As if releasing "Part Of Me," the I'm-better-off-without-Russell-Brand single couldn't be autobiographical enough already, its accompanying video, which Katy Perry dropped late last week, really drives the message home. In the clip, Perry, who has become quite the character actress as of late -- she just played a mustached prison guard on Raising Hope -- sees her fiancé suggestively flirting with another woman while at work, so she breaks off the engagement.
The parallels to Perry's own life are uncanny, so much so that you can't help but wonder if Perry's divorce was a well-timed publicity stunt. Of course, that is not actually the case, but what a Stranger Than Fiction life she has led since her divorce.
After breaking the engagement off, Perry steps into a gas station bathroom and begins attacking the two most unique parts of her own anatomy: Her hair and her breasts, hacking off those dyed-black locks that most recently appeared in the video for "The One That Got Away" and taping down the boobs that, well, have appeared everywhere. Why, Katy, why?!
To join the Marines -- that's why.
During the remainder of the video, Perry weathers basic training and, in the last minute, appears the most glamorous woman of the Marines. That's two drastically different visages now for Perry -- between the old woman look of "The One That Got Away" and her Demi Moore look in "Part Of Me" -- in less than six months' time, yet both, somehow, are equally convincing for the pop star.
Her stunt as a Marine isn't just believable, it comes with experience: Perry has handled machinery before, albeit in the form of whipped cream canons in the "California Gurls" video. Sorry, haters, but Marine propaganda this ain't -- it's Perry doing character acting (with actual Marines) at her music-video finest.
Clearly, there's some sort of personality progression going on here, and the aggressive theme in "Part Of Me" proves that. Perry is quickly transitioning her image from sex symbol into something much more complicated than Perry lying atop cotton candy clouds, an image that may no longer use cleavage to sell records.
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In that way, "Part Of Me" serves its purpose, and does it well, potentially setting up Perry's next single and accompanying music video for a darker aesthetic than anything we've seen from Teenage Dream or its rerelease offshoot, Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection, which was released yesterday and boasts three new Perry songs, including "Dressin' Up" and "Wide Awake," the mid-tempo self-reflection on falling out of love.
While Katy Kats await Perry's next, inevitably grittier, music video, this summer brings something to hold them over: Katy Perry: Part Of Me, a 3-D concert film, similar to Justin Bieber's Never Say Never, that spans a year in the life of the star. With it, the sexiness of the Teenage Dream era will continue through the summer months. After that, though, watch out, because Perry is about to get real dark.
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