A few weeks ago I had an argument with someone about how it was a good thing that ‘Firework’ (and its video) had a positive message for Katy Perry’s young fans. The counter argument was that kids who feel like outsiders will latch onto any old rubbish so it didn’t mean ‘Firework’ was any good. This is true.
Fastforward a few weeks later and the one argument I hear in defence of ‘B*** T*** W**’ again and again is ‘it’s good for gay kids in remote areas of America’.
The crucial thing is, of course, that I think ‘Firework’ is a great, euphoric pop song. Its message is important to its appeal, but it’s not the sole purpose of it. While Perry devoted the song to the ‘It Gets Better’ campaign, I doubt she thought she was doing some great social justice by releasing it. The message is trite and obvious, but undoubtedly something that everyone experiences. It’s not identifying feeling insecure about yourself with being a victim or a ‘freak’. Katy Perry isn’t seeking to align herself with any specific section of society and so reveals little about her attitudes towards any sections of society. It’s not telling you that you should necessarily identify with the song, whatever your circumstances are.
It’s just there if you need it and, if you don’t, hopefully you’ll get a kick out of it anyway.