Katy Perry Wears Taiwanese Flag At Taipei Concert, But Her Intentions Are Unclear
The second-to-last headline I read about Katy Perry was "Katy Perry wears hamburger shoes." The last headline I read about Katy Perry was: "Katy Perry wears Taiwanese flag to concert." Uh oh, SpaghettiO! Care to share with the class what your reasoning was behind your sartorial choice, KP? As Billboard describes: "At a concert in Taipei Tuesday night, the singer appeared to show political support for Taiwan's full independence by draping the national flag of the Republic of China (Taiwan's flag) over her shoulders."
If I've asked once, I've asked a million times: why doesn't anyone say no to her? I do have to say that I am no authority on whether or not this is offensive to Taiwan, as I am not a Taiwanese citizen. But it makes me uncomfy nonetheless, probably because Perry's history of appropriation is longer than a CVS ExtraBucks receipt.
Though the jury's still out on whether or not the outfit was meant to be a political statement, it sure felt that way. Not only was Perry donning the Taiwan flag over her shoulders, she was wearing a sunflower ensemble (which she has worn before on her Prism tour) and "some have interpreted [sunflowers] as a symbol of support for Taiwan's 2014 Sunflower Student Movement, which protested a trade deal between China and Taiwan," reports Vulture. Sure, Perry has been criticized heavily before in the past (certainly by me) for her ignorance and cultural appropriation, but this situation is a little more confusing.
As of yet, the singer's rep has not commented. It's not my prerogative to comment on whether the outfit was staunchly right or wrong, but whether she meant it to be or not, it was definitely a political statement. There's even worry that Perry will be banned from performing in mainland China, even though the star is super popular there. Foreign Policy Report noted that many Taiwanese fans supported Perry's outfit choice: "Taiwanese took to Twitter and Facebook to express their thanks for what they perceived as Perry’s support for Taiwan; some Taiwanese news outlets have even dubbed her the 'Sunflower Goddess.'"
Perry's not shy about being political, though, which only makes it more likely that the choice of the flag and the sunflowers was a calculated one. She's fully in support of Hillary Clinton's bid for president in 2016. But is it a good idea for Perry to comment on such delicate foreign-policy issues (no) when she has a known track record of offending and appropriating (no)? A quick Google for "Katy Perry appropriation" spits back 148,000 results in 0.35 seconds. Some not-so-fond memories: dressing up like a Geisha, the big butt performance, and dressing up like a caricature of a Jewish man.
Obviously the reactions to Perry's outfit are divisive, but I guess we'll have to wait and see what she has to say about this before we delve further. My only advice: just stick to the hamburger bun shoes for your bunions, KP. Oh! And also, I like your hair.