Katy Perry responds to critics of her new image: ‘I didn’t con people… this is me now’ Press/ ET Canada

Katy Perry has a message to all those people who keep taking to social media and telling her they liked her long, dark tresses and frothy pop-star persona more than her new cropped ‘do and harder-edged image: get over it.

Thanks to the enormous success of her Teenage Dream album, millions of fans throughout the world embraced an image of Perry as a bubbly, larger-than-life pop star, and her recent efforts to present a more realistic, intimate version of herself has met with resistance in some quarters.

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Yet as Perry details in a new profile in the New York Times, the “old” Perry was the real her — and so is this new version.

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“I didn’t kill her, because I love her, and she is exactly what I had to do then,” Perry says of the persona she took on during her hugely successful Teenage Dream period. “And I’m not a con artist, I didn’t con people, like, that was just me. And this is me now.”

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Perry looks back at that period in her life as “**king intense. And amazing and beautiful and horrible all at the same time,” pointing out that Perry now, she explains, is simply the result of her own personal evolution over the years.

That evolution, she says, is constant and ongoing. “Every day when I think I know something, the universe shows me that I need to learn another lesson,” she says. “So I stand here today, more so than any other day, saying I know nothing. I literally know nothing.”

Yet reacting to the constant stream of social media criticism, she says, can be a “maddening game,” adding: “They want you to stand for something, but once you do, and if you don’t do it perfectly, they’re ready to take you right down.”

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She describes her new album, Witness, as being perfectly reflective of where she’s at now. “It’s a departure, and it’s a necessary evolution that I have to take,” she says of her new direction.

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“And I know that sometimes it feels publicly like I’m dragging cement blocks, but like, the pyramids were made out of cement blocks — or not cement,” she adds. “But do you know what I’m trying to say? I’m gonna get there.”

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