One of Katy Perry’s breakout songs was the 2008 pop hit, “I Kissed a Girl” and, while the song did a lot for her career, ten years later it doesn’t really stand the test of time in terms of how we speak about female sexuality. Perry admits that the song had a “couple of stereotypes” and would re-write it today if she could. Her reasoning makes sense.
“We’ve really changed, conversationally, in the past 10 years,” Perry told Glamour. “We’ve come a long way. Bisexuality wasn’t as talked about back then, or any type of fluidity. If I had to write that song again, I probably would make an edit on it.”
She doesn’t give explicit examples, but does admit that the gist of the song relied on stereotypes about bisexuality.
“Lyrically, it has a couple of stereotypes in it. Your mind changes so much in 10 years, and you grow so much. What’s true for you can evolve,” Perry added.
Glamour points out that American culture seemed to often trivialize female sexuality during the early aughts, noting “Britney Spears and Madonna’s kiss at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, or the two girls making out at the Halloween party in Mean Girls.”
We’re guessing that Perry would change lyrics like, “I kissed a girl just to try it, I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it,” especially since Perry’s own views on sexuality have evolved over the years.
Last February, Perry revealed at a gala dinner for the Human Rights Campaign that “I speak my truths and I paint my fantasies into these bite-sized pop songs. For instance, ‘I kissed a girl and I liked it.’ Truth be told, I did more than that. What I did know was that I was curious. Even then I knew that sexuality was not as black and white as this dress.”
Good on Perry for recognizing her evolution as an artist and as a human. And, really, for calling herself out. If she wants to re-release the newly woke version of “I Kissed a Girl,” we’re ready to listen.