Katy Perry Tells NPR She’d Rather Be An Inspiration Than A Role Model

Katy perry Prism

Well here’s a first! The world’s biggest pop star today, Katy Perry made a guest appearance on National Public Radio (NPR) to talk about her music career, her new album Prism and the idea of being a role model vs an inspiration.

I gotta say, NPR needs to interview more huge celebrities because it was arguably the best interview we have ever heard and Katy was refreshingly down-to-earth and didn’t seem to be in ‘promotion’ mode like she probably would be at bigger stations.

She spoke to Scott Simon about her start in the music industry, which was initially through the Christian music route. Most people know the story of her growing up with strict Baptist parents who still pastor a church in Santa Barbara today. Katy decided to take a trip to Nashville as a teenager to kick start her career, and ended up releasing a gospel album first. But it flopped, and then eventually she went the pop route and the rest is history. When ‘I kissed a girl’ was released in 2008 it was the start of a monumental journey, which is continuing today.

But of course it hasn’t been without its ups and down. If you’ve watched her movie ‘Teenage Dream’ you see the pain she went through trying to be everyone’s favorite pop star on tour around the world, while simultaneously going through a separation and eventually divorce from comedian Russell Brand in 2011.

Her single ‘Roar’ is a musical autobiography of how she rose above the fear. Eventually she found her inner strength, after having her confidence shattered. And the voice she did end up finding came out as a roar!

Katy Perry Roar

She describes her struggle as “character development” which really is something we all go through and shouldn’t ignore. After her Christian music career ended and her going back to Santa Barbara disappointed she had to dig deep and start all over again.

“[It was a] hard humility process. If I had gotten what I wanted at the age of 17 I probably would be…dead or somewhere else with no career.” What a humble way to look back, reflect and realize the value of those moments.

When asked if being such a huge star makes her want to be some sort of a role model to all her young fans, Katy replies that she does in fact want to be an inspiration.

“When you set out to be an artist etc you don’t come with this ‘hey I also wanna be a role model that will obviously let you down because I’m a human being’ and a lot of people see me as a role model but I like to turn that around and say ‘I appreciate that but I’d like to be seen as an inspiration because a role model will fail ya.”

She says her inspiration to others comes more from default because in the world of female pop, everyone else seems to be getting naked. And Katy Perry has her own thoughts about this issue. We’d like to point out how diplomatic and kind she was with her choice of words, because slut-shaming is not helpful and can be just as bad. Instead of focusing on the bad, it’s better to draw attention to the positive messages out there.

Katy made a great point about nudity. She admits she has been naked before, seen the ‘California Gurls’ music video? But she doesn’t want to be naked to get noticed, and that right there is a key message!

She doesn’t mention any other celebrity in particular, but uses that as a general message to all the stars who are doing it, because let’s face it, there’s a few!

“It’s like everybody’s so naked! It’s like put it away, we know you got it. I got it too. I’m not necessarily judging I’m just saying sometimes its nice to play other cards. I know I have that sexy card in my deck but I don’t always have to use that card.”

Could Katy Perry BE any cooler! She is certainly one of our faves for her honesty, bravery and heart, which she wears on her sleeve and in her music. For that we are thankful because it gives strength and hope to many young fans out there. Thank you for being a inspiration to many Katy! Keep roaring girl!






  1. I actually wrote a piece about why I think Perry’s comments do more harm than good: http://everydayherodotus.com/2013/10/29/katy-perry-slut-shame-feminism/

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