Title image for music video introducing ‘Katy Patra.’

The Reification of Orientalism in Katy Perry’s ‘Dark Horse’

Depictions of Egyptian culture in popular culture.

Metrah Haidari
Mar 14 · 7 min read


Opening scene, Perry on a floating bed with dancers (wearing stereotypical Egyptian clothing) around her.


Close Reading

Perry on gold throne, seeing large diamond (first man).
First man, shot with laser beam, turning to dust.
Second man, wearing large gold chains and holding gold cup, presenting sweets to Perry.
Last man, wearing Nemes crown and (stereotypical) dramatic black eyeliner.

Consumption and Reception

Perry wearing grill, depicting ‘consumption,’ and eventual ‘discarding’ of Egyptian culture.


Dark Horse video on Youtube.