Katy Perry‘s video for ‘Wide Awake‘ is autobiographical. While the song, which references the difficult process of letting go of a relationship (even though she says it’s not about Russell Brand), the video shows us Katy then and Katy now, as she straddles the line between the light and the dark.
It’s certainly metaphorical, as we see her in different phases and at different points in her life. It’s one-part graphic novel, one-part fairytale and one-part Katy Perry’s life story, come together and to life on screen.
The ‘Wide Awake’ video begins with Perry filming the ‘California Gurls’ video, laying in a pink cotton candy cloud while wearing a frosty lavender wig. She grabs a robe and heads to her dressing room and de-wigs. She stares into the mirror and light quickly switches to dark and fluff becomes serious.
A gothic-styled Katy of the past then appears on screen, and we don’t mean Katy as Katheryn Hudson the teenager or young woman. It’s fairytale-style Katy, with black and purple hair and crimson lips, standing in front of stone wall while holding a lantern. She’s from another era, looking a bit like a character from ‘Snow White,’ in perhaps a nod to Perry’s old, romantic soul. She grabs a strawberry and chomps on the forbidden fruit as a star bursts from her chest. Is that Katy Perry, pop superstar? Could be.
The next version of Perry we meet is a little girl in pink, who presses her hands against that of the older Katy, who is then in a wheelchair, with strawberry in hand, being pushed down a hospital corridor by her youthful self. It reminds us of Lady Gaga‘s institutionalized stint in the ‘Marry the Night‘ video.
The pair bursts into a world of flowers and a Prince Charming perched on a unicorn (!!!) greets them. But no, adult Katy and the Prince don’t ride off into the sunset. She cleans his clock with a nasty punch to the face.
Before the video ends, mini Katy places something into elder Katy’s hand. When she opens it, it’s a butterfly and next thing we know, we’re back in her dressing room and then on the stage.