The word "feminist" has myriad connotations and as a result, many girls and women are hesitant to embrace the label. Katy Perry used to be one of those women and in her latest YouTube video, she talks about the good friend who taught her what feminism really means.
"One time, I said I wasn't a feminist because I didn't know what the word meant," the 32-year-old singer reveals. "I was raised with this idea that it was just these angry women that were, like, not shaving their pits and burning their bras. And the reality is that if you look up the word 'feminist' in the dictionary, it really just says someone that wants equality for women. That's it."
Perry says a close friend changed her life when she pulled her aside for an honest conversation about feminism. "She said 'I love you so much and I just want to explain what this word [feminism] means,'" Perry recalls. "You can do that with your friends. That changed my life forever and I'll be forever grateful for it."
The singer and her dinner party guests, which included the likes of Sia, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, and poet Cleo Wade, also discussed sexual empowerment through the lens of feminism.
Perry says she went through a phase where she over-sexualized herself without feeling or knowing her sexual power. "I used it as a manipulative tool, unfortunately," she says.
Sia's response perfectly sums up how feminism and sexual empowerment go hand in hand: "The question is, are you sexy for yourself or are you seeking validation from outside sources?"
Jenkins, who recently had the most successful opening weekend for a movie directed by a woman, gave hope to young women everywhere by sharing the knowledge that women between the ages of 50 and 70 are the happiest: "They're sexual and happy and falling in love and having a great time," she explained.