Katy Perry: Sheltered Child, Budding Activist?


Katy Perry does her best Veronica Lake impression on the cover of June 2011’s Vanity Fair. The issue, which hits newsstands tomorrow, features an in-depth interview with Perry about her upbringing, her career, and her life with Russell Brand.

She tells the magazine that her California evangelical parents forbade secular music (she says her friends snuck her CDs) and that the only book her mother read to her was the Bible. Or as Perry sums it up: “I didn’t have a childhood.”

When speaking more generally about faith (but perhaps also metaphorically about life), Perry sounds naïve but open-minded:

At this point, I’m just kind of a drifter. I’m open to possibility…. My sponge is so big and wide and I’m soaking everything up and my mind has been radically expanded. Just being around different cultures and people and their opinions and perspectives. Just looking into the sky.

She credits Brand with helping her stay grounded in her music, because “if the core, the honesty, my story, isn’t working, then all those bells and whistles aren’t going to work, either.”

Interestingly, Perry’s wide-eyed childhood tales seem to have a political undercurrent, as when she contrasts her perception and the reality of Planned Parenthood: “it was considered like the abortion clinic. I was always scared I was going to get bombed when I was there…. I didn’t know it was more than that, that it was for women and their needs. I didn’t have insurance, so I went there and I learned about birth control.” A nod to the plight of the uninsured and praise of nonprofits’ services for women? The singer of “I Kissed a Girl” is apparently on her way to becoming 2011’s least likely liberal activist.

[Photo Credit: Vanity Fair]

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