Friday, July 13, 2012

Wide Awake - Katy Perry


Release year: 2012
Length: 4:37
Type of video: narrative; linear
Themes: inner child, expectations, difficulties, inner conflict


The video starts with Katy wrapping up the music video for California Gurls. She goes to her dressing room and, as she takes off her wig, she looks at her reflection in the mirror.  

Vines begin to cover a wall and now Katy has a purple dress and a cape and is standing in a stone maze. The maze is dark and foggy, she carries a lantern to help her find her way.

Even though the vines are dry, she comes upon one that has a strawberry. The walls begin to close up on her, in a different shot. She eats the strawberry and is able to push the walls away; her hands glow.

A spark raises from her chest and goes up into the sky like very much like the light from a flare gun.

A wall in the maze opens to show a little girl standing in a similar maze, but much brighter. The fog in Katy's maze tries to go inside the room from which the girl came, but can't

Katy and the little girl walk inside a hall full of mirrors. However, the girl's reflection is not visible in the mirrors. Katy's clothes are different now, she wears a peach dress. There's a mirror at the end of the hall and Katy stretches her hand to touch it, trying to find an exit. 

What she finds is a dozen men holding a cameras and taking photos of her. The men are scary-looking, much like Freddy Krueger. The floor starts to fall apart, so the little girl warns Katy, but Katy is too focused on the cameras' flashes. She pushes the mirror and it breaks into butterflies.

Katy is in a wheelchair and the little girl pushes her through a different hall. This new hall is white and so are Katy's clothes. She is holding a strawberry on her hand, but looks weak, almost catatonic. Two men walk toward her and the little girl. They have masks that resemble bulls

The little girl stares at them and stomps on the floor. The strength of her feet creates a tremor that knocks the men off their feet and wakes Katy. Katy stands up, takes the clothes she had to reveal a pink dress and grabs the girl by the hand. Both run through the exit door into a beautiful garden

In the garden, there is a Prince waiting for them on a horse. He gets down from the horse and approaches Katy, but he crosses his fingers behind him. Katy punches him and sends him flying up against a wall. The little girl watches amazed. They high-five over the knocked-out prince.

The once dark maze brightens. Katy hugs the little girl and the girl gives her something. The little girl runs towards a bicycle; she waves goodbye and rides away. Katy opens her hand to see what the girl left her: a blue butterfly. She is back in her dressing room and the butterfly flies away. She now has a red and white dress and goes on a stage to start a show.


While changing clothes after shooting a video, Katy's mind takes flight. She remembers all the hard, dark and scary times she has gone through; the maze that life has been at times. However, she also remembers there have been good times in between; the delicious and fragrant fruit she has been able to reap, her career, her success. 

It tells how her inner light (finding inner peace, a possible reference to "Firework") has invigorated her and made her strong enough to battle the obstacles that have come in her way. She comes upon a little girl, her younger self, her dreams, hopes and imagination, the things that have kept her going even in the darkest, most depressing times. 

It also shows her fears and how she has learned to deal with them; how her boogeyman is now the media and the power it has to shatter her world. She has had to battle her inner demons in order to find a way out of her own sadness and self-doubt. She discovered a beautiful garden within, a secret garden in which liars and deceivers are not allowed, in which she is powerful and independent.


Mirror: how you perceive yourself or how you want others to see you
Strawberry: love, happiness, and success
Purple: wealth and royalty
Pink: childish innocence
Peach: kindness, sympathy
Fog: prevents clear vision or thinking, isolation
Little girl: innocence, dreams
Butterfly: joy and bliss
Blue: tranquility, relaxation, and peace
White: purity
Minotaur (and his labyrinth): internal conflict
Garden: happiness, salvation, and purity

In Conclusion

Katy Perry's "Wide Awake" is about the inner and outer struggles Perry has gone through in life and how she has been able to overcome them and how her dreams, goals and inner child have helped her see the light in the darkness, tear down all the walls that have gotten in her way.

This is my view, do you agree or not? Is there anything you'd add? Let me know in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. Nice analysis. The song and the video reminds me all the things that I am going through. Thanks for being a follower to my blog. New post coming soon!