• notcharliefromhowtobeadadcom

    Blammo. And by that I mean, the tropes of cool and uncool are undone. We are a self-defining generation.

  • Kate F

    Wow, that video is so stupid and insulting–you’re right, the song could have accompanied something so much stronger and more empowering.

  • Heather Armstrong

    I bow down to the athletic regimen you must have lived through.

  • http://www.absentmindedhousewife.com/ The Absent Minded Housewife

    As a former marching band flag and band bus makeout champion I just want to say that I’m still avoiding Katy Perry.

  • http://virtuallori.com virtuallori

    Exactly. Girls need more images of working together rather than being bimbos.

  • cck

    Can I make a suggestion? I want to see more than just cheerleaders – I want to see the girls on the debate team, the soccer team, the spirit team, student government, honor society… I want to see girls working together. Because we did. Because we are.

  • Heather Armstrong

    “Band bus makeout champion” deserves a BRAVO!

  • Gem Wilder

    I got tears in that last paragraph. So good! And I want to see that documentary. You should totally watch First Position. Ballet rather than cheerleading, but it has a lot of what you’ve just described.

  • Kk.

    This post coming from a song that Katy didn’t even write (just like Firework), but rather wants to cash in on the current “empowerment” songs because they’re hot on the radio right now. Nothing against you, Heather, but it just irks me when people are so stupid enough to believe into the bullshit that this girl puts out (Katy). She doesn’t give a fuck about what people are going through, she just wants their $1.29.

  • Ann

    Long time reader, first time commenter.
    Part of why I enjoy this website is that your girls are the same ages as my oldest and youngest (I threw an extra in the middle because I’m crazy!)
    Just yesterday morning, I made the exact same video of all 3 girls singing along at breakfast (morning dance parties are standard in this house.)
    Love this post. Love your idea. And thank you for putting it all into words!

  • Andrea Shipman

    Get on it Internet! Make that video happen. And I would say the same goes for Dance, Softball and Soccer teams! I am not a Katy Perry fan but watching Marlo sing that song makes me love it already.

  • Jessie

    My pregnancy hormones must have kicked in, because I CRIED when I saw the video, I was so disappointed. My kids like her songs, and (some) of them are a great empowerment/be true to yourself anthems. This video……….does NO credit to the song and it’s a shame. Side note: I give mad props to cheerleaders, marching bands, musical theatre kids, etc……….. because I can’t even walk and chew gum without messing one part of it up (Two left feet HOLLA).

  • KristenfromMA

    Agreed. Plus, whenever I hear her voice, all I can think is “Auto-Tune.”

  • Heather Armstrong

    Katy actually did help write the song:

    A lot of pop songs are written collaboratively. And then she says this about it:

    “I wrote it because I was sick of keeping all these feelings inside and not speaking up for myself, which caused a lot of resentment.

    “Obviously I’ve been through a lot of therapy since my last record and that’s what this is about.”


    Admitting to therapy? That’s huge. Opens the door for someone else to get therapy. You’re assuming she doesn’t give a fuck and that it’s just bullshit which is exactly what I’m trying to speak out against here.

  • ThatGirl

    So you’re saying that you think most singers out there are concerned about what people are going through? Really? I think they like to sing. And make money. Katy Perry appears to be good at both. Nothing wrong with that.

    I would agree that the video was a huge disappointment. That song was begging for so much more….

  • Jessie

    I don’t care if she had the song written by someone else, or because it’s the “IT” thing. I’d much rather listen to positive lyrics on the radio with my kids instead having to listen to Disney songs on loop (one can only listen to “Under the sea” SO MANY TIMES). Music can touch and influence peoples moods, no matter if it’s “just an auto-tune pop-star”. Good grief, I’ll gladly give her my $1.29 to keep “empowerment is the hot new thing” trending, instead of over crap like a guy who sings about girls blowing his whistle.

  • lyndal

    I swear that when this song first came out there was a different video clip and it was funny and cute – lots of talking in text with pictures to go along with the words etc from memory…. and whilst i might have thought gee that clip was made in a hurry it was a million times better than the current amazon crapola one thats on high repeat now.

  • kmpinkel

    Makes no difference to me who wrote the song. I don’t think she (Katy Perry) is cashing in on it for a buck. She has written songs on her own that were empowerment centered. And even if she did, life is what you make it and all of us can cash in on these lyrics, whether for ourselves or our children. Quit the hatin’ and show yourself and kids a better, stronger side. From a former cheerleader, thanks for the shout out. And I was on the debate team,too!

  • http://www.absentmindedhousewife.com/ The Absent Minded Housewife

    I can’t resist tuba lips.

    Besides, the FFA trips were smellier and therefore less romantic.

  • Kk.

    These days you can get writing credits for changing ONE word, you can also just buy writing credits (which Katy has been known to do in the past). So don’t even start with her writing her own music, unless you consider changing a couple words in a song that was already prewritten, writing a song.

    She’s also admitted to wanting to commit suicide after her divorce. She’s just playing on things that are going on in the world right now. Am I the only one that is not blinded by her fakeness? I would understand her being brave if she were talking about these things (suicide and therapy) if she weren’t also promoting a single and album in the next sentence, but she’s not.

    You’ll also recall she “wrote” a song titled “Ur so Gay” where she tells someone to hang them-self with their scarf.

  • Chelsie Young

    I felt the same way about this song! And the video. My daughter (6) has been off-treatment for leukemia for a year, one of her dear friends passed away this summer from the disease and another (who actually spoke at the funeral) just relapsed. I think of these sweet babies each time I listen to this song. On the other hand- my daughter LOVES this video. She’s too young to connect any of the lyrics and imagery. She thinks its about how Katy Perry had a rude boy for a friend and then made friends with fun animals. Also- there are pretty flowers.

  • Tiffany

    My daughter plays high school varsity water polo. She practices 4-6 hours a day (we joke that chlorine is her perfume), and I think that female athletes don’t get nearly the credit they deserve. It’s getting better, just not there yet. But those girls.. can I tell you how much they rock? They are so proud of themselves, and each other, and they wear their school colors so proudly, too.
    But when you hear someone complain about paying $2 to watch a ladies’ game, but say nothing about paying $10 for a guys’ football game, it sucks.. and don’t think the girls don’t hear it, too.
    Go Acalanes Dons!

  • Chelsea

    I’ve never understood why people get so annoyed by singers recording songs that they only co-wrote, or didn’t write at all. Do you feel the same way about actors, who (most of the time) don’t write the movies they’re in?

  • Heather Armstrong

    My hope is that if she did experience suicidal thoughts after her divorce she would think twice about writing that song lyric going forward (that song was written long before her divorce). I’m not saying she’s the brave voice of depression or the perfect pop star, but when you’re being interviewed about a single you’ve just released, you could just say, “It’s about empowering women,” but she went a step further and admitted to going through therapy. Over a divorce. That’s a lot to reveal, especially coming from someone whose every word is going to be scrutinized.

    Do you know how much of that song she *didn’t* write? And why does it matter anyway if the song itself uplifts so many people?

  • Amanda R.

    I am totally with you and I think that’s an awesome idea. I used to love watching the cheerleading finals on TV in the ’90s (do they still air those? I’m not a teenager anymore so I have no idea). Those girls do some amazing shit, and HELL YES they are athletes.

  • Amanda R.

    OMG, the brass players were the BEST kissers. I am totally nostalgic about making out on the band bus, lame as that may be.

  • Amy Gomoljak

    I was watching a cheerleading competition one time and a girl got a tooth knocked out mid-routine AND SHE FINISHED THE DAMN ROUTINE! I don’t really care what I’m doing, if I get my tooth knocked out while I’m doing it, I’m probably not going to finish doing it OR do it ever again.

  • http://www.lifeofjill.com/ jill (mrschaos)

    Does it really matter WHO wrote this? At the end of the day it is a song that (hopefully) empowers girls to kick ass. Even if it’s not your type of music, it’s a mainstream, much listened to song that makes girls like my two daughters feel a little badass. (And yes, I was equally disappointed in the video. I pictured a boxing ring. Which is weird, because I hate boxing.)

  • http://www.lifeofjill.com/ jill (mrschaos)

    I saw that! Closed-mouth smile and all…crazy!

  • Brigid

    The young women in this video and who are cheerleaders in college and high school are astounding.

    But the other day my 5yo said she wanted to do cheerleading in her afterschool program, and I think I surprised both of us by saying no. I didn’t think it was fair that (as it was in this program) only boys played sports, only girls were cheerleaders, and the purpose of the girls activity was to support the boys’. I can’t let my young daughter start thinking that her social role and athletic strength are dictated by how she as a girl relates to the boys.

  • Virginia

    Play the Katy Perry song while watching the cheerleading video on mute. There is a video right there. I was amazed by how well they went together.

  • Niki W

    I dunno, I dated an oboe player who could have taught the horn players a thing or two…

  • http://www.courtneyolson.com courtney

    Those songwriters are being paid HANDSOMELY for all the success Katy has had with this song, and they will continue being paid for as long as this song gets played, and sold, and synced with other forms of media. So, forever. I don’t think any one of them minds AT ALL that she has “cashed in” on it, whether she co-wrote or not. And anyway, that really wasn’t the point, was it? The point is that THE SONG is positive and appropriate for young girls to hear and sing, and it just would have been really great if the video had lived up to its potential.

    And me? As not-a-mother, (and after only watching through the first chorus) I totally see what she was doing with the video. It was literal in some ways and metaphorical in others, and it is probably getting more views than cheerleaders would have (don’t we all see those at our own schools every weekend anyway?), and thus, probably a good business decision. That doesn’t mean she didn’t miss an opportunity here.

    Heather, if you haven’t heard it yet, you should check out Sara Bareilles’ “Brave.” The video isn’t exactly what you’re looking for in “Roar,” but it’s fun in that it’s got people of all shapes, sizes, and colors, in all different settings, letting loose and dancing and simply being themselves. That’s not a bad message.

  • Christy Neuschwander

    I love this post.

  • issascrazyworld

    I don’t know which I love more, Marlo’s adorable voice or the way Leta sings all the words silently so her sister can sing.

    If anyone can get some cheerleaders to make a video to this song, it’d be you. Ahem. ;)

  • Amy

    You seem to have a lot pent up negativity towards Katy Perry Kk. You know she’s a pop star right? What famous person opens up about personal stuff when they don’t have something to promote? It doesn’t make it less truthful or honest.

    “Ur So Gay” is a really horrible song. But the line you are referring to is wishing someone died from autoerotic asphyxiation. Not suicide.

  • Jelena M

    Personally, I prefer “Firework” to this one. I am not saying “Roar” is a bad song; in fact, I am guilty of singing it way to often.

    But “Firework”…?
    Maaaaaaaaaan …! Do I get all fired up (pun intended), trow my arms in the air, feel all sort of brave and teary-eyed at the same time. I want to shout it from the rooftop!
    And I can sit down (or jump around, is more probable…) with my two girls, all happy and tingly, and just a little sad that there was nothing like that when I was growing up and nobody to tell me , “So what if your but is a little bit bigger…? Put that bathing suit on, girl, and go have fun!”

    And “Firework” video…? That’s some emotion-inducing machine, that shit is…

    Thanks for listening!

    Good night!

  • Jennifer Holstein Godwin

    I actually liked her perfomance of this song on the VMAs – it was all themed around a boxing ring. There are several other female singing artists that make me cringe right now with their antics – Katy Perry is not one of them. She does the whole Barbie look sometimes but she seems to be really down to earth if you take the time to listen to or read her interviews.
    This Kk person seems a bit extreme in her reaction to Katy and this song. Hmmmmm

  • Liz Ferris

    Dooce… You really need to listen to Sara Bareillas “Brave”
    Better song. Better video.

    PS… Sorry if this post shows up several times. It’s not showing up on my screen.

  • ChickP

    I competed against the Bartlett Panthers in the early 90s (I’m a Knoxville girl). They were AMAZING. And thank you for the respect. Hardest sport I’ve EVER done.

  • MazMonroe

    I get what you’re saying, about women supporting women – and that the cheerleaders you knew were ultra supportive of each other, yet sadly they were the exception rather than the rule. There’s so much rivalry between girls and women, sometimes for no reason whatsoever. It’d be so good if we women could feel much more supportive of each other. I live in the UK and it’s the same here. Envy has a lot to answer for. (And I do have to say that you certainly were, and are, very pretty Heather!)

  • Angela

    I actually love the video – the animals occupy my 19 month old long enough for me to cut her fingernails without having to pin her down. :-)

  • MeLisa

    I can’t wait to share this with my very impressionable team of freshmen cheerleaders that I coach, who frequently deal with a lack of respect from their peers concerning the sport they participate in. And you’re right- the song is very empowering , but the video not so much. I like your idea much better!

  • luckymom22

    Loved this post, but I should have been working, and instead I took the time to figure out that there should be one more “uh” in “Ohhh uh uh uh uh ohhhh”. I also said “no” to cheerleading. My oldest is petite and would definitely have been a flyer, and unfortunately one day I read an article that contained the sentence “Among school sports, cheerleading is the top cause of death and serious injury to participants”…so off we went to ballet class. It worked out fine. At our school, the varsity dance team is much harder to get on than the cheerleading squad and she’s loving every minute of it. Boy, do they work hard with long, long hours of rehearsals.

  • Kristen

    I enjoy the song Roar, but the lyrics bug me because there’s this subtle context that says “Women often get treated like s*** in relationships and that’s normal.”
    I want to make sure that when my kids grow up and fall in love, that they will know that love doesn’t mean feeling miserable with someone most of the time. So when they listen to the song I feel a little worried but try to tell myself I’m overreacting.

  • sarahbeanne

    Did you ever watch the one season series Cheer Nation? It was this and it was AWESOME. I think it was on discovery, or tlc, or lifetime.

  • sarahbeanne

    Yep! True life: I’m a cheerleader. Dunbar high school – then they did a season on another channel, and that was it. It was before reality tv got suuuuper weird.

  • Karen

    Sara is awesome and has the best videos (seriously… they’re all amazing), but Roar is by far catchier. Pluswhich Marlo.

  • Erin

    I dated a percussionist who was a FANTASTIC kisser. That is literally the only thing I miss about him.

  • DriverB

    The little looks that Leta gives Marlo, acknowledging how cute and little and ridiculous she is, and how much she loves her exuberant little sister…I die. What a great moment to have on video!