Gossip has been struggling this month, but things should really pick up in May. First we’ve got the Met Gala, and then we’ve got the Cannes Film Festival. So, that’s what we’ve got to look forward to. The 2017 Met Gala is being co-chaired by Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams, and so it makes total sense that Katy got the May cover of Vogue. Interestingly enough… last year’s May cover girl was Taylor Swift, who was co-chair of last year’s Met Gala. My guess is that Taylor will not even attend this year’s gala, right? Not with her ENEMY Katy Perry co-chairing.
Anyway, Vogue put Katy in eight different looks by Rei Kawakubo and Comme des Garçons for the editorial. Because Commes des Garcons is the designer/theme of this year’s gala. Expect lots of shapeless sack dresses and minimalism, I guess. Now that I’m putting all of the pieces together… this Vogue cover is probably one of the reasons why Katy has been changing her hair so much lately. I also think it’s funny/sad/stupid that Katy Perry – a HUGE culture-vulture for all things Japanese – is co-chairing an event for a Japanese designer. Like, Anna Wintour didn’t even bother to find a Japanese celebrity or a Japanese-American celebrity to co-chair the event. So, you can read Katy’s Vogue profile here. Some highlights:
Her evangelical-Christian childhood: “The schools were really makeshift. Education was not the first priority. My education started in my 20s, and there is so much to learn still.” She was not, for instance, “allowed to interact with gay people,” she remembers, and “there is some generational racism. But I came out of the womb asking questions, curious from day one, and I am really grateful for that: My curiosity has led me here. Anything I don’t understand, I will just ask questions about….My house was church on Sunday morning, church on Sunday night, church on Wednesday evening; you don’t celebrate Halloween; Jesus gives you your Christmas presents; we watch Bill O’Reilly on TV. That was my whole childhood and youth and early teens. I still have conditioned layers dropping off of me by the day.”
She follows Bill O’Reilly on Twitter. “I want to know what’s going on on the other side. I don’t want to be ignorant.”
Her life at 32: “It’s a nice place to be. I love it! I wouldn’t give anything to go back to my 20s; I’m so much more grounded. And I’ve learned a lot of lessons—patience, the art of saying no, that everything doesn’t have to end in marriage. That your education can start now. I blasted off on a rocket, holding on for dear life.”
The message: “I’ve seen behind the curtain and I can’t go back. I used to be the queen of innuendo, everything done with a wink. Now I want to be the queen of subtext—which is a cousin to innuendo, but it’s got more purpose.”
She’s not afraid to be political: “I don’t think you have to shout it from the rooftops but I think you have to stand for something, and if you’re not standing for anything,” she adds pointedly, perhaps aiming at some of her deliberately apolitical confreres, “you’re really just serving yourself, period, end of story. ‘California Gurls’ and fluffy stuff would be completely inauthentic to who I am now and what I’ve learned. I do believe we need a little escapism, but I think that it can’t all be that. If you have a voice you have a responsibility to use it now, more than ever.”
Her thoughts, post-election: “I was really disheartened for a while; it just brought up a lot of trauma for me. Misogyny and sexism were in my childhood: I have an issue with suppressive males and not being seen as equal. I felt like a little kid again being faced with a scary, controlling guy. I wouldn’t really stand for it in my work life, because I have had so much of that in my personal life. But it’s an awakening that was necessary because I think we were in a false utopia . . . we can’t ever get that stagnant again. I am so grateful that young people know the names of senators. I think teenage girls are going to save the world! That age group just seems to be holding people accountable. They have a really strong voice—and a loud one.”
That was some well-delivered and well-deserved shade for Taylor Swift. Sometimes I think Katy is very dense and ignorant, and then she’ll do something like shade the f–k out of Taylor Swift without even mentioning her name, and suddenly I think Katy is a genius. Yes, Taylor Swift is only serving herself. Yes, Katy Perry is more interesting because she at least did her part to stand up for women and stand against fascism. Speaking of, the Daily Beast did another excellent piece about the kind of performative (white) feminism from certain people – go here to read. Katy just reminded me of it.
Photos courtesy of Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott/Vogue.