They say a woman who changes her hair is about to change her life. Katy Perry hacks off most of her natural locks in the new music video for "Part of Me," so her shift in life? Joining the Marines.
The Ben Moore-directed clip was shot, in part, over three days at Marine Corps base Camp Pendleton in San Diego, where Perry was put through a series of combat training exercises, shooting guns, lifting logs and lip-syncing beneath a gigantic American flag, throwing in some literal "bombs" and "blows."
The clip opens up with Perry listening to a fictional celebrity interview on the radio that obviously reflects on her disintegrated relationship with now-ex-husband Russell Brand; we learn that her character in the video was inspired to join the armed services after the crash-and-burn ending of a relationship with a boyfriend. Perry told MTV that she wanted a video that was an "affirmation of strength" after a relationship that took it out of her. "I wanted go the strongest route I possibly could."
That route began with her chopping off all her hair (a la "G.I. Jane"), embracing her hoodied androgyny ("The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo") wrapping her infamous boobs with gauze (a la... "Shakespeare in Love" [???]) and crying into a sink before handing over her clothes and preparing to mouth "Yes drill sergeant" for as many times as it took. The inspiration was a bumper sticker: "All women are created equal, then some become Marines."
In this case, enlisting was a source of self-esteem, encourages a sense of community among other women. Marines are tough, their part of America's pride. But part of the video's oddness was Perry's degenderizing -- and the co-option of a military institution.