A pop star’s signature look is as much a part of their stage presence as their songs.

Madonna had her cone bra. Justin Bieber had his swooping bangs. Lady Gaga has a whole bunch of stuff.

And Katy Perry had her long dark flowing locks—emphasis on the past tense. Perry’s hair journey started after she broke up with Orlando Bloom when she went from brunette to blonde. After that, she started taking off inches. By the time she began the run-up to her eagerly awaited fifth album, “Witness,” she was sporting the short, spiky pixie cut that has become a brand new signature.

image
katyperry/Instagram

It’s not unusual for pop stars to change hair styles. As it turns out, though, Perry was motivated to chop her locks by a surprising sense of vulnerability.

The tabloids would still be debating the reason for the change if it weren’t for Perry’s extremely personal promotion for “Witness.”

image
katyperry/Instagram

To promote the new record, Perry invited her fans into her life by hosting a four-day YouTube live stream of everything she did.

We got to see her debate politics with Caitlyn Jenner and cook a meal with Gordon Ramsey. She walked her dogs with James Corden and got her makeup done by YouTube sensation Patrick Starrr.

The most personal moment of the entire four-day stunt came when Perry attended a therapy session with Siri Sat Nam Singh. He is a licensed therapist and host of the aptly named Viceland series, The Therapist.

image
viceland/Instagram

About 10 minutes into the session, Perry began to get very emotional. She dabbed at her eyes which suddenly overflowed with tears. She started to talk about the difference between her on-stage persona, Katy Perry, and the authentic woman within, Katheryn Hudson (her birth name).

image
katyperry/Instagram

“I’m really strong as Katy Perry and then sometimes I’m not as strong as Katheryn Hudson,” she told a nodding Singh. “People like talk about my hair, right? They don’t like it, or they wish that it was longer. I so badly want to be Katheryn Hudson that I don’t even want to look like Katy Perry anymore sometimes. That is a little bit of why I cut my hair, because I really want to be my authentic self.”

For our money, the “Swish Swish” singer has the right to be anyone she wants.

Whether she goes by Katy Perry, Katheryn Hudson, or anything else, she’s got the love and support of millions of fans—present company included.

Of course, there is another side of Perry’s explanation. She certainly dyed her hair to make a significant change, but the pixie cut was apparently not entirely her choice. Perry appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and told the friendly host that the bleach job really did a number on her long hair.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever dyed your hair blonde, and too blonde,” she said. “Sometimes your hair falls out when you go too blonde. So…that’s the way I handled it.”

Either way, we love the new look and the new record.