Katy Perry on Hair, Blood Facials, and Redefining Femininity

Hallie Gould


"Good morning, darling," Katy Perry purred to me over the phone. We were set to discuss her new fragrance, a massive departure from previous offerings, she tells me. "I like to keep people on the edge of their seats in every capacity, even with their sense of smell," Perry offers. "What is she gonna do next?” she says with a laugh.

Her tone, while familiar and relatable, was more business than I expected, a product of the number of interviews she's done just like this one, I suppose. "Surface glamour underpinned by a hint of down-to-earth realness is very much Katy Perry's MO," The Guardian wrote, "and has been since she emerged almost a decade ago with the global hit 'I Kissed a Girl.'" Though, now, it seems like Perry has decided to turn down the froth and push the realness dial way up. With the drop of her fifth studio album, Witness (a record she calls "purposeful pop"), a substantially new 'do, and a seasoned understanding of the media, Katy Perry is ready to do things differently.

"I'm trying to redefine what beauty means to me," Perry tells me. "For instance, the biggest experiment I've done is cutting off all my hair. Now I can't hide behind it. I wanted to know that I could still feel beautiful and love myself without it. It's fun, it's freeing, it's liberating, and I don't think that 'sexiness' and 'femininity' is just one thing—long hair. I suppose the goal is to redefine what femininity means to me. I like to throw that kind of curveball into whatever traditional beauty is. Plus, with the new hair, I get an extra hour back for myself every day."

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