It’s nice that we can rely on Katy Perry to deliver some cute and casual appropriation from time to time. The political climate, both here and globally, have been worrisome as of late. So it’s great to have something to rely on in these difficult, trying times.
Over the weekend, the 32-year-old — who recently dated Orlando Bloom in what I assume was an attempt to make him a “thing” again — posted a picture of herself with a new hairstyle. “Katy Kardashian,” she wrote, surely proud of how clever she was. Sites like Just Jared are referring to the hairstyle as “boxer braids,” which is incorrect. Those are two oversized cornrows, a style commonly worn by Black women, that are apparently now in vogue among celebrities like Perry and Kim Kardashian.
On one hand, it’s like — maybe Katy Perry, like the many stars before her who borrow from Black culture in a way to seem cooler — should be able to rock these so-called boxer braids. On the other hand, Black women are discouraged from wearing their hair in natural styles such as this one. Especially in the workplace where it can often be seen as “unprofessional.”
Perry has repeatedly come under fire for her various forays into appropriation, which sometimes err on the side of offensive, and sometimes tumble into straight up racist. In her music video for “This is How We Do,” she’s seen rocking cornrows, eating watermelon and gelling her baby hairs in an ignorant copy of Black American culture.
When various people came out against the blatant show of appropriation, Perry, a woman who has benefited from being a white woman all her life, “… Can’t you appreciate a culture? I guess, like, everybody has to stay in their lane.” So yeah! She’s not even great at recognizing her privilege or taking any sort of criticism.
Anyway, the pop star was prepared. Because casual appropriation and borrowing from a Kardashian’s questionable ideas aren’t the only thing under her belt. The “Chained to the Rhythm” singer is also inspired by Guy Fieri, and proved as much with a selfie of herself in his most pristine likeness: spiked hair, gas station brand sunglasses, and an expression that denotes eternal internal screaming and all.
After all, there isn’t a thing that doesn’t inspire Perry. She’s an equal opportunist borrower.