Katy goes to boot camp in just-premiered clip.
By James Montgomery
<P>There are probably about a dozen different ways to view <a href="http://www.mtv.com/videos/katy-perry/750667/part-of-me.jhtml#id=1681409">Katy Perry's "Part of Me" video</a>, which premiered Wednesday night (March 21) on MTV, and all of them are certainly valid: a deft recruiting tool, a feminist super-fantasy, a pop video on steroids, a vérité indie flick (Katy <i>acts</i>). No matter what your takeaway is, you're right. But for the sake of sanity, let's just examine it as a video, plain and simple. Because dang, it's a good video. </P><P> </P><P><center><embed src="http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:uma:video:mtv.com:750667/cp~vid%3D750667%26uri%3Dmgid%3Auma%3Avideo%3Amtv.com%3A750667" width="460" height="260" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" base="."></embed></center> </P><P> </P><P>Over the years, <a href="http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/perry_katy/artist.jhtml">Perry</a> has been a California Gurl, a nerdy teenager, an alien and just about everything in between, but up until now, she's never really been an actual <i>person.</i> (We'll do our best to ignore the old-person makeup in "The One That Got Away.") In "Part of Me," she does actuality to the hilt. As she told me when we <a href="/news/articles/1681466/katy-perry-part-of-me-behind-the-scenes.jhtml">sat down in London</a>, she worked overtime with boot-camp instructors to make the clip, practicing fireman carries and munching on MREs and getting in touch with her inner badass. And working with a cast that included nothing but actual Marines, she also was able to come face-to-face with the men and women who put their lives on the line for us — and she left with a newfound respect for that level of sacrifice. </P><P> </P><P>In that regard, "Part of Me" is unlike any pop video in recent memory. Rihanna did military chic in her "Hard" video (she even straddled a tank), and just about every one of Perry's pop contemporaries have ventured down the same path. But they were never really <i>in</i> the military; they were just making it more fabulous. Perry takes the opposite tact: She cuts off her hair, she eschews makeup, she fights, crawls, suffers. It's a commendable level of commitment. Your move, everybody else. </P><P> </P><P>Of course, you could look at "Part of Me" and get some icky chills — after all, it presents a very pop spin on the military — but since when has pop been a medium for the conscientious observer? Katy went to war and emerged with a video that is both <i>real</i> and really affecting. Of course, don't sign up expecting to meet someone like Private Perry; she's already completed boot camp. But can I introduce you to Private Germanotta? </P><P> </P><P><center><embed src="http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:uma:video:mtv.com:750769/cp~vid%3D750769%26uri%3Dmgid%3Auma%3Avideo%3Amtv.com%3A750769" width="460" height="260" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" base="."></embed></center> </P><P> </P><P><i>What did you think of Katy's new video? Let us know in the comments!</i></p>Related Videos