I used to identify with Taylor Swift in high school. Sweet and honest, boy-crazy Taylor didn’t wear slutty clothes. She didn’t sleep around. Her squinty eyes and frizzy hair didn’t fit into the “Hollywood pretty” standard. She was normal, and very down to earth. She was the kind of girl who called her mom after every first date, and occasionally baked cookies on Saturdays.
Then, all of a sudden, Taylor Swift turned slutty. She dated guys like Jake Gyllenhaal, and probably fucked on the first date. She was crazy, obsessive, and stalker-esque. I bet she was the kind of girl who turned on the read receipts of her boyfriend’s phones when they weren’t looking. She friended the guy she slept with once on Facebook and then she friended his mom. That’s when I really fucking identified with Taylor Swift.
I really don’t know at what point we all decided to hate Taylor Swift, but there was this weird moment where all girls over the age of 22 (the girls who 8 years ago were Taylor Swift’s biggest fans) decided to collectively hate her. And not just collectively hate her – because that would be bad enough – but to collectively, and publicly, bash her.
The hate for Taylor Swift is not limited to the young twenty-something age group; it’s universal. The other day my mom called me purely to ask if Taylor Swift wrote about anything other than her relationships.
“Mom,” I said, “do we talk about anything other than Dad and my boyfriends?”
Silence met me on the other end of the line. There it was. We realized we were no better than Taylor Swift. We’re just less glamorous, less rich, and (hopefully) less diseased.
Is that it? Is that the reason we hate her? Because she made fucking millions of dollars off of what virtually every woman talks about on a daily basis? Do we hate Taylor because she was smart enough to capitalize off of normal feelings, expressions, and conversations? As someone who isn’t tone deaf, I can say that her voice honestly isn’t very good, but it’s not her voice that sells. It’s her words.
So just what is it about Taylor Swift? Why do we hate her? I admit to posting clever anti-TSwift to Facebook and Twitter. I drop witty one-liners about her being a professional middle-schooler and a grade-A cradle robber, but none of that stops me from buying her music (on iTunes…in the privacy and anonymity of my own home). I know every single lyric to every single song she has ever written, recorded, or performed.
So what the fuck is up with this charade of hating Taylor Swift? Why do my friends and I have to bash her in public, only to put fifteen of her songs on our “pregame” playlist? Is it because we have to keep up this façade that as women of the twenty-first century we are better than talking about men? Does Taylor Swift represent a certain depression or dependency that we should be afraid to identify with?
Strong-willed and independent women left and right are willing to throw this 23-year-old self-made millionaire under the bus. She represents everything wrong with the current woman and relationships: she’s clingly, she’s needy, and she’s obsessive, but isn’t that her right as a woman? If we truly are in the age where women can be anything, then shouldn’t she be allowed to be all of those things? Taylor Swift should be allowed to walk up to a guy in a bar, fuck him, and write a song about how he never called her back, because the truth is, haven’t we all been there, done that, and cried to our best friends about it over mimosas at Sunday brunch?
- Image via Associated Press