By Jordan Rinard, Senior Staff Writer
It's been recently reported that Katy Perry will be performing the Super Bowl halftime show. This follows a statement where she said "I'm not the kind of girl who would pay to play the Super Bowl," referring to the fact the league forces acts to pay it in order to perform at the Super Bowl (because that's how they do).
The news comes at a time when the NFL is dying to have good PR (horribly mismanaging a crisis can do that to a company), so what better way to combat the current negativity regarding its perceived views on women (i.e. "Ray Rice video? What Ray Rice video? Buy our pink jerseys, ladies!") surrounding the sport with a musical act that is all about female empowerment with songs "Dark Horse," "Roar," "Part of Me" and "Firework," right?
The NFL has been hot and cold in regards to its bumbling around of Rice's case, while simultaneously being a big proponent of breast cancer awareness, more so than the other major North American sports. After a perfect storm of pressure resulting from the issues surrounding domestic violence and the sport, it seems as though the league has become wide awake to the concerns of its female fans (at least to the extent that they can hurt the bottom line).
However, bringing Perry aboard to do the Super Bowl halftime show seems slightly like pandering and hoping that bringing a musical act that has popularity across the board makes up for appearing to condone its players' actions in regards to domestic violence.
It can also be argued that NFL is maintaining society's status quo, as it is having a female artist perform for a sport that is mostly exclusive to men and is predominantly watched by men (not to mention the music industry's own history of presenting women in a certain way).
It feels so wrong, but Perry is the right fit for the league as she as has been an enormously successful artist. Her Teenage Dream album in 2010 was the first since Michael Jackson's Bad (1987) to have five No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 songs and was the first album by a female artist to do so. Success seems to be a part of her as she was listed in seventh place in Forbes 2013 list of "Top Earning Women in Music" while founding her own record label in 2014.
It is not like performing at the Super Bowl would be something alien to Perry, either. Per an Aug. 5 interview with Rolling Stone: "I just feel like people don't always come out to see live shows but people want to see my show. And it's sold out. People are responsive. It's being offered to me and I don't know if that will always be the case. It's exciting times to be able to sell out arenas in a time where people are blacking out arenas. You know what I'm saying? So be grateful for the opportunity now, because it may not always be that way. I may not always be here. So do it while you can."
Whatever the case may be on how we got Perry to perform at this year's halftime show at the Super Bowl, we will get to see her roar on one of the grandest stages in the world despite the fact that she is doing it for league trying to shed its much-deserved criticism.