So, I’m in a shoe store and Katy Perry's "Bon Appétit" is playing...the explicit lyrics “Got me spread like a buffet,” LOUD and clear. I catch the eye of the sales girl and we pretend it's just another pop song.
Do you have these in an 8?
When my hubster and I first saw Katy perform the song on SNL we thought it was a comedy sketch. Seriously. In fact, a few sketches earlier there was another skit that mocked the absurdity of a different music video. So we thought it could be a nightly theme.
In her performance an Annie Lennox-ish Katy is flat on her back spreading her legs before Migos and a gaggle of (mostly) oggling men, while she sings to them about having her for a meal…and eating with their hands to boot. It’s a little too TMI for the likes of moi. But what do I know…cuz it’s a huge hit.
Call me old fashioned, but I’m no prude. I simply do not need to hear the details of how Katy Perry feels about someone going down on her. No matter how beautiful and tasty she is.
Am I alone in this?
Is there a clever hidden buzz-message in the lyric like in Britney's, “If U Seek Amy?” (“All of the boys and all of the girls are begging to if you seek Amy"…which sounded like f-u-c-k me). Cuz if there is I missed the memo. Thing is, with “Amy” one could appreciate the song without knowing it was about fucking her. Where is the subtlety here? I think that’s why I'm embarrassed. For myself. For Katy. For songwriting culture. Have we ran out of things to say? Or is it that I'm out of touch? Maybe I am a prude. oh no!
It's Hooky-as-hell you say? Perhaps. But I put forth that anything repeated enough by a beloved recording artist who has enough momentum is going to result in "hooky."
I suppose the fact that I'm ranting is a win for "Bon Appétit." And the artist. And the label. And for all eight writers, some of whom I have affection and respect for. Ferras Alqaisi is creatively liberated, in a fly-your-freak-flag-kind of way—something I wish I would fly more often. So kudos. Part of me wishes I wrote the song. A big part. A hit is a hit! Right, songwriters? This is business.
Still, I can’t kick the objectifying image of the SNL sketch, as well as the one in the actual music video—Katy on a table being kneaded like dough by a bunch of male chefs who split her legs apart to show the viewer (me) her pasty crotch. Yes, it's filmed artfully. Definitely a classy crotch as crotches go. (Did I say that?). And Katy looks like she's enjoying herself.
KP made it on the strength of her voice, her charm, her Girl-Power message. This kinda undoes it for me...the Girl-Power message part. We've seen endless videos of men objectifying women. Do we need to see women doing it to themselves? How far do we have to go to push the limits...to feel like we've boldly gone where no one has gone before? This far? I guess. It's crowded out there!
Years ago when Capitol Records didn't yet know how to break the enigmatic future superstar, Tim Divine sent her over to my house to have a listen to some material. She was shy and sweet and she sipped iced tea demurely through a straw. She told me about her very Christian upbringing.
This is the same girl. Who woulda thought.