Why Katy Perry Made Me Cry

It was a mellow Saturday night. I had plans to salsa dance but after a heart to heart with my body, I realized nothing would feel better than eating an early dinner, watching a movie and hitting bed by 9:30 pm. Yes, please.

I pulled leftover chili from the fridge, plopped it into a small saute pan over low heat and started scanning my Amazon Prime movie options:

“Love Actually?” Nope.

“Curly Sue?” Nah.

“Adventures in Babysitting?” Watched it way too many times.

“Katy Perry, Part of Me biography?” Could be interesting.

Now I’m not generally a Katy Perry fan. I like her music well enough, but rare is it that I’ll give over my Saturday night to a biography on the drama of a pop-starlet. I have REAL documentaries to watch, you know? And yet for some strange reason I decided to drop the judgement and say YES to a bit of indulgence.

With my dinner now in my favorite bowl and warming my lap I pressed watch now, and in the click of a button, my life changed...forever.

First off, I fell in love with Katy Perry, which is, as stated before, not my style. The last pop star I gave any time to was Alanis Morissette, circa Jagged Little Pill, which was absolutely permissible because she was rageful. Anger shows depth and smells of struggle and struggle provides purpose, which at least gives me a sense of direction.

Katy Perry’s music, from what I gathered, is full blown feel-good-bubble-gum happy. Very far from pissed off. In her live show, which is documented throughout the biography, she changes from one CandyLand outfit and pink wig to another, showers Skittles and Now and Laters on her meet and greet guests and sprays audience members with bubbles. WHA???

My snarky, holier-than-thou, self was desperate to turn the movie off after the second bedazzled costume change however I decided not to let her take over.  “Just keep watching,” I told myself. “Let yourself enjoy this.”

And in enjoying it I saw the power of Katy Perry: This dolled-up tartlet is 100%, unabashedly herself.

And then I started to cry.

Three separate times.

Yep, while watching Katy Perry dance across the stage in a candy cane, sparklingly mini-skirt I cried.  Not out of jealousy, or competition, or the ridiculosity of it all.  Nope, tears shot from my face out of joy in seeing someone in full expression, embracing all pieces of themselves and having the strength to share it with the world. I cried out of recognition, knowing that I am closer to the full me now than ever before.

And I cried, knowing that being us, all of us, though a simple act, is one of the hardest things to do.

We are burdened by pieces of ourselves that make no sense. We judge and cajole the unsightly bits, wanting to discard the things that “aren’t right,” attempting to reach some kind of perfection by having our many parts fall in line like orderly little ducks. Reality is we are all incongruent. We are all amalgamations of “making no sense” and what makes the incongruous parts of us wonderful is that they are uniquely ours, making us...well...US.

We don’t have to put ourselves in any type of box to be loved or accepted. We don’t have to straighten or curl our hair, be perfectly healthy eaters, wear the right clothes, master our to-do list, or have the scale read a particular number to know we are OK. We’re OK, right now.

Granted this doesn’t mean life is a permanent bed of roses. It means as we practice being ourselves, we cultivate an internal life preserver when the ocean of life gets rocky. Tweet This!

We create a steady security in ourselves, knowing that no matter what, as long as we stay true to our personal experience, unsavory bits and all, we can get through anything.

And so I say, thank you Katy Perry for being you. Seriously girl, you are a freak. As are we all, in our own way.  Thank you for standing up as yourself for everyone to see. Your strength has reminded me to do the same.


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