Ever wondered if Katy Perry used to be a marine at some point?
Katy Perry has never served as a marine. She appears as a marine in the music video for her song Part of Me, and she trained with actual marines at a camp before making said video. It received mixed reviews – some called it good publicity for the US Marines, while others felt it was shameful of Katy to use the marines to get views on her music video.
Read on to learn more!
Katy Perry is a Marine in Part of Me
Katy Perry has never served in the military during her life. She was born and grew up in Santa Barbara, California. Her parents were pastors and born-again Christians, and she used to sing at their church as a teenager. Her first album was a Gospel album – in fact, she never wrote secular pop music until much later.
Katy Perry’s Part of Me was released as a lead single for her album Teenage Dream. In the music video, she breaks up with her cheating boyfriend and recruits as a US Marine. This girl-powered themed music video came out around the time Katy Perry was divorcing from Russell Brand.
Katy trained with actual marines for this music video. She picked up an M-16 at Camp Pendleton, where the video was shot over the course of three days. Some of it was also shot over the Red Beach, which is next to the camp and where marine training takes place. About 80 US Marines are featured in the music video itself, and officials at the time said that this was the first “major music video to be shot at a Marine base.”
Katy told MTV News at the time, “I got a fantastic person to work me out and get me into really good shape… On the actual base, I did a lot of things… I know how to carry my weight a little bit more.”
Part of Me was Controversial
While fans applauded Katy Perry for making a music video that was so motivational, not everyone was happy with it. Feminist writer Naomi Wolf was among the few critics who either thought that the music video was a propaganda piece for the marines or, as Wolf wrote on her personal Facebook, a “glorification of violence.”
Katy was proud of her work though, and she spoke about how humbling the experience had been. “As much as I was sore and exhausted, I was so educated on people in the service who I’ve always respected, but this time the respect goes beyond and above anything I could’ve imagined. The stuff that they go through, the loyalties and strengths that they all possess, it seems like they are seriously, not to sound weird, like the heart of America.”
Lt. Col. Jason Johnston, who is the director of the Marine Corps Motion Picture & Television Liaison Office in LA, also praised the music video. “Millions of people who probably have no exposure to the Marine Corps got a chance to see our female Marines and what they do,” he said. “So I thought that was pretty cool.”