We play a lot of Katy Perry on Z102.9, and I’m glad for that. She knows how to write and sing a great pop song, and she’s rather comely to boot. It’s nice to have an excuse to watch her videos and look at her pictures when they show up on pop culture websites and such (I’m not a creep, I’m doing it for my job!) She made the news this week thanks to clips released by the Children’s Television Workshop of her upcoming appearance on Sesame Street. The controversy stems from the outfit she wore in a parody of her 2008 hit song “Hot and Cold” that she performs with Elmo.
My knowledge of women’s fashion is woefully lacking, but I suppose I would describe this outfit as a cocktail dress. It features a plunging neckline (though it’s faux, with a flesh-toned cover over her upper chest, not unlike you’d see on a figure skater’s outfit) and a delightfully high hemline. I’ll admit that I like this outfit on her. A lot.
Don’t get me wrong, however. Though certainly showy, it’s far from racy. The whole thing is actually more or less equivalent to what you see at every figure skating competition that has ever been held, and no one seems to have any problem with children watching that. Every wedding I’ve ever been to has had someone in attendance in an outfit no less modest (sometimes it’s even the bride), and there’s always some snotty little brat squirming and whining through those.
The spineless wimps at CTW have elected to pull that video off of the broadcast version of the show thanks to complaints from the legion of fun-haters we have here in the States. Thankfully, it’s still online, and I intend to start every day with a wholesome little lesson about communication and play from Katy and Elmo.
I guess the “that’s inappropriate” crowd thinks that children of Sesame Street age ought not see a woman’s legs. Fine; I’ll get on board with that. Therefore, from this day forward, I want your grungy little noisemakers off of the beach and away from the pool; there are bare lady-legs there! I want them out of my restaurant; someone might walk in wearing a dress! Howzabout you just keep them inside your home where they’ll be unsullied by the sight of a woman’s body, ‘kay?
What I don’t understand the most is that some women themselves find this video inappropriate. Hasn’t Richard Simmons been on Sesame Street? Doesn’t he wear a tank top with a plunging neckline? Does he not wear the most ghastly short-shorts? Okay, so why is it fine for a kid to see that, while a woman’s body—on the whole a lot easier on tender eyes than some hairy dude to my way of thinking, but what do I know—is not?
I remember as a kid being intrigued (without really knowing why) by the skin-tight catsuit of Cat Woman on Batman. Hell, when I was a kid it seemed like Peter Pan was always played by a chick, and Peter Pan isn’t exactly known for wearing long pants. If I applied myself I could surely give you an unending list of similar examples, so why the uproar about this? Leave poor Katy alone!
Actually, this works out perfectly for her. I doubt that I or most other adults ever would have been motivated to watch this clip had this not made (what passes for) news, so more exposure (heh, heh) for her to people with disposable incomes with which to buy her music. You’d think by now that people would realize that when they protest things like this, they simply give the protested material even more publicity. Oh, heck, the whole protest is probably a conspiracy to sell her records anyway.
In the end, I guess this piece is a thank you to those people for making sure this video was brought to my attention, because I’ve watched it maybe five or six times (to stay properly motivated) while writing, and I’ve got to say it’s made for an altogether more pleasant morning than I otherwise would have had.