My friend Isha Aran over at Fusion said something recently that resonated with my whole entire spirit:
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s never trust a white lady sitting cross-legged on a white couch.
Aran went on to say: “They’re either trying to sell you crystal essences, or about to tell you you ‘look like an old soul’ because you’re brown, or they’re Katy Perry.”
So, does this mean never trust any white woman on any couch?
After seeing Katy Perry sit cross-legged on a white couch with activist and 2016 The Root 100 honoree DeRay Mckesson, trying to understand why no one likes her or her constant appropriation/problematic musical choices, I wondered ... can you trust this?
After all, Perry has a new album coming out, so she’s obviously on the promo trail. She’s tried all kinds of things to get our attention, to no avail: dancing with Migos, getting that white-girl-who-dates-black-men haircut. Maybe summoning the hip-hoppity demon from Miley Cyrus’ innards into her own soul didn’t stop us in our tracks, but this couch session with Mckesson did.
Perry has been participating in livestreams she calls Katy Perry Live: Witness World Wide. From June 9-12, Perry lived in a Big Brother-style house with cameras, having conversations with celebrities and thought leaders like Amanda Seales, Caitlyn Jenner and now Mckesson.
Perry needed to know how she could stop appropriating culture and, of course, tapped a black person to teach her how to be a decent human. As expected, folks dragged Perry, but people also took Mckesson to task, calling him a pawn in her game to sell records, and even criticizing him for joining Perry in taking off his shoes for the interview. Mckesson urged the critics to watch the whole two-hour interview before passing judgment, but I can’t give Perry that much of my life. I can’t.
But was there something about Perry’s posture, her casualness and shoelessness-on-“the good sofa” nature, that seemed very familiar?
Where had I seen it before?
And why did it bother me so?
Was it the casualness on good furniture giving me flashbacks to my own upbringing, where foot-on-couch meant ass-meets-switch?
Has home training evaded white women?
Is there some larger conspiracy—nay, couchspiracy—in which problematic white women prop up their feet on sofas and look you deeply in the eyes in order to convince you of their realness in some Get Out-style okey-doke to convince you that all is fine, all is good—only to try to steal your soul?
Is Katy Perry a witch, and are couches her broomsticks?
I’m just asking the hard questions here. The ones no one is asking but should.
Can you trust Katy Perry on this couch?
Can’t truss it.