The music video for Chained to the Rhythm was released a few weeks ago!! And it did not disappoint, it fits the song perfectly and has a strong political message behind it (as Katy seems to be doing quite often and rightly so). I gave my first impressions of the song, read them here.
Visuals and Political Message
The video shows Katy entering into an exciting-looking and futuristic theme park. Theme parks are meant to all be about having fun and a good time but as she goes around she begins to notice things are not quite as they seem. Katy probably chose a theme park as the representation of this as people visit these to have fun but in fact could be putting their lives at risk for the thrill of the ride.
Everyone in the theme park are taking selfies which resonates with the lyric ‘living our life through a lens’. It is obvious that today we have a big problem with social media and some people can become so wrapped up in it that they do not live in the moment and miss their real life.
Katy looks around at the seemingly perfect park, where everyone is seen to be excited and having fun. We see the sign for the ‘The Great American Dream Drop’. This sign could very clearly tell us that the American dream is not as perfect as it may first seem, the ‘drop’ could imply that the real American dream has been lost and basically dropped. However we see a heterosexual couple enter a little home with a white picket fence; the use of the word ‘drop’ may imply that this ideal man marries woman and gets a home is dropped these days, it is not the way everyone wants to live and this is a good thing. However, it is more likely that this imagery of the straight couple in a white-picketed fence home is what is conveyed to the public as exciting. It is a ride – this is what you should want. Katy then pricks her finger when smelling the roses. This is the first indication that something is wrong, that the ideals of society may not be all that accurate and not all that great.
Men and women are then put together on a ride, seemingly showing how society is forced or tricked into thinking that men and women should be together when in reality people should be free to love and be with whoever they want. There is also the subtle dig at gender stereotypes on the seats of the ride. On the one chair there is a blue heart and on the other there is a pink heart, seemingly one for a girl and one for a boy. This is, again, something society has tricked us all into believing as all colours should be gender-neutral. This can also represent how society puts men and women in two seperate categories and places them differently just because of their gender. During the ride they go through a tunnel full of likes and emojis, reiterating the obsession with social media.
Katy does an AMAZING job of lip syncing whilst on a roller coaster!
The big message is the hamster wheel. That is portrayed as the big exciting ride at the theme park and people are queuing and robotically following the line towards it. Once they get there though it is only a giant hamster wheel. This could represent how everyone is just used as a cog in the machine. Or it could represent how people are running and feeling like they are ding something when in reality they are not doing or achieving anything.
The inferno water wasn’t something I was too sure about. I originally though it could link to the pollution and waste that is happening around the world. This would make sense in relation to Trumps beliefs of global warming not existing (it definitely does).
In the 3D cinema Katy sees it all, she notices how everyone is copying each other and doing the same thing whilst watching the seemingly ‘perfect’ nuclear family. Confusion starts for her as she questions why society follows trends and copies everyone else.
Then Skip Marley starts his verse in the TV and awakens Katy to the terrors of the manipulative society we live in. On the first few listens I did not enjoy Skip’s bit in the song but I really like it now coupled with the video as his lyrics are basically telling people to open their eyes and be different.
The ending of the video is a close up of Katy’s face on the hamster wheel. Her face says it all, she looks into the camera right at the viewer and shows us her fear and realisation that the world is currently a mess.
Wow! Katy’s new short pink hair looks soo good!! I have in fact got similar hair now too! Her hair changes from the cute, bouncy pink to blonde towards the end. This may be moving from an unrealistic prospective on the world (pink hair) to a more natural realised look. Or it could be a usual Katy hair change.
An important thing to note would be her costume. She starts in a futuristic, shell-white open dress then during the realisation from Skip she wears a silver metallic dress which is cut off on her shoulders. She ends in a metallic black zipped up jacket and trousers. This might be a bit far-fetched but these outfit choices could represent the political pop stance Katy is taking also. For example, she started out open and willing to believe anything she is told (the open pearly white dress), then she sheds this shiny outlook (silver shoulder dress) and it left at the end with a dark realisation. The final outfit may be zipped up to show how Katy will not just believe anything but be more cautious with what she is told.
Regardless of what the outfits may or may not mean, she looks fabulous in all of them.
Also, her eyebrows look awesome!
I really loved this video, I think the political message is amazing and portrayed in a very aesthetically pleasing way. Let me know what you think of the song and video in the comments!