Having daughters aged nine and ten, it’s not unusual to have pop music forced upon me for the duration of the day and despite trying to convert them to my tastes, I have accepted some of their choices and find myself opting to listen to them without the kids present.
Despising the likes of NDubz and Jason Derulo, I can tolerate Katy Perry, who seems to be a firm favourite in the household. California Gurls, or Grrrls, or Gurlz or Girlz depending on which YouTube video you stumble across, was a little sickly for me, but Teenage Dreams, I admit, is on one of my own playlists. Like the millions of others, I saw Katy, lyrca bodysuit clad, dancing and singing out of tune on The X Factor, performing her new track firework as she flung herself around the stage holding sparklers and thought, oh, I kind of like that too.
Next morning, the nine year old and I, disregarded our lateness for the school run and found the Firework video on YouTube, sitting motionless, throughout. We were even joined by Mr CuntyChopalops part way through (although he may have been watching for different reasons.) The video finished and we all let out a sign in unison, the husband, again, for different reasons but Daughter and I were left with a feel good glow to start our day.
Fireworks isn’t subtle, it’s a lyrical equivalent of a high five or a vegan, hippy throw back walking into an inner city American high school and life coaching them until their self belief soars to the level it becomes another film script.
Accompanying these motivational words is a video of Ms Perry walking around, clothed for once, with sparkles erupting from her chest as her inner beauty flies into the night sky. Other characters, in dark or desperate situations follow suit as their confidence grows: such as, the probably termed clinically obese teenage girl, who no longer cares about her body image, strips to her grundies and dives into the prom queen filled pool, in a fizzle of light or the young man, who is about to mugged in a shady alley, using his wit, charm and literal magic tricks, to wow his attackers, until he too becomes a human ‘Catherine wheel.’
I’m not going to pretend otherwise, I bloody LOVE it. Not only is it catchy and pleasant to listen to but for a parent, it is perfection; a tune with a message and meaningful images to accompany it. Even my seven year old son, who is still can’t get his head around the concept of time or there being 7 days in a week, gets the message behind the song. It is okay to be different; it’s what’s inside counts, everyone matters and is equally special just ‘let your colours burst.’
This morning, the fight over the remote control was won by ten year old daughter, who opted for a bit of the pop music channels. There was Katy, her colours bursting over the screen and we all paused to watch.
But hang on, there is pixilation! Something has been deemed inappropriate.
With a quick mooch online, utter rage I felt, when it transpires that British audiences need to be spared of the shooting embers and also, a gay kiss has been censored.
Even within the context of the song, it’s hardly a danger to show the sparkles, but it mentions heavily, that they are coming from Katy’s chest. Many things come from Katy’s chest in videos though such as whipped cream in California Girls but that seemed to make it uncut to the television, despite my daughters groaning every time that scene comes on.
So you decide which one seems more inappropriate
Katy’s tits shooting a milk product?
Or Katy’s chest area glittering and sparkling…
Now I direct you to the two beautiful boys and their 3 second kiss.
I’m offended that they feel its offensive. My kids have managed to somehow slip into the whole ‘you’re so gay’ line of insults even though I have fully explained that boys can do stuff with boys and girls can do stuff with girls. They now know if they want to use the word gay, they should use it in the correct way and not as a derogative equivalent of stupid.
I want music videos to show them it’s normal for boys to kiss and this was done in what I can only describe as an innocent way. A young male standing lonely in a club, finds the courage within, fuelled by the sparks about to light, to approach the object of his affections and kiss him. One daughter didn’t notice it was boys. The other smiled and nodded and my son shouted ‘that’s so gay,’ admittedly, he needs a little help with his social development but how can I do that if music videos feel such things need distorting?