Once You "Roar," It's Hard to Score

by Sarah Freymiller

When speaking with Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club on Friday morning, Katy Perry admitted she's single to Charlamagne the God (who told her, among other things, "You wrote 'Peacock' for my penis"). The singer split with John Mayer in February of 2014, because, according to E! Online's source, she felt that she had to put her career first. After admitting that she was single, the singer joked about being "deep on Tinder," which could either mean that she's difficult to find or dating her operating system. All in all, we can't fault her for putting her career first. When you're a firework, you can't just wait on the world to change. You can't let gravity pull you down, because you need to get back up on that (dark) horse.

As for her dating life, it's not surprising that Perry is still single two months after her breakup. If Charlamagne's comments are indicative of general male conduct in her presence, I'm surprised that Perry hasn't sworn off men entirely and moved to the Isle of Lesbos (in the Aegean Sea) for some rest and relaxation. There, hopefully, she wouldn't be subject to comments like, "You have no choice but to be sexy, because you are sexy, Katy." Charlamagne even threw out the fantastic question, "Do you ever look in the mirror and stare at your own breasts?" If you don't believe me, just listen to the full interview here.

This line of questioning, in fact, leads us to another reason that Katy Perry has remained single: her music videos. If I were Perry experiencing these comments, I would want to tackle the latent sexism in the music industry with a strong feminist message in my music videos, too. With that in mind, let's take a look at the roles men play in some of her most recent singles.

"Dark Horse" (2013)

Katy Perry as an Egyptian goddess pharaoh invite suitors into her pavilion, telling them, "So you want to play with magic? Boy, you should know what you're fighting for." She then turns them into a gemstone-encrusted grill, a goblet full of soothing liquid, a pair of fuzzy dice, an alligator purse, and a dog with a human head. Get it? She's objectifying them. If I were on Tinder, I'd be shaking in my boots.

"Roar" (2012)

Perry's narcissistic boyfriend doesn't even make it past forty seconds in this music video. After a tiger takes him down, Perry is free to discover herself as queen of the technicolor jungle. "You held me down, but I got up," is a pretty clear message, especially when accompanied by an attack kitty (purry). Let it be known that, while this video may intimidate any would-be suitors, Perry's face acting takes the cake.

"Wide Awake" (2012)

Perry unlocks her inner child, and they both destroy the men in this video. Kiddie Perry sends two male minotaurs flying with a stomp of her Mary Janes, while adult Perry literally sucker punches a man who looks like Prince Charming. Moral of the story? Don't cross your fingers in her presence. Only the male stagehand escapes unscathed.

"Part of Me" (2011)

Once again, Perry disposes of her boyfriend within the first 40 seconds of the video. This time, she storms into his workplace and slams a locket on his desk before throwing paper in his cheating face. Then she goes straight Mulan in a gas station bathroom, chopping off her hair and binding her breasts (why?) to join the Marines. She fires real guns. She carries other people. She burns her ex-boyfriend's apology letter. While she still looks beautiful in the facial close-ups, Perry is now defined by her physical and mental strength rather than her beauty. She has traded a world of bubble baths and sweet words for a world of salt water and rally cries. Who needs a man?

"Birthday" (2014)

The video for "Birthday" came out on Thursday, and it shows us exactly how unsexy Katy Perry can be. The music video features Perry dressed up as five different birthday entertainers and crashing five different birthday parties. In each scenario, she is the death of the party. She gyrates as an octogenarian stripper, knocking off the birthday boy's fake leg. She eats a mouse as an incompetent petting zoo worker, smears paint on the faces of unhappy girls as a ditzy princess, and embodies an utterly sad clown, drinking alone under a tree. To top things off, she attempts a Jewish accent to portray Yosef Shulem, MC. What's interesting in this video is that the lyrics and images are diametrically opposed. In the lyrics, Perry promises to give the imagined everyman "something good to celebrate," and to "get [him] in [his] birthday suit." In the video for "Birthday," however, she plays the opposite of a traditionally sexy female pop star. Even when she plays an attractive female, she wears a mask and strips her I.Q. down to 57. In their own way, each of these characters is deeply unappealing. It's as if Perry took the cakes from the lyric video and cut them open to reveal rotting fruit and old coffee grounds. Instead of promoting her sexuality, Perry uses this video to explore her comedic range. And when it comes to men, she doesn't need them; she can play them herself.

Ultimately, I have a new level of respect for Perry after viewing her most recent music videos. In each of the above songs, Perry manages to remain the visual focal point rather than allowing a man to usurp her position in the spotlight. She does so by breaking up with them, using an attack tiger against them, punching them, turning them into accessories, and playing them herself. In other words, Perry can do this on her own.

And if you do find her on Tinder, remember that you're playing with fire.