Rebel Girls

Something else happened in France, besides my birthday. Something totally and unspeakably horrible. I heard the Katy Perry song (“I Kissed A Girl”, and you can Google it if you must) all the way through for the first time, and felt the way Twisty Faster must feel all the time.

It’s obviously a grotesque piece of exploitative gender roles trash. It’s autotuned. It doesn’t help that her marketing campaign, with all the knowing vintagey-ness, is infuriatingly close to pushing my consumer buttons, giving me an extra little shudder of self-loathing. And the song itself is a repellent farce of pop composition, winking so hard about its cherry-chapstick lezzing off that it seems to be having a three-minute stroke (as, indeed, are the FHM readers at whom this production is aimed). I mean, the convention of girlie-flirting in pop songs is well established. We all know that Britney didn’t actually go home for a sticky romp with Madonna after the MTV awards kiss, because of course it was just for show. So the Perry song is doubly insulting, not just for playing around with tawdry faux lesbianism, but for explicitly stating the fauxness of it all. “I kissed a girl just to try it”, “No big deal, it’s innocent”, “I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it” – which he won’t, because as the song points out, “Us girls, we are so magical. Soft skin, red lips, so kissable”, and if nothing’s hard then no-one can possibly be having sex, can they?

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