SMILE: A reflection on life, womanhood and growth.

By Izzi Bavis


On Aug. 5, 2020, Katy Perry held a collection of press conferences over Zoom for her most recent album, SMILE, released Aug. 28, 2020, where she discussed her inspirations, motivations and feelings towards her work. SMILE came out almost exactly ten years after Perry’s first notable album, Teenage Dream

Perry focused the press conference on her own personal growth and self-reflection. She said that she wrote this album after she faced some of the darkest times of her life. She stated, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but sometimes you have to walk through hell to get that strength.” Katy Perry emphasised that the album focused on hopefulness, resilience and viewing life in a new way. 

Perry considered the past three years and noted the highs and lows she experienced, she explained that she had to face her failures and actions, and at times received an ego check from the universe. All of these instances and emotions contributed to the creation of SMILE. Katy Perry said, “Life gets more real as you keep living it.” She explained how important it is to grow and change as a person, and how important growth was for her and her career. Katy Perry laughed about the times in her life where she was shooting whipped cream from her bra, and acknowledged the weight that Teenage Dream had on people. 

At this point in the press conference I felt a newfound respect towards Katy Perry, throughout middle school I listened to Teenage Dream on repeat on my iPod. The album was everything for so many people. I distinctly remember listening to “Not Like The Movies” while walking to school. I appreciated how Katy Perry addressed how influential Teenage Dream was. She stated that after it’s release, she felt that she was placed in a box until 2016 and that on SMILE she was able to use her new experiences and growth as motivation. Katy Perry explained how much she had grown since Teenage Dream and how fostering environments to grow in are crucial. 

As the press conference was winding down, Katy Perry voiced her goals for the album. She wanted the album to focus on resilience, growth, equality, womanhood and hope. Katy Perry stated she wanted people to connect over the album, and that she was proud of the work that went into each track. With a more mature outlook on life, Katy Perry jumps into the next stage of her career and into motherhood. She’s grown immensely since 2010 and her artistry and talent has followed suit. SMILE is currently available on all streaming platforms.