California Gurls Need Jesus & Self-Respect

Confession: the first time I heard Katie Perry’s song, ‘California Gurls’ on the radio, I wasn’t sure what it was or who was singing, but I kinda liked it. I can see why the kids like the song with its bouncy tune and snappy vocals. Sure, some of the lyrics are eyebrow raisers, but nothing outside of today’s pop norm, and I only caught part of the song. During one of my many YouTube detours, probably looking up Mr. Bean or Cosby Show clips, I came across the music video. This is where my like for the song ended.

I ended up watching it at least a few times in a sort of oh-no-she-didn’t and you’ve-got-to-be-kidding fascination akin to staring at a bad wreck on the side of the highway. I am neither advertising the song nor encouraging you to watch the video, but what I saw gives an interesting look into what much of popular music and the sex sells phenomenon is about! The video has a Candy Land-esque theme to it. For some reason it seems to be desirable and attractive for women to dress in childlike costumes with a hoochie twist. Think Brittney Spears in her pseudo Catholic school girl outfit or some advertisements especially in men’s magazines. This is a side note because the truly appalling part involves Snoop Dogg. Yes, the same Snoop Dogg who has built a career on objectifying women!

The video starts out with him at a table with the ‘board game’ set up. The box says ‘Face the Sugar Daddy’s dice to free the Queens of Candyfornia’. I truly doubt he, who contributes to their dilemma, can truly free the ‘Queens’. He wears a candy printed suit and tie, but Katy Perry wears a childish dress complete with stuck on ice cream cone, which actually looks more like a drag queen outfit because of the purple wig and stockings. Other costumes feature cupcake bikini tops strategically over the bust and suggestive Girl Scout like costumes. As Snoop Dogg rolls the dice over the board, the all-women players move accordingly- it is clear who is the dominator. All of which allude to a simple and child-like innocence that is abused and exploited to fulfill a kinky fantasy and sell a deceitful message that to be desired means dressing provocatively and acting like a child.

In case you haven’t seen the video or weren’t bothered by the lyrics on the radio, here are parts of Snoop Dogg’s rap in the song “Toned, tan, fit, and ready… These are the girls I love the most. I mean the ones. I mean like she’s the one. Kiss her. Touch her. Squeeze her buns. The girl’s a freak… Katy my baby. [yeah] Look a here, baby. I’m all up on ya cause you representin’ California.” When he says ready, he means California girls are ready to try to satisfy his lust and I truly doubt he’s “up on her” because she’s representing California. I doubt he would be “up on” Barbara Boxer, current U.S. Senator, or Lynn Woolsey, current U.S. Representative, both from California.

I can say with confidence that Jesus would not and does not condone objectification of women or any people group. This is not loving our neighbor as our self. It is loving our neighbor for our self! So, why do we allow this ridiculous violation of human rights and down right garbage? Because we, the consumer, have become so desensitized to its presence and effects. Looking at the top 5 songs of the week, for example: #1 is “Love the Way You Lie” by Eminem and Rihanna, which is about an abusive relationship and Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” weighs in at #4.

Did you know that Katy Perry’s parents are ministers, she grew up going to church/camps, and her first album was a gospel album? A far cry from this present garbage, for sure. She should and I assume knows better than to accept the pitiful concept of material and sexualized femininity. If all of the [just] Americans who claim to be Christian and follow Jesus’ ways [males and females] rejected this false image and did not give their attention and money to these lies, then the trashy pop music and movies industry would die out. So, the next time you find yourself idlely humming along to a snappy song or you can’t get a tune out of your head, reconsider the message, because it gets in your mind- that’s why you’re humming it or it’s stuck in your head, right?

“Be on guard. Stand true to what you believe. Be courageous. Be strong.” [1 Corinthians 16:13]

“With the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard what has been entrusted to you.” [2 Timothy 1:14]

“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again–rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” [Philippians 4:4-8]

“For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be sober.” [1 Timothy 5:5-6]

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