VMAs Fug or Fab: Katy Perry


I have no idea why Katy Perry’s hair looks like it fell off an old Strawberry Shortcake doll. And I have no idea why I kind of like it, either, other than maybe because strawberry shortcake is DELICIOUS, and she’s trained me to expect her to be kooky.

Let’s look at the relative tastiness of the rest of her looks from last night. And then exercise your right to vote!

Loading ... Loading ...


Leave a reply

Comments (40):

  1. Susan

    I love Katy, but somehow she lost me here. I think the hair just doesn’t do it for me, and the rest follows.

  2. dhg

    .. if the Duchess of Cambridge has taught me anything- or reminded me of anything- it’s that context.. and ‘appropriateness’, in dress.. is (nearly) all: at the VMA’s, dressing as one’s stage persona is what it’s all about. entertainment. your clothes are an essential part of your performance- so I applaud this. anywhere else? ugh! I mean, fugh..

  3. Autumn Van Weir

    Ridic. I ADORE Katy. But this is just not a flattering look for her. I don’t care for the nasty peek-a-boos in ths dress or the seafoam green. i think my gram has the old lady version of this dress.


  4. Kristina

    I seriously thought that ring was another finger. That was worrying.
    I want to visit the room where stars drop their 2nd/3rd/4th outfits – or was she the host?

  5. Dazie

    The only one I’m really “meh” on is the purple thing. Looks like a prom dress from 1985. The geisha outfit could have been in a different color though- maybe a true turquoise instead of that washed out blue-ish thing she’s got going on.

    However- a head cube? Not so much.

  6. Annie

    I am so sad about her hair. The blowup-doll look worked for her – all pouty lips and Bettie Page hair and anime eyes – and the pink almost isn’t pink enough to have the same impact. The blonde roots are weirdly off-putting.

  7. Annie

    ETA: I do know how to use italics tags, but apparently I had a, ahem, blonde moment.

  8. qwertygirl

    I love Katy Perry. If you can’t look like a comlete goofball at the VMAs, when can you? Well, if you’re Katy Perry, pretty much the other 364 days of the year, 24 hours a day. If she were dressing like that and expecting to be taken seriously, I’d feel differently, but you can just tell she thinks her outfits are as silly as everyone else does. She’s all, “Wait, wait, I know you thought the sequined Smurfette dress was the limit, but just see what ELSE I’ve got up my sleeve–YES! A dress that appears to be made of GLITTERY BROKEN 45RPM RECORDS! And two thirds of my fans don’t even know what a 45rpm record IS!!!! And it says ‘Katy Perry’ around my navel! How hysterical is THAT?” God, I love Katy Perry.

  9. EmSpeaks

    I wish there was a voting option for: “Her boobs are covered for once, and I’m just happy with that.”

  10. Carol

    Is that chenille trim on the dress?

  11. jenelope

    I kind of wonder if Katy’s next video is going to have a Sims theme, but they don’t want to have to pay for the right to use the pyramidal plumbob, so they went for a yellow cube. I refuse to believe that Katy is suddenly a member of the Pack. I do think she’s ridiculously adorable, though, so thanks for that option!

    Oh, and I believe the Strawberry Shortcake doll you’re thinking of was Raspberry Tart, which is kind of funny when you think about it.

  12. Karen

    The thing with Katy Perry is that, at least, she always looks like she’s having so much FUN. Which is why her insanity is so much easier to take than Gaga’s, who always just looks pissed off that no one else is getting the joke. Or the message. Or whatever.

    Basically: Gaga, go away. Katy Perry, you can stay.

  13. Lynne

    She looks very Katy, on the whole. The last getup makes me laugh which is her intention and very well executed. The first one is kind of charming in a candy shop sort of way. Don’t like anything that happened in the middle.

    Now, the hair. I’m totally in favour of dying one’s hair a crazy, unnatural colour especially if you’ve got a personality like Katy’s. I just think this particular colour isn’t working exactly.

  14. Julie

    I enjoy the yellow cube ensemble because it reminds me of “Square One.” It makes me want to do math.

  15. jerkygirl

    Pic 5 reminds me of 1980′s video games (specifically, Q-bert) so I give the whole thing, ESPECIALLY the hat, 2 thumbs up. However, I get a major “culturally insensitive” vibe from the first dress. Like it’s a slutty Halloween costume of a Chinese woman. That’s. . .really rude and awful, although I bet she probably just thinks it’s a cute “costume.” I get that her shtick is dressing like a live action cartoon, but that outfit is really racist and she shouldn’t have worn it. I hope she’s just ignorant and not consciously playing into ugly stereotypes about East Asian women all being demure sex objects. :(

  16. What's The New Black

    I thpught she looked SO cute. Such a great outfit for the VMAs, love it!


  17. Sandra

    Well, Jessica already made the obligatory Mikado reference, so I got nothing.

  18. A.J.

    I have no idea why, but I kinda like the ugly purple dress.

  19. Anne B

    Ohhh, @Julie at 9:18, you give me hope. (I too enjoy the cheesy cube.)

    But Katy as a concept (especially with pink hair) is not a thing I can back, not a stock I can buy, not when “Last Friday Night” is all sticky on the charts and my 15-year-old sings it but fights me over washing every. Single. Freaking. Dish.

    Can I get an amen?

  20. Gigi

    I just realized: she’s a human Katy Keene, a character from 1940s and 50s comic books who wore her name/initials in almost all items of clothing which were totally thematic and silly. Googleth and see.

  21. yeahandalso

    I like that even though she dresses kooky and ridiculous she never fights the pretty. She is colorful and sparkly and crazy, but at the end of the day you still always notice how pretty she is

  22. Alice

    I love the last look. Very Katy and VMA appropriate. I can’t get behind that Mikado dress though. It makes her look vaguely baby bump-y.

  23. vandalfan

    Anne B: Amen to the dishes and a teen. And I’m with you on this particular pink-ISH hair. Go big or go home- see Rihanna Red. The sleeves on the Mikado dress really ought to have been see-through rain lamps, too.

  24. vandalfan

    “Ridicously” is also an interesting and apt variation, but I’m partial to old fashioned “ridiculous”, unless jinxing a Boggart, of course.

  25. sarah

    Why is there not a “This exhausts me” option. Between La Minaj and La Perry, my retinas feel overused from the enormous amount of stimuli.

  26. Jennifer

    She may look like a Strawberry Shortcake doll, but does she smell like one? Anyone else remember that? For that reason alone, I completely coveted my friend, Keri’s, SS collection. God bless the ’80s.

  27. Kris M

    I’ve been going backward through the VMA entries and just saw Gaga’s, making Perry seem super refreshing and fun, instead of making you wonder whether the person legitimately has multiple personality disorder, or just some sort of narcissism.

  28. Lina

    Oh, I really like the first one! It’s so cute and fun. The others, eh. But I’m so surprised to actually like one!

  29. CJ

    First and last dress totally make me smile, especially the last dress. Which is what they are supposed to do. They are cute, camp, very Busby Berkley and utterly refreshing considering the backdrop 18 year olds trying to look 30. And they suit her. I guess I may be a bit biased: I used to be in musical theater and 111 times, I sang “We’re in the Money” while sporting a blonde wig, a green and silver sparkly dress with silver coins all over it and a big coin hat while carrying and then tap dancing on a very large, very heavy coin prop. In chorine territory, Ms. Perry reigns supreme.

  30. ccm800

    She is a officially a circus clown.

  31. Anna

    I’m with everyone on the not-pink-enough hair. Of course, my grandmother had flocked wall-paper (not red, sadly) and the naked lady oily lamp so what do I know? (And oops, it’s cheddAr.)

  32. Anita

    I agree about the hair. If you’re going to go pink you need to really commit to it, not have a washed out looking, roots showing ‘do’ for a big night.

  33. Nina

    @gigi I just looked up Katy Keene, and OMG you are so right!

    I just want to know of Russell helped with any of those outfits.

  34. Alison

    OK that is actually the Commonwealth Bank of Australia LOGO on her head..
    She is awesome..

  35. silly philly

    RE: Rain Lamps…we actually had one when I was 7, but it was given to my mother as a gift…from our (extremely conservative) church as a thank-you for organising VBS and children’s church. My brothers and I loved it (they more for the naked lady I suspect) but my parents were stuck in that awkward “Oh how lovely but you really shouldn’t have” position. Also, we lived next door to the minister and his family who popped by frequently, so that damn lamp hung in our living room for a couple years…

  36. Sajorina

    Except for the rocking pink & gold shoes from the 1st Pic and the geometric skirt from Pic #6, I don’t like any of it, especially her hair!

  37. Emily

    Wow, that first outfit is SO amazingly racist. Seriously, like jerkygirl said, it looks like a trashy “Chinese Princess” Halloween costume. I can understand Katy and the other commenters finding it cute, but please think about the ugly, ingrained stereotypes that it represents. There’s a reason so many women have to deal with creepy overtures from men with “yellow fever” who can’t see beyond their ethnicity and sleazily ask if they can “love them long time,” and it’s because of the perpetuation of this sexualized stereotype of the cute, demure Asian woman who lives to service her man. This outfit just made me sad, both for the fact that these are things that I and those I care about have had to deal with personally, and because the racism seemed so innocuous and acceptable to everyone that the only criticism it garnered was that it looked like a slutty costume from the Mikado, which itself is a play with a very problematic portrayal of Japan by white actors in yellowface. Also, Katy’s dress looks like a trashy cheongsam, which is a Chinese-style dress (although there are also similar Vietnamese dresses), so this comparison is slightly hurtful, as it groups so many countries into a homogeneous “other.”

    I realize that this comment makes me sound touchy, but I am really getting tired of seeing my culture appropriated in this trashy, sexualized way. It’s offensive and hurtful. I’m sure that Katy didn’t intend to trigger these feelings, but dressing this way perpetuates these stereotypes and helps contribute to a culture that normalizes and romanticizes the idea of the sexualized Asian other, and should be recognized as such. I am so tired of being seen as either too foreign and culturally different to understand, or some creepy, hypersexualized fantasy of what a Chinese woman is like.

  38. Lily1214

    There’s the 1950′s Barbie again.

  39. Jessica

    Emily, actually, in comparing it to a shitty high school production of the Mikado, I WAS saying that it was weird, creepy stereotyping that missed the mark in terms of both cultural accuracy and any kind of sensitivity.

  40. Emily

    Jessica, that wasn’t the impression I came away with, so I’m glad to know that it wasn’t your intent.