Dream) drops this Tuesday, August 24.

Now you see why “it’s good to be Katy Perry.”

But does that make Katy Perry good for our kids?


Keep your eyes on Katy… our kids already do.


9 Replies to “Katy’s the Top Pick”

  1. Hey Jonathan, I read your blog all the time, but it seems lately as if your turning from focusing on Jesus and caring about the info of the world. I have worked with HS students for 19 years and I know we need to stay relevant and know what is happening, but there comes a time when we sometimes cross the line. I believe that you have become more obsessed with culture than you have with Jesus, just check your recent blogs! It was refreshing to see you post about your girls and get the attention away from the world…. By the way we will never change the culture without those who are in it..

  2. Devon… thanks for your comment (I think???)

    I agree that we need to focus on Christ more than on the world. Our web site as a whole does that. But the purpose of some of our pages- uniquely this blog and our Youth Culture Window page- is to keep parents and youth workers current with youth culture. So these two resources are going to definitely always seem heavily balanced toward information about the world. That’s their purpose.

    Now, if you go to our website using the button at the top of this page (back to TheSource), then you’ll find resources that point kids to Christ. Our discussions may use pop culture, but only to get kids into the scripture. My messages might start with a story or object lesson, but they get us to the Bible. Those will be more heavily balanced in Biblical content.

    I encourage you to click around those resources and use those if our coverage of youth culture bothers you. I admit. It can be a little depressing at times to see what the world keeps throwing at our kids.

    Thanks again for your comment.

  3. Great article! Thanks for doing all the “heavy lifting” and putting this article together.

    I’m not sure what line Devon is talking about but I appreciate your work and consider myself better for reading it.

    In fact if anyone crossed a line I think he did when he said, “I believe that you have become more obsessed with culture than you have with Jesus”

    Please don’t stop the youth culture information!

  4. Jonathan,

    My sentiments fall in line with Todd’s (from above). I appreciate you guys doing the “heavy lifting,” or as I would put it, the “dirty work.” There’s a lot of filth out there that seeks to ensnare our teenagers, and frankly, I’m really glad you’re educating us.

    I don’t like the youth culture any more than you do or Devon does. You and David consistantly take a biblical stance on the issues in your articles. Devon seems to want Christian leaders in the middle of culture trying to help change it.

    That’s you! Keep on doing just that!


  5. Hey Jonathan,

    Did not mean to offend all of your fans, i have worked with HS students for 19 years and I see that people complain about movies or point out the fact of what is good or bad with music, I just don’t see it in scripture! Once a kid has began their walk with Jesus yes, lets help them see some of what they do, but I really don’t see a need for it! Correct me if I am wrong but is it not our job to live by example and then let the Holy Spirit do his job? So if I am complaining about everything under the sun in our culture, students will become like their teacher and guess what, youth groups full of 20 kids (thats a big one) that are not relevant to their friends! Yeah I know lots to chew on in a small space.

    I am assuming that most people who use your web site never really engage with youth, they show up on Sundays and maybe one other day a week, maybe (the Master Plan of Evangelism) would be a good read. I believe that if you are really doing ministry its a 24-7 thing, kids would be at your house all the time, you would be at everything of theirs you could, and you would know what is going on in their world??? Lee, Todd???

  6. Devon… I’m laughing, because I think I need you to write a plug for my book CONNECT. Everything you talked about in your second paragraph (loving kids and doing life with them) is the main thrust of what I teach in my books like CONNECT and our many free articles on our web site and FREE TRAINING TOOLS page. Our ministry needs to be relational. Then the kids will see Jesus in our actions and we’ll have opportunities to share about Jesus with our words.

    As for your point about “what is good or bad with music” and not seeing what we do in scripture. I’m not really sure what your point is there. But if you take a good peek at our web site you’ll see our purpose clearly. 1. We want to keep adults aware of the culture they are trying to reach and 2. try to provide them with some tools to engage in relevant conversation.

    Understand something: adults don’t need to go out and buy Eminem’s new CD and download Katy’s new album. But it would be good for them to be aware of some of the messages they’re communicating, because then they can engage in relevant dialogue with those kids. “Oh, you’re listening to Katy’s song Teenage Dream? Do you think she’s right when she says…”

    Paul did the exact same thing in Acts 17 on Mars Hill. He walked around and took note of their culture and listened to their poetry. then he dialogued with them and basically said, “As I looked at your idols, I noticed that you guys worship an unknown God. Let me tell you who that is… ” Then he goes on to share about Jesus. In verse 28 he quotes the “lyrics” of the day, the pagan poets. He actually quoted Aratus’ Phenomena 5. That might be like quoting Eminem today and using that to talk about God.

    In addition to this, parents should know a little bit about this culture so they can help teach their kids discernment. When their little 8-year-old asks them, “Mommy, can I buy the clean version of the new Black Eyed Peas song?” It would be nice if Mommy had some tools to help her kid make that decision.

    So Devon, again… rather than wasting your time with more comments… I encourage you to stay aware of our culture, stay immersed in scripture, and then connect with kids, engaging in relevant conversation. We provide you many tools to do that on our web site.

    I hope that helps just a bit.

  7. Thanks I think you are missing the point on what I am saying, I think your site is great for those who use it, I read your book I think it is great for someone who hangs out with kids on Sunday and Wednesday. I just know people that read your site and each time I talk to them they are up in arms about some new show or some new song. My point being that maybe a little more blogging on what Paul did… then what Katy does..

  8. Thanks Devon. In our lives, we SHOULD spend a lot more time talking about the Apostle Paul then Katy. Youth ministries should spend more time looking at the Bible, then the world. And yes, I hope my website, as a whole, focused more on sharing Biblical truth, then just looking at the world of media.

    But again… this blog is just one page on our website. That’s not the purpose of this blog. The purpose of this blog and the Youth Culture Window articles are to talk about the influence of media, and to help parents and youth workers teach their kids to think Biblically about their media choices. Bottom line: there’s going to be a lot about media in this blog.

    If you want to hear more about what Paul did, then go to our A LIL BIT podcast where all we do is talk about the Bible (or our sermons page, or our CURRICULUM page, etc.) Plenty of Biblical content all over our site.

    Don’t go to a philosophy class of a Bible college and say, “All we’re doing here is study Plato! We should be studying the Bible.” It’s a philosophy class. Go to the New Testament class, the Christian doctrine class, the missions class, etc. The whole school is helping to develop a person holistically.

    I hope that helps. Because I don’t think we need to spend any more time on this (especially because I think we agree).

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