Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake”
As Katy enters the dark labyrinth, she is lured to a lusciously red strawberry amongst the grim atmosphere. The strawberry acting as a metaphor of her sweet fame, she is as I said, lured between the walls that close in on her. As they close, Katy sings about her “falling from cloud nine” yet pushes the walls away with a powerful light. We watch as Katy proves to us that nothing keeps her down and cornered.
Soon after escaping the closing walls, Katy releases a flare from her breast, a symbolic beacon of “help” (Also reminiscent of the pyrotechnics used in Firework). She is then met by a child who is an artistic portrayal of her own, younger innocence. (We see later that the little girl gets on a bike labeled “KATHERYN”) The light surrounding the child and the dust flowing upward in comparison to the dark, downward-flowing dust around Katy shows us in how high of a regard she looks on her past.
Katy and her younger self travel down a hallway, toward a mirror. In the mirror, Katy sees the paparazzi crowding and photographing her. The child-Katy whom she is holding hands with is not in the mirror, leaving Katy alone against the hoard of media. As we catch a glimpse of the horrid faced media Katy struggles desperately to break through the mirror, leaving it in pieces.
Katy’s struggle leaves her impaired in a wheelchair, being pushed by child-Katy. Her difficulties in life obviously wore her down and left her feeling vulnerable. While trying to pass through a hospital-like passage, the two are blocked by cow-skulled, hospital uniformed men. Child-Katy steps forward while our Katy is weak, casting the “evil” or “bad” men away. This is Katy breaking through her mentally hard times, holding onto her innocence and purity.
After taking Child-Katy’s hand once more, (literally holding on to herself and her innocence) they find themselves out of the labyrinth. The wander into a lush, green bushed area, lathered with flowers of all colors and a handsome young man on a white Unicorn. The man steps down and Katy looks ecstatic to see him until he crosses his fingers behind his back. Katy then reacts by knocking him sideways with a beautiful punch to his cheek. We witnessed Katy’s refusal to let the men of her past, beautiful but cruel and double-crossing men, to bring her down.
The video itself takes place during the time of Katy Perry’s “Hot and Cold” and “California Girls” release, depicting that Katy was having inner self and life problems even during her rapidly rising fame. After watching her child-self ride away, Katy knows that while she may feel alone, she is strong and pure. She isn’t in her dreams or nightmares’ anymore… She said it herself; she is “Wide Awake”.