Katy Perry took a swipe at Britney Spears' mental health
by Jeremy Mersereau
February 13, 2017
Perry poked fun at that time Britney Spears shaved her head. Her fans were not impressed.
Putting aside Adele shutting Beyoncé of the top award categories, A Tribe Called Quest’s performance, and Cee Lo Green cosplaying as some kind of third-string Marvel villain, the 2017 Grammys were a mostly bloodless, rote affair as per usual, confirming that some major artists’ decision to sit this year out was the correct one. Not even the grim reality of President Donald Trump could stir up much genuine off-script fervor (well, aside from Busta Rhymes and Bey anyway) during Music’s Biggest Night™, so we’ll have to settle with some Britney Spears/Katy Perry red carpet drama to fill in the necessary water cooler discussion this week. Oh well, anything beats talking about fucking Carpool Karaoke: Cardboard Edition.
Katy Perry, who would go on to perform “Chained To The Rhythm” in front of a projection of the U.S. Constitution (ugh, I guess that passes as a ‘political statement,’ if only just), angered a broad swathe of Britney Spears fans when she appeared to make light of Spears’ 2007 mental health struggles, which, you may remember, involved Spears behaving erratically and sporting a shaved head for a short period during a tumultuous time in her career and personal life.
While being interviewed on the Grammys red carpet, Perry was asked about taking a break between albums, to which she replied, “that’s called taking care of your mental health.” When Ryan Seacrest asked her further about the break, Perry said “Fantastic. And I haven’t shaved my head yet.” In another interview, Perry again referenced the shaved head thing, while talking about her hair: “The only thing left to do is shave my head, which I’m really saving for a public breakdown. I’m down for that. I’m almost moments away from that, obviously.”
Pretty innocuous, right? Well, not according to Spears fans, who took to social media to castigate Perry for the tactlessness of referencing their once and future pop queen’s high-profile past troubles.
Hm, as impartial a source as @DailySpears might be, they might have a point: is it ever acceptable to joke about mental health struggles, even a decade later? No, but who knows, maybe Perry was referencing some other ultra-famous popstar shaving their head for a reason other than mental issues. I…can’t think of who that might be, but the possibility exists, probably.