Last week, while on a trip to Los Angeles, I saw Katy Perry out with her friends at a popular restaurant.
I wanted to say “hello” to her, not only because it would have been cool to have been able to say that I met Katy Perry—but more than anything I wanted to say “hi,” give her a hug, and tell her that I’m rooting for her.
I don’t know what it’s like to live the life of a celebrity, nor do I care to experience it. Every time I’ve gone to L.A., I’ve had a blast—but I’m not living the life of a celebrity or being chased by the paparazzi. I am personally fascinated by the paparazzi, the flashing lights, the food, the people, and everything about the pop culture scene, but I don’t have to live my life in front of an audience on a daily basis.
A few months ago, I was browsing Netflix and came across Katy Perry’s documentary, Part of Me. Don’t judge me, but I watched it. I was never a huge fan of Katy Perry, but I liked a few of her songs and was intrigued by her enough to start watching her documentary. And after being captivated by the movie, 90-minutes later I had a whole new view of Katy Perry and celebrities in general. I thought this documentary might offer some insight into Katy’s life and her as a person, but it opened my eyes more than I would have imagined.
Part of Me follows Katy around the world on her international tour. It shows the tour preparation, the practices and long hours, the tour itself, and the backstage interactions. It shows Katy with her family and friends, interviews with many of them, highlights from her marriage to Russell Brand, and when her marriage crumbles.
This documentary exposed the truth about “celebrity”. What we see on E! and award shows may look glamorous, but in reality, it is not. Celebrities are just like the rest of us. They struggle with life, relationships, and their careers, but instead of rolling through life with the people they’re closest to, they live out their lives on television, on the big screen, and in magazines.
What I loved the most about Part of Me is that it exposed the real human struggle, and the depth of the struggle that celebrities encounter. The brokenness that Katy feels when someone hurts her is countered by the beautiful joy she experiences with she sees the smile of a doting fan at one of her shows. And throughout every experience, you see her striving to do what is right. But, just like the rest of us, she falls—quite often.
The film unveils the mystifying paradox that every human experiences—the contrast between the beautiful joy and the painful brokenness of every human person—and throughout shows the search for meaning and purpose that every person experiences.
Katy Perry says in the film, “If you have a dream, you’ve gotta go on a journey to fulfill that dream.”
Life is a journey, no matter who you are. We all deal with the beauty and pain of life throughout our search for meaning, but celebrities have to experience this struggle on the cover of People magazine.
So, next time you’re judging Katy Perry or another celebrity who is plastered all over the magazine covers in the grocery story, remember that the struggle is real.
P.S. Dear Katy—I’m rooting for you.