Kerry Perry’s “Blackface” Shoe Line To Be Pulled After Backlash – Women’s Health
11 February 2019 MUSIC
Pop singer Katy Perry, 34, is at the center of a controversy after two shoes from her Katy Perry Collection are reportedly about to be pulled because several people pointed out that they look like blackface.
The shoes in question are her “Rue Face Slip On Loafers” and the high-heeled, cut-out version called the “Ora Face Block Heel Sandal.” Both shoes feature two blue eyes, a triangle nose, and red lips over either a black or beige background.
Sources tell TMZ that Katy designed these shoes as part of a larger line, and they were never meant to be offensive. However, “in order to be respectful and sensitive, the team is in the process of pulling the shoes,” the source said. (Women’s Health reached out to Katy Perry Footwear for comment.)
On Twitter, people are having mixed reactions:
The controversy over Katy’s shoes comes not only in the middle of Black History Month, but on the heels of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring admitting they’ve worn blackface in the past. (Virginia Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment is the focus of another blackface scandal for editing a 1968 college publication containing slurs and blackface photos.)
Gucci also recently pulled a $890 women’s sweater with bright red cut-out lips that could be pulled up over the lower half of a person’s face. And in December, Prada apologized for featuring figurines and key chains that depicted monkeys with oversized red lips, although the company said on Twitter that the creatures were “not intended to have any reference to the real world and certainly not blackface.”
Katy Perry has received criticism for wearing cornrows and performing as a geisha in the past. “I’ve made several mistakes,” she said on the podcast Pod Save the People in 2017. “Even in the ‘This Is How We Do’ video, with how I wore my hair—[I had to have] a hard conversation with one of my empowered angels, Cleo [Wade, her stylist], about why I can’t wear my hair that way, or what is the history behind wearing the hair that way.”
“And she told me about the power in black women’s hair and how beautiful it is, and the struggle,” she continued. “And I listened, and I heard and I didn’t know. I will never understand some of those things because of who I am. But I can educate myself, and that’s what I’m trying to do along the way.”
Katy has yet to publicly address the controversy over her shoes.
Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more.