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September 18, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Why the World Needs Katy Perry

By Anne Christen More Blogs by This Author

Shock

Katy Perry is a controversial figure. Her name is related to music, dance, divorce, and fashion faux pas –the frosting canon mounted bra and Jean Charles de Castelbajac’s Man Ray frock, just to name two. She has never shied away from the limelight and during her marriage to Russell Brand even bragged about their activities in the bedroom. For a time, Perry seemed to know no limits when it came to shocking the public.

The "Roar" singer has gone from a regional interest to a global phenomenon in the matter of a few short years. An indecency lawsuit was brought against her in India when a man tried to teach her how to use a cricket bat at a public event, and she sued Australian magazine NW for reporting she had an affair with producer Benny Blanco while married. Her divorce from Brand continues to make headlines, and the disturbing death of her ex-boyfriend – actor Johnny Lewis – in 2012 is yet another mar in her personal life.

Awe

Scandal follows Perry like a shadow. However repulsed we are by the intrusive nature of the paparazzi and tittle-tattle entertainment shows like TMZ, we’re always eager for news of Perry because her antics whet our appetites for the absurd. Yet, buried beneath the rubble of a rocky love life and sometimes strange fashion choices, is a woman of unstoppable force. No matter what’s going on around her or what the public's perception of her happens to be, she forges ahead without ever looking behind.

One of the best parts of Perry is her ability to turn tragedy into creativity. Some of her most inspirational songs –breakup anthem “Wide Awake” came as a result of her divorce – impart a message that so many of us struggle with: Your inner strength will carry you through if you just let it. But even when she’s not dealing with trials and tribulations, she still delivers rousing hits like “Roar, “Firework,” and “Part of Me.” These singles deviate from the usual pop obsessions of chasing love and living without rules and instead focus on personal triumph and self-worth.

Strength and Confidence

In an age where celebrities are heralded as role models, Perry gives hope that this concept is not entirely misguided. Her musical achievements were celebrated in late 2012 when she was named Billboard’s Woman of the Year. That award also honored her charity work; she donated $250,000 from her “Part of Me” single and has helped the fundraising efforts of such organizations as the Humane Society, Red Cross, and Children’s Health Fund.

This is not meant to be an ode to Perry. She is a flawed human being and has made plenty of mistakes. But she doesn’t try to hide her flaws, and she leaves acts of blatant disrespect to the likes of Miley Cyrus and Rihanna. She shows appreciation for her fans and admits that while she may not be the perfect feminist paradigm, she hopes to inspire young people and women everywhere. That inspiration is not intended to help them embrace their sexuality or prowess – as so many of today’s performers suggestively do - but rather to be strong and confident without drawing negative attention.

A variety of other female celebrities also contribute to the good of the world: Beyonce’s musical talent is rivaled only by her great self-respect, and Celine Dion is the epitome of sophistication and style. Perry is in a different class from these women, proving that, with enough hard work, the not-so-innocent girl next door can achieve success and remain true to herself. That’s why the world needs her: to motivate the rest of us to be more than we already are.

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