These days, most people are talking about Katy Perry’s Vogue Magazine cover story photo or her newly found political advocacy, but there’s one detail many seem to be skipping over. As her style evolution continues (complete with a dramatic new pixie cut), the “Chained to the Rhythm” singer is opening up about her ultra-religious upbringing and what it has done for her current socially conscious mindset.

In her May cover story for Vogue, the singer discusses being the “black sheep” in a super religious family. According to Perry, her family sheltered her from what she describes as a “bubble beyond a bubble,” shielding her from all the basic pop culture references most 30-something women would have today. She wasn’t allowed to speak to or about gay people, and admits there was open racism among older members of her family. Quite different than the pop star we know today.

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Not being allowed to listen to pop icons like Madonna or watch regular TV definitely had an effect on the singer, who, she says, “came out of the womb asking questions.” While she was allowed the chance to record a gospel album as a teen, her exposure to life outside her pastor-father-led upbringing forced her out of the family bubble and toward LA, where she began to consume all the cultural references she missed growing up.

Perry also admits that this lifestyle was hard to shed, with her peeling back years of conditioning, even now. When she’s touring, she calls it a “re-education,” a chance to learn about all the things she missed out on as a kid. “I am pushing for my own evolution,” she says, “I’ve seen behind the curtain and I can’t go back.”

What do you think of Katy Perry’s evolution? Tell us @BritandCo!

(Photo via Justin Sullivan/Getty)