When I wrote ‘Do What U Want’, I was on tour traveling around the world and my mother called me and she said, “You’re on the news…and you look really fat.” And I said, “What do you mean?” *laughs* She says, “I don’t-…are you okay? Did you gain weight?” I said, “What are you talking about? I’m on the news? For my weight? Really?” It’s so shallow and crazy, we live in a world where there’s wars and there’s famine and illness, but I’m on the news for my weight? This is so silly to me, I don’t believe you.
So then I saw that it was true and I thought about how sad this is. Not for me. For me with my body I’ve had a struggle since I was very young. Do I think that it’s insensitive? Sure. Especially since I’ve been so vocal about my body image problems and my addictions over the years. It’s a certain kind of person that I am that I think a lot of young people can relate to. And these sorts of statements can really throw you off and make you get lost in your mind into that dark place, that place of self-hatred, of sadness. So I wanted to release all of that. When I wrote this song I was writing about how my body is something that the public knows—my image—I am a vessel. But if I am treated this way, this is all I will give you. I will just give you my body. You will not have my heart or my mind, because you don’t deserve it. I give my heart and my mind to my fans. That is who deserves it because they receive it with love. When I’m on stage with them there’s this amazing spiritual experience that takes place where there’s a transfer of energy, of kindness and love and acceptance between us. But when this negativity starts to fly, this is not what I’m about. This is when I start to close as an artist, and I start to protect my mind and heart. And I look at the way that society has changed and I say, ‘Well this is a good time to show my ass.’ Because it’s all I choose to give you. I would rather be an ass than be real and give you what you don’t deserve.
Have you ever seen a painting of an elephant? Probably. What about a picture of an elephant painting a painting of an elephant? No? Well meet Suda who lives in Maetaeng Elephant Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The park was created to provide a unique and safe environment where all elephants are treated well and are free of harm from poachers. In the early years, Suda along with other elephants would paint abstract brush strokes on paper, and slowly over time, they learned to produce two and three dimensional art. They have an incredible ability to trace back over their original brush stroke. Elephants have a keen memory and show that here by being able to repeat the same paintings and techniques.
this elephant is better at art than i am