Why you (and your daughter) should see Katy Perry’s movie.

on August 8, 2012 in Gal Stuff with 26 comments by

Well, at least my title was succinct. I’m known for my economy of words.

A few weeks ago, some friends and I loaded up and headed to see Katy Perry’s movie Part of Me. I’m a fan of the music documentary- especially pop musicians. If you haven’t seen Never Say Never – the documentary about the Biebs- do it.

The movie was in 3D which is annoying to me, but more annoying to my friend Nichole because she has a tiny head and the glasses slide down.

But it was a really good movie. I laughed. I cried. I sang along. I loved it.

And after seeing the movie, I have to say- I think you should see it. And I think you should take your teenage girl to see it.

The language isn’t all appropriate, and I’m not saying that I think you should watch the movie because every decision should be mimicked. Please don’t hear me saying that.

I think you need to watch the movie WITH your teen daughter because you need to talk about it.

Here’s why:

Katy was raised in a evangelical Christian home, even spent years writing music as a Christian artist. But she had questions and desires to make art outside of that box. It appears she felt trapped, y’all. Trapped in a religion and faith that she loved but felt confined by.

Is she right? Is she wrong?

You know what? That’s not the question.

The question is: Is your daughter feeling the same things in your home? 

THAT is the question.

Katy, who I think would say she is a believer, married a non-Christian. During the film, you watch their genuine love for each other fall apart and lead to divorce because of distance and time and who knows what else.

Somebody needs to talk to your daughter about that. About choosing a career, choosing a husband, choosing a life.

Did Katy make the wrong choice? Did she make the right choice? Again, not the question and frankly, not our business.

The question is: How is your daughter going to process similar decisions that will come?

THAT is the question.

Watching this sweet girl go from a mediocre Christian musician to worldwide absolute superstar led to many-a-convo in our friend group about what happens when someone leaves their belief system and then becomes a mega-celebrity. Right? See the question there?

Your daughter is thinking about that. Or the girls in your small group are. They are wondering why Katy hit the big time after she walked away from Jesus, they are wondering why she cries when she has everything the world could offer, they are wondering where she stands in her faith.

We can’t have all those answers. But we can talk about it. Conversations with teenagers don’t always require solutions- sometimes just sharing sentences is solution enough.

Let me tell you this, I’m a Katy Perry fan. In fact, I hope that we become friends one day. I don’t know where she stands in her faith and I know that this is a movie that is meant to make you a bigger Katy Perry fan and tell you her side of the story. I get all of that.

But on another level, this is about a girl who was raised in a evangelical Christian home, maybe a lot like yours, and she shares the inside track on why that didn’t work for her.

That’s some serious stuff, y’all.

I know it is hard to talk to your gal about this kind of stuff. So we adults probably owe Katy a big thanks [and a movie ticket purchase] for making the kind of documentary that creates common space to talk for Christian women and Christian teen girls.

I think, when watched together, the movie can open a lot of conversations in your home that your teen daughter probably is wanting to have with someone. Why not you?

. . . . .

Have you seen Part of Me? What do you think?

26 comments

  1. posted on Aug 08, 2012 at 9:36 AM  |  reply

    Annie – I am EXCITED to see the discussions that this post sparks. I am not a mother, but I work with teens (esp. teen girls) and I love instances where we can discuss Christianity in contexts outside of Sunday School and Bible Study. I have used Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, Emily Dickinson’s poetry and scores of other “pop culture” issues to discuss faith and why we have it and what it means to us personally and to the world at large. I am praying that this post opens doors for moms and teens and youth leaders and aunts and cousins to talk. To just talk. Thank you for your insight.

    • Annie
      posted on Aug 08, 2012 at 9:54 AM  |  reply

      Thanks, Abbigial. I agree- it’s not about having all the answers necessarily (though there is absolute truth in this world), but it’s about having the conversations.

  2. posted on Aug 08, 2012 at 9:39 AM  |  reply

    Annie, thank you for this post – so so much. I am a huge proponent of asking questions, especially when it comes to our beliefs. And I think God honors a heart that seeks to really know him. But I must say, my father’s legalistic-judgmental-knowitall voice still follows me, even to your blog, with a “Katy Perry this” and a “Katy Perry that” (I’ve seemed to misplace my judgment-font). But this post was good. God is working on healing me and preparing me, and today he used your blog. Just thought you should know.

    • Annie
      posted on Aug 08, 2012 at 9:56 AM  |  reply

      I hear ya, Christine. Again, this isn’t about using her as a role model for a teen Christian girl, though I do think she has done a lot of good things and is to be admired in a lot of ways.

      It’s more about realizing that this movie offers us an easy open door to talk about things with younger gals. I’m always looking for those kinds of open doors.

      • posted on Aug 08, 2012 at 10:48 AM  |  reply

        Yeah, def. I’ve worked with many a teen girl throughout life, and this not-so-teen girl is still learning what seemingly little things can do to open up years of discussion for all ages. God can use just a moment to open our eyes. Just like today, with your post, God’s using it. And maybe if my father’s voice wasn’t still following me, maybe I wouldn’t be asking questions, maybe I wouldn’t be responding to your post, maybe I wouldn’t be seeking God more. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think having a voice like my father’s follow me around is a good thing. I could’ve let it defeat me and turn me bitter toward Christ and his followers (and I’ve battled with this some – probably not unlike Katy Perry). But I continue to learn that God uses the good and the non-good, and I do love to see his redemptive prowess at work. He’s such a rockstar. I love being proud of him.

  3. posted on Aug 08, 2012 at 10:07 AM  |  reply

    I’ve been wanting to see this but haven’t had a chance yet. I’ve been fascinated with Katy Perry for a while, given I remember her during her Christian music days. Now I know I need to go see the movie.

  4. posted on Aug 08, 2012 at 10:15 AM  |  reply

    Ahhhhh yes!! I wrote a similar piece a couple of weeks ago – http://www.carisadel.com/874/katy-perry-christian-bubble/ – about why she felt she had to leave Christianity to find life, and that we need to take notice of that. What are we doing in the church to push ppl out?

    I was talking about this movie with another mom and she wasgoing on about how awful KP is and how she doesn’twant her to be a role model for her daughter. Yes there are things and lyrics I wouldn’t want my daughters emulating – but there is so much good in KP. She knows who she is and won’t be pushed around. She struggled for years instead of selling out. She had the strength to look for authenticity and she gives acceptance. She has a lot of good things that the church could learn from. I am such a big fan of hers 🙂

  5. posted on Aug 08, 2012 at 10:15 AM  |  reply

    As the Mom to two young women, let me say this…. “you nailed it girl!” Thanks for speaking up and speaking into the lives of young Christian women!!
    And yes, I’m taking my young women to this movie.

  6. Alexandra Kuykendall
    posted on Aug 08, 2012 at 10:53 AM  |  reply

    Annie,

    I hope you don’t mind I’m going to quote you in my workshop at the MOPS Convention on Friday about Raising Girls, What Our Daughters Need to Hear From Us. The audience will be moms of younger girls, not ones that will go see this movie, but such a great example of culture doesn’t always have to be bad, it can offer an opportunity for discussing what is truth, healthy living and consequences to decisions. The more we talk to our girls the better our relationships with them. We don’t need to live in fear of the world but be honest about x decision often has y consequence.

  7. posted on Aug 08, 2012 at 11:06 AM  |  reply

    Thanks for this, Annie. I’m sad to say I completely shrugged off Katy Perry’s movie with my nose in the air the first time I heard about it. It’s easy to dismiss “pop stars” and blame them for cultural problems without remembering they are people underneath. I’m thankful for people like you who can look past maybe the more annoying parts of a movie like this and find what God might be teaching us. I’m going to pray for her today.

  8. Lyndsey
    posted on Aug 08, 2012 at 11:47 AM  |  reply

    I LOVED this! I went to see movie with my mom and 15 year old stepdaughter. It was fascinating to see Katy’s journey and I, too, left with questions of what happened. The most heart breaking was watching her cry over her marriage. To me, this movie brought up so many talking points. Excellent post, Annie!

  9. posted on Aug 08, 2012 at 12:09 PM  |  reply

    This is so helpful, Annie! You give moms/small group leaders/mentors just the right tools (and a push!) to do what NEEDS to be done for our girls. My 18-year-old has talked about seeing it–I think I’ll ask her if I can tag along. Thanks!

  10. posted on Aug 08, 2012 at 12:32 PM  |  reply

    Wow, I’m definitely going to be checking out the Katie Perry Movie now.

  11. posted on Aug 08, 2012 at 1:54 PM  |  reply

    Um, THANK YOU!! After most Christian articles I’ve read have said “stay far, far away,” it’s nice to hear great, valid reasons why we should see this movie and introduce our daughters to it. I haven’t seen it, but it seems like after reading what you said, that Katy Perry is still searching. Definitely praying that she finds God again. She could be/is a great role model.

  12. Gracie
    posted on Aug 08, 2012 at 3:04 PM  |  reply

    That was really good, Annie! You are such a fantastic writer. I love the topics you address. This really sparked my curiosity, and as a teen girl, I think I’ll go see it with a few of my Christian girlfriends! Maybe we can make a Bible study of it! Thanks, lady! 😀 God bless you always!

  13. Susan
    posted on Aug 08, 2012 at 3:46 PM  |  reply

    Well said, Annie, as usual. I think parents need to be willing to “go there” with their teens and talk about difficult topics, topics that may make Mom or Dad even a bit uncomfortable. It they’re willing, then their teen might be willing to be more open with his or her thoughts or feelings. Conversations between teens and their parents are a positive start. Haven’t considered seeing the movie, but might ask my daughter if she desires to see it. If so, I’m game!

  14. posted on Aug 08, 2012 at 7:44 PM  |  reply

    That’s it. I’m totally seeing this now.

  15. posted on Aug 09, 2012 at 8:56 AM  |  reply

    great stuff! my wife and my daughter saw this flick and such great teaching opp’s…Plus…i’m a huge fan of the Bieb’s movie. super good.

  16. Denise
    posted on Aug 09, 2012 at 10:58 AM  |  reply

    So excited to find this blog. A wonderful tool for Mom’s with teenagers. Can’t wait for the release of your new book from Zondervan .

  17. posted on Aug 09, 2012 at 4:23 PM  |  reply

    Annie, thank you for being SO funny. I laughed out loud at your first two sentences. Seriously, though, I loved this post. As a college student raised in an evangelical home, I’m with you—just the conversation is SO important. Usually I’m not looking so much for answers as for empathy. And now I want to go see this movie—maybe I will 🙂

  18. posted on Aug 10, 2012 at 1:58 PM  |  reply

    This is so good, thanks for reminding us to be brave. My daughter is 2, so I probably won’t take her, but these convos are so helpful beyond the mother-daughter relationship too. So thanks=)

  19. posted on Aug 10, 2012 at 4:18 PM  |  reply

    Fascinating review! I don’t have a daughter, but I’d love to take my niece and have those conversations! Thanks for the recommendation!!!

  20. posted on Aug 12, 2012 at 9:23 PM  |  reply

    I’m no gal, but that doesn’t scare me off.

    You’re right on with this post Annie. Well said.

  21. posted on Aug 12, 2012 at 10:04 PM  |  reply

    I had no idea that movie was even out, but I will definitely check it out. By the way, I am about to start leading a bible study/book club for the middle school girls on your book!! Thank you for being so transparent and showing how ever part of our body is used to glorify our creator!!

  22. posted on Aug 17, 2012 at 6:58 AM  |  reply

    Annie, brave you are. I so appreciate your thinking here. As a mother of a tween who is pushing the limits and veering from conversations she perceives as wrong ie. realizes the space between our family beliefs and what she is seeing and thinking about, I see the value of finding ways to connect and converse. These are big issues- and we as believers need to be able to see through the perceived “offenses” and into the core of what really matters. We need to be brave enough to talk about it all . I think IMHO many (myself at times too) have been fearful or distracted by the obvious and continue to miss the common ground that would lead to discussions where we are stretched and challenged to apply GRACE and truth. OK, I think I am done now. What I want to say is your post is brilliant! Thanks for sharing.

  23. posted on Jun 29, 2013 at 10:11 PM  |  reply

    I watched this movie with my tween daughter a few days ago. Your post completely expressed my thoughts on this film. The in depth and emotional discussion we enjoyed, both during and after the movie, made it a fantastic choice for parent/child viewing. *BTW – its on Netflix now – we were able to stop and talk and start again *
    I loved talking with my daughter about KP’s Christian roots. Watching her live out her choices and the price paid for some of her decisions was powerful. We talked about it all – even remarking how interesting it is that she became successful with the song “I Kissed a Girl”. I believe KP is a Christian and still has a heart for God. I will watch to see how her life story plays out in the years to come. Great post Annie. Happy to have stopped by.

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