Katy Perry kissed a boy and he liked it — but she should have asked first.

Had the roles been reversed, people would not be happy.

"American Idol" is back and apparently now features some judge-on-contestant kissing.

It's hard to keep people interested in a show entering its 16th season, so it makes sense that show's new home at ABC would pull out all the stops to try to get people's attention. In the season premiere for the new season, judge Katy Perry broke new ground on the show, bestowing a quick peck on the lips to 19-year-old Benjamin Glaze.

GIFs from "American Idol"/YouTube.


After joking that he liked his job as a cashier at an electronics store because it meant that cute girls have to say hi to him, judge Luke Bryan asked Glaze if he's "kissed a girl and liked it," an obvious reference to Perry's 2008 mega-hit. He says that he's actually never kissed a girl. Naturally, Perry asked Glaze to come closer and kiss her on the cheek. As he leaned in, Perry turned her head and kissed him on the lips.

Some people online quickly pointed to the underlying issue of consent, and they're absolutely right.

Though Glaze didn't seem to mind the kiss, Perry should have asked him first. From what viewers see (as it's entirely possible there were bits of relevant dialogue cut out by producers), he consented to kissing her cheek, not getting a kiss on the lips.

Still, a number of media outlets and Twitter users framed the encounter in a sort of "he's so lucky," isn't this adorable," "this is so cute" type of way. "Katy Perry gave one lucky 'American Idol' contestant his very first kiss — and his reaction is hilarious," read the headline of an article at Insider.

He kissed @katyperry and he liked it. 😘💋😍 #AmericanIdol

A post shared by American Idol (@americanidol) on

But imagine how different the reaction would have been had the roles been reversed? What if instead of Perry kissing a male contestant 14 years younger than her, it was Bryan doing the same with a female contestant? If we're being honest with ourselves, we can probably admit that the situation wouldn't have seemed quite as "cute" or "funny," right? It's a safe bet there wouldn't be media outlets rushing to cover it that way either.

It's less about this specific instance and more the message it sends — especially to kids.

For one, we owe it to boys and men to care about their ability to consent as much as we owe it to girls and women. When we treat situations differently based on the gender of the person breaching consent, we're not sending a good message, especially when it comes to younger viewers.

At her Baby Sideburns blog, writer Karen Alpert walked through some of the issues she had with the segment, which are worth consideration.

"But there are millions of children watching your every move. Girls and boys," writes Alpert. "And when you kiss a boy on the lips without his permission, when you trick him into that, you’re teaching our children the wrong thing. I’m not saying every teenager out there has to ask permission for every single little kiss, but you do have to be pretty sure that’s what someone wants before you do that."

The kiss was harmless, and this isn't meant to be some sort of attack on Perry. But let's learn from it and build a better world for our kids based around these lessons.

It's a teachable moment for us all and, again, was pretty harmless in the big picture. It's because it was harmless that we can learn from it the next time something isn't harmless.

Watch the full clip of Glaze's audition below.

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In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

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Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

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Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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