Miley Cyrus Katy Perry recently dropped a new music video for her single Bon Appetit (featuring Migos). At first viewing, it appears as if the video is reinforcing the objectification of women and beauty. The video depicts Perry as an object for literal consumption (hilariously, some in the comments section feel as if the video is promoting cannibalism). However, I saw the video as an example of how white, innocent femininity is fetishized.  Furthermore, the creators of the video seem to be conscious of this social structure and actually push back against it in the video.
One of the first scenes of the video displays a neon “NSFW” sign, meaning either Not Safe For Work (because of graphic or sexual content) or maybe even Not Safe For Women. This is no doubt part of Perry’s increased politicization and “exploration of her sexual liberation” within her music and self expression.  Still, this may not be the NSFW initially expected. When looked through the lens of this class, Perry’s video actually includes many traditional ideas of white femininity. However, instead of pairing that white femininity with innocence, Perry’s video equates it directly with sexual desire (hence the name, Bon Appetit). More than half of the video is dedicated to preparing Perry (to be consumed both literally and sexually). She is dropped in flour, kneaded (massaged), seasoned and garnished, and boiled. Throughout this entire process, she mostly maintains the stereotype of white femininity and therefore white beauty. She has clear, pale skin and long braided hair, although, she doesn’t have the slenderness–indicative of sexual unavailability (as desired by modeling agencies).  Through this point in the video, there is nothing suggesting anything of this being more than just another use of white femininity as beauty capital to sell something (in this case, just to get you to listen to a damn song).
The second half of the video, however, begins to push up against any prior messages sent. Perry’s long hair gets chopped off, rather roughly, with a knife. This is the first indication of Perry not simply being an innocent, white female embodiment of beauty. The video really gets interesting when she is served up in an event seemingly attended exclusively by older wealthy men and women. Shots of the event attendees turning her way interestingly exclude their gazes (maybe to increase the ambiguity of what really is being desired here–i.e. maybe it’s about power and class, not sex). Still, it is obvious that Perry has captivated the room. At this point, Migos do their verse in the song (no doubt part of white artists’ use of black hip hop artists to make their song cooler–but that’s another topic), which ends with one of them pulling a trap that binds the people who are sitting around Perry. At this point, a pole rises out around Perry’s groin area (for lack of a better term), suggesting a complete undoing of her femininity. With the guests tied up, the chefs enter the room and slaughter them ruthlessly with kitchen knives. The end of the video shows Perry alone at a table with a meat pie composed of the guests’ limbs. This striking image serves as a complete reversal of roles; the object of consumption consuming the consumer.
 Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture and the Body by Susan Bordo
”Size zero high-end ethnic: Cultural production and the reproduction of culture in fashion modeling” by Ashley Mears