The Internet Isn't Pleased With Katy Perry's Instagram Post

Photo: Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock.

Katy Perry is the latest celebrity to be accused of cultural appropriation. The singer shared an image of the Hindu goddess Kali Ra on Instagram Wednesday with the caption "current mood." Commenters were quick to point out the potential offensiveness of the post.

"It's not right to use god as a meme you can't just post god and use it as 'current mood'. As you're basically trying to say oh look I'm so like god. Which is very rude and disrespectful," one such commenter notes in a lengthy post. Another begged Perry, "Please delete this. This is not current mood you don't know the real truth behind this pictures respect every religion!!!!"

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For every irate commenter, though, there is a fan defending Perry. One wrote cheerfully, "Katy babe you're the best! Ignore the haters!"

The bulk of the criticism seems to be aimed at the fact that Perry effectively memed a Hindu god. By taking the image and applying the term "current mood" — a common meme across social media platforms — Perry took what for some is a holy image and made it into a joke.

The internet loves memes. This isn't the first time the so-called "meme matrix" has stirred up controversy. Last week, a series of memes about 13 Reasons Why surfaced on the internet. The concept took a serious image — that of Hannah Baker, a suicidal teen — and paired it with a seemingly trivial complaint. Baker (played by Katherine Langford) used the phrase 'welcome to your tape' to indicate that one of her classmates had harmed her (and was therefore one of "reasons why" she committed suicide.) The memes took this idea and applied it to everyday nuisances, like paying extra for guacamole or being asked to borrow a pencil. Like with all things internet, the ethics of this activity seemed unclear. To some, the memes were just a joke. To others, the memes were a sign that fans weren't taking the message of the series seriously enough.

Perry's situation is decidedly different. Religious iconography is — and has always been — an area that should be treated with caution, especially on the internet. The meme trap is easy to succumb to, though. Pair something serious with something not-so-serious and you have a fun internet joke! The issue, then, is what your "serious" material looks like.

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Photo: Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock.

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