Pop singer Katy Perry has apologised to fans following accusations of cultural appropriation. The ‘Roar’ singer, who recently featured in a four day long internet livestream, has come under scrutiny for some of her outfits and music videos.
‘Cultural Appropriation’ is a term that has become prominent in the popular lexicon over the last few years. It is used to describe the adoption of particular elements of a certain culture by another culture, often taking the form of hairstyles, fashion, makeup and body modification.
Katy Perry released the music video for her hit song ‘This Is How We Do’ back in 2014. Upon its release, the video was described as “an explosion of pop art, vintage fashion and twerking ice cream cones”. In the video, Perry can be seen wearing her hair in a number of different styles, including those most commonly associated with African American culture. The video also makes numerous references to Japanese popular culture.
Perry has now apologised for the music video in a new interview with Pod Saves The People’s DeRay McKesson. In the interview Perry explained: “I’ve made several mistakes,” “Even in this ‘This Is How We Do’ video with how I wore my hair and having a hard conversation with one of one of my empowered angels, Cleo, about what does it mean?”
She continued:“Why can’t I wear my hair that way? Or what is the history behind wearing my hair that way? And she told me about the power in black women’s hair and how beautiful it is, and the struggle.”
Concluding:“I listened and I heard and I didn’t know, and I won’t ever understand some of those things because of who I am. I will never understand, but I can educate myself and that’s what I’m trying to do along the way.”
Katy Perry released her fifth studio album ‘Witness’ on June 9.