If the goal of the celebrity profile is to learn something we didn't know about a person we know far too much about, GQ contributor Amy Wallace did her job when she interviewed Katy Perry for the February issue of the magazine. We now have details about GeishaGate 2013, Katy's breasts, and aliens.
We meet Perry the night of the American Music Awards – the night that Perry was criticized for dressing like a geisha. Wallace describes Perry as a diva "who's never really seemed like one," writing that this performance was supposed to be different from Perry's past work:
Perry has always played a dual role in the culture: at once a full-on male fantasy and a symbol of empowerment who inspires young girls. No other artist has so seamlessly blended teenage dreams and grown-up misadventures, singing about hickeys and crushes, yes, but also threesomes, blackouts, and strangers in your bed. Now, on prime-time television, she's about to twist her image one more quarter turn, transforming from America's audacious, outrageous cleavage-bot into its selfless, doting concubine.
Perry told Wallace wanted to do the geisha act "because she loves spectacle, and she loves Japan (she calls it 'the capital of adorableness')" and she thought it fit the theme of the song "Unconditionally":
"I was thinking about unconditional love, and I was thinking: Geishas are basically, like, the masters of loving unconditionally." She's so earnest, I don't have the heart to point out that in the gamut of human interactions, the courtesan-patron relationship is, um, maybe the most conditional relationship there is? (Days later, when asked if she followed the mini furor that her performance ignited—some said it amounted to singing in blackface—she tells me she respects the debate but thinks her critics misunderstood. "All I was trying to do is just give a very beautiful performance about a place that I have so much love for and find so much beauty in, and that was exactly where I was coming from, with no other thought besides it.")
Perry also told GQ that she prayed for her large breasts (just like Salma Hayek, so maybe this is a thing everyone should be trying), that she hasn't had any plastic surgery – "So my messages of self-empowerment are truly coming from an au naturel product" – and that she believes in aliens, a topic she plans to talk about with President Obama one day. Finally:
She lost her virginity at 16 in the front seat of a Volvo sedan while listening to Jeff Buckley's album Grace. "Love that record so much."
Image via Peggy Sirota/GQ