Katy Perry's 2013 VMA Performance Brings the Positivity Back to the Boxing Metaphor That Christina Aguilera Kinda Ruined

After New York City wouldn't let Katy Perry perform on top of the Brooklyn Bridge, the singer did the next best thing and sang her new hit "Roar" under the Brooklyn Bridge. After Perry debuted "Roar" two weeks ago, at the same time that Lady Gaga dropped "Applause", Perry's declaration of the importance of speaking your mind has soared to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. With nearly 557,000 downloads in its first week, "Roar" can't stop, won't stop (sorry, Miley) and Perry's performance that closed-out the 2013 MTV Music Video Awards did not disappoint.

Well, for the most part, anyway. If you're a stickler for live singing, you may have not particularly enjoyed Perry's performance. It seemed like she sang to a backing track, but hey — she's under a bridge, outside, on live TV. Who do you think she is, Beyonce? Of course she (probably) lip-synced.

Other than that, though, the whole thing was pretty damn flawless, and important, too. In the two hours prior to Perry's command on stage, we saw both Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus perform in their underwear. While Perry's midriff was on display, her straight-up boxing outfit made strength seem sexy, not skin.

And a decade ago, pop icon Christina Aguilera used the boxing metaphor in her video for "Dirrty", which was, well, drrrrrty, and now, Perry's reappropriated the theme to convey a message of power, not sleaze. If we weren't going to give Perry props for the mad double-under she did (were we the only ones on the jump rope team in elementary school?), her positive performance would certainly take the cake. Roar, indeed.


For reference, here's Xtina's "Dirrty":