Katy Perry's latest video inspires individuality in pop music

Worldwide pop sensation Katy Perry continues to push the barriers of the music industry, as the release of her most recent music video inspires individuality through an unconventional storyline.

Perry stars in her latest music video “Birthday,” a song off of her song 2013 album Prism. In the video, Perry makes an appearance at various birthday parties; however, she is disguised in extravagant costumes with elaborate character backgrounds.

At an old folks home, Perry arrives as a racy grandma named “Goldie,” while at kids parties, she comes as a drunken clown (Kriss) and a preppy fairy (Princess Mandee). Throughout the video, she interacts with the partygoers, alarming many with her ridiculous behavior.



"Meet my INSANE friends — Goldie, Yosef, Kriss, Ace and Mandee!" Perry tweeted on Monday, April 21, US Magazine reported. "Guys. The video for #Birthday is the most insane one I've ever done."

While the video is eight minutes of “insane” Perry shenanigans, it is extremely well done for a few reasons. First, Perry uses actual people in the video from all ages and backgrounds. From little kids to old folks and people in between, the pop singer isn’t afraid to use everyday people to indulge in her production.

Second, the video completely encompasses Perry’s crazy-wild-out-there inspiration. If others in the industry attempted this type of video, it would have seemed forced and uncomfortable. But because Perry has developed her own unique style in the music market, she stands out without looking tacky.

However, some feel her video was a sad attempt at being original. Because she didn’t follow the mold of “traditional” music videos, including an actual story rather than just quick shots of cheesy dancing and lip-synching, many see her video has a flop.

“It's supposed to be funny — because when aren't cultural stereotypes hilarious? — but it ends up just being really, really dumb,” Ben Cosman of The Wire said. “There might be a better word for it than that, but she gives an old man a lap dance, so ‘dumb’ is about all this video deserves. “

Too many pop stars glorify their music with videos consumed by overtly sexual overtones. Unfortunately, when this happens, it seems both the artist and the viewer get lost in the meaning of the video.

Perry, conscious of this overwhelming trend, wanted to stray away from the pack of normality. She’s not trying to be someone she’s not, rather she’s exploring her own sense of self as she matures as an artist.

"I was sick of making gorgeous music videos where I'm sexual," Perry said during an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!," US Magazine reported.

Ironically, the song itself is very explicit, with lyrics like “I'll give you a taste, make it like your birthday every day”. But the video takes away some of the risqué qualities of the song and adds some fun, simple and just goofy humor.

Perry’s other videos also include a hint of ridiculous, like her videos for "Teenage Dream" and "Dark Horse." Through this, Perry has really developed herself in the pop world and is an awesome image of individuality.

Reach the columnist at rsmouse@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @BeccaSmouse

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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