I don’t do this kind of thing much, do I? Here’s the thing about responding to pop culture or current events: they evolve. They’re not over. I’ve done it a few times and seen it firsthand wayyyyy too many times. Someone responds quickly to a big event or breaking news or hot gossip, only to have it do a 180 or end up being something else entirely. It’s embarrassing. And it’s something we do far too much now that we’re in this digital age.
I read “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed” last year and it was so enlightening. I recommend it to anyone who loves and uses the internet daily. It’s now easier than ever to virtually lynch someone, to quickly form and share an opinion or condemnation. After seeing a lot of embarrassing and harmful early calls, I’ve fallen more in the “let’s wait and see how this shakes out” camp. So I rarely show up to blog my #hot #takes.
But I am here today in defense of Taylor Swift.
I love her. I always have. I always will. Unless she ~really goes off the deep end. But hey. I’m still sitting here with hope in my heart for Amanda Bynes, so I’m a forgiving and loyal fan. I realize that means I’m biased for her, and I’m fine with it.
I have absolutely hated her downfall. This last year has made me really sad and I’ve missed her. What made it the hardest was that I have been so confused all along. Not at why she fell, or why people disliked her. But at the intensity with which she was hated. The degree to which she was vilified. The sheer force of disgust that forced her underground.
I suppose it comes from the reason I’ve always liked her – I’ve identified with her. I’ve liked every change, every evolution, because I too have been changing and evolving. I liked watching her get more sassy and fierce. I liked watching her date a wide (and honestly perplexing) range of celeb guys. I liked her brand of more poised and fresh feminism. I loved her girl gang. And of course I’ve loved her transition to pop bangers.
[CAVEAT] I’m not actually all that into or up-to-date with all the pop culture or latest gossip. So yeah, I’ve not been totally plugged in and I’m probably not the very best informed. I had to google why Swish Swish was about Taylor and why Bad Blood was about Katy like A TOTAL GRANDMA.
[CAVEAT] I don’t like the Kardashians. *shrug* I just don’t. I’ve tried, and I can respect them a little more. I get why people like them. Kind of. But I just don’t and never will like them.
I get that Taylor isn’t the perfect feminist. But neither am I.
I get that she lied about the Famous video, to some extent. But I don’t believe that was the whole story; I do not think the West/Kardashians are to be trusted entirely, and I also 100% understand why she acted the way she did on the phone and in all of the aftermath. Not great. But I still don’t understand the vitriol it inspired?
I get that she is uptight and weird and tries too hard. Because I AM ALSO UPTIGHT AND WEIRD AND TRY TOO HARD.
Here’s where I’m at: I do not understand why Taylor is SO hated. SO targeted. SO piled upon. It really makes no logical sense to me? There are a million artists out there doing the same or worse things. I don’t think she’s all that bad, and maybe it’s just because I identify with everything she’s done. And maybe that’s why everyone feels so personally victimized by Taylor Swift.
My question to the haterz is this: When will you be happy? When will you feel content enough with Taylor Swift to stop actively and aggressively hating? Honestly, I think for most of you, the answer may be never. And I would understand it! There are people I will just NEVER EVER LIKE! Like ever. (see what I did there?) If you’re waiting for an apology or a change, it might be coming. Or it might not.
But if you’re never gonna like her, if you’re always gonna be looking for the tiniest little nitpicky things to hate (and trust me. I’ve seen y’all dissecting the video looking for more things to hate her for. In the words of Beyonce, y’all corny)… maybe just leave it alone? Get a hobby? You’re only bringing negativity into your life, and I’m worried about you, boo! Sure, she needs to improve. But your hating ain’t gonna do that.
If you want her to be one unchanging personality, that’s unfair. If you want her to be perfect, that’s unfair. If you want her to be “real,” that’s unfair. I just don’t get what people want from her? Yeah, ok. Don’t lie. Don’t be catty. Don’t be an imperfect or exclusionary feminist. Don’t be all these normal things that normal people are every day. But to have completely driven her underground over stuff that just HONESTLY IS NOT THAT BIG OF A DEAL???? People are gross. The hating has just been embarrassing and excessive. I can think of 100 people off the top of my head to deserve public scrutiny more than Taylor Swift, but lets all pile on her for pretty trivial stuff????
I loved the song and loved the video. Especially the video. I loved that she addressed all of the criticisms, looking FLY AS HELL I MIGHT ADD, with humor, honesty, and best of all – control. I got the feeling that she’s 100% aware of everything being thrown at her, and while it hurts she’s not down for the count. She’s deciding to both embrace and wipe it all, for a start that isn’t totally fresh, but isn’t taking any prisoners either. She took some time to get her head on straight and to determine how she wants to move forward, and I for one cannot wait.
Maybe I’m wrong, here. Maybe I’m missing some crucial piece. But even if you’re all right to hate on her for what she’s done, you’ve gotta be exhausted by now. Go ahead and turn that hate on, idk, Chris Brown for being a human piece of garbage. You all had nothing but hate to throw at her when the song dropped, but in doing it you filled the perfect auditorium for that incredible, iconic music video direct right at all the haterz.
Look what you just made her do.