- (Photo: Reuters/MARIO ANZUONI)
Katy Perry's opinion of Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and various other pop stars who have appeared in increasingly lewd outfits is a direct one: "put it away." Although the "Roar" singer has worn risqué outfits in the past, she said that the direction many songstresses are taking isn't always necessary.
"I do see myself become this … inspiration out of default right now, 'cause it's such a strange world. Like females in pop- everybody's getting naked," she told NPR. "I mean, I've been naked before but I don't feel I have to always get naked to be noticed."
Perry declined to mention any pop stars in particular, but said that women in the industry have to learn to "play other cards" or risk being tied to their sexual image all the time.
"I mean, it's like everybody's so naked. It's like put it away. We know you've got it. I got it too. … I've taken it out here and there. And I'm not necessarily judging. I'm just saying sometimes it's nice to play that card but also it's nice to play other cards," Perry continued.
"And I know I have that sexy card in my deck but I don't always have to use that card," she added.
Perry's comments come after a deluge of hypersexualized media has taken over the airwaves in recent months: Miley Cyrus twerking on Robin Thicke during the VMA Awards; Rihanna's widely panned "Pour It Up" video with a stripper pole; and Nicki Minaj appeared barely covered on Ellen Degeneres' daytime talk show. Although some criticize the women for taking advantage of a formula- "sex sells- others are pointing to the nature of industry, which doesn't give women very many choices.
"If [a star] doesn't continue that look … her life span of (being) the leading actress could be shortened, quite frankly," Kimberly Hairston, a fragrance marketing executive, told USA Today. "Now is it right? No. And, what's the message that we're sending to young women? That using your sexuality to sell your product or to be successful (works)."
Still, there are actresses and artists who are seeing success without presenting a highly sexualized version of themselves: Adele is one of the U.K.'s most popular singers, Selena Gomez has publicly pointed out numerous times her refusals to be pressured into being more sexy, and up-and-comer Lorde, a New Zealand singer, is dressed like a respectful 17-year-old in her appearances. "Parks and Recreation" actress Rashida Jones also declines to be oversexualized in her career, warning others to "leave something to the imagination."
Perry, who was raised as a Christian before pursuing a career in secular music, described being a pop star as a "balancing act."
"It's like dancing and running and jumping and sleeping all on a balancing beam," she said. "But it's super fun and sometimes you get a great soundtrack to go along with that dance."