Katy Perry closes the book on the Teenage Dream era with her new “Wide Awake” video, a classically creepy (yet slightly candy-colored), Lewis-Carroll indebted fairy tale that doesn’t shy away from mixing the fantastical with the autobiographical.
Which means it’s a treat for both fans and armchair analysts alike. And while you could spend an afternoon sifting through various scenes to understand their deeper significance (minotaur hospital attendants = critics who hated “The Smurfs”?), we figured it would be easier to just highlight a few key moments for you right now.
So, for your perusal, here are five important moments form Katy’s “Wide Awake” video, each rife with psychological meaning. Or, you know, cool imagery. Same diff.
Katy Pushes Back: After literally going through the looking glass, Katy arrives in an eerie labyrinth, one we’re pretty sure represents the constraints of celebrity. Tellingly, as soon as she enters, the walls begin closing in on her — only, rather than be crushed, Katy draws on her Samson-like inner-strength (and summons the same kind of pyrotechnics we saw in her “Firework” video) and sends the walls reeling. The message seems clear: Nobody puts Katy in a corner.
Katy Meets Her Former Self: Early in her journey, Katy comes face to face with a young girl who clearly represents her former innocence (just in case it wasn’t clear, we later see the same girl get on a bike with a vanity plate that reads “KATHERYN”). With the trappings of fame comes the longing for simpler times, and Lil Katy helps guide her grown-up self through her perilous voyage — and even helps save her. Clearly, nostalgia is a powerful thing.
Katy’s World Crumbles: After being hounded by pesky paparazzi, Katy’s entire fantasy world begins to fall apart. It’s a testament to the fact that, no matter how amazing a celeb’s life may seem from the outside, the constant glare of the spotlight is enough to bring even the most famous down. After the encounter, Perry is left debilitated, confined to a wheelchair and unable to defend herself. Luckily for her, Lil Katy is there to protect her.
Katy Makes Her Escape: She powers past those naysayers and finally makes it to the exit of the labyrinth. Clearly, this is meant to show that no matter how tough things get, Katy is tougher, and, with her former self in tow, she bolts for the door — out of the madness and into (presumably) greener pastures.
Katy Punches Prince Charming: It’s the scene everyone’s talking about, and it’s pretty clear who the disingenuous prince is meant to represent (here’s a hint: it rhymes with “Bussell Rand”). At first, she’s smitten, but, as her suitor goes in for a kiss, Katy spies him crossing his fingers behind his back — and responds with a pretty nifty right cross of her own. The impact is made even better by the “Oh damn!” expression that crosses Lil Katy’s face. And with that, our fairy tale reaches its happy ending, with Katy surviving unscathed and ready for whatever comes next.
What did you think of Katy’s latest video? Let us know in the comments!