Just over a year ago now, was what I considered one of the best days of my life. Well, my internet life, anyway. After years and years of playing the victim and “shaking it off,” of using unoriginal and overused tropes of feminism as a vehicle for retweets and pity, of preying on the “awkward girl” and presenting a false sense of camaraderie and similarity while simultaneously being one of the most rich, powerful, popular, and beautiful women in the world — Taylor Alison Swift, the most disingenuous celebrity to grace our time — got what was coming to her.
It was the perfect storm. A year and a half after “1989” was released, its singles continued to dominate the charts, and Taylor was dangerously close to overexposure. She’d just had another scandal with an ex (Calvin Harris), who openly admitted that she’d been intentional in feuds with other celebrities (“You won’t bury me like you buried Katy”), confirming that she wasn’t such a victim after all, and the public started to turn on her. People flooded her social media with snake emojis, and the drama was all we could talk about.
And finally, it all culminated in one moment, when Kim Kardashian West — one of the few celebrities with Taylor’s level of fame — spoke out on one of the biggest he-said-she-said celebrity moments of the decade with unequivocal proof that Taylor lied about never giving Kanye permission to use her name in his now infamous track “Famous.” And we pretty much haven’t heard from Taylor Swift since — a welcomed relief for the likes of me.
I am widely considered to be one of the biggest Taylor Swift hater most people know. And I always have been. And it boils down to one simple reason, if we’re being entirely truthful: I can not stand inauthenticity — I don’t lie, I hate when people are passive aggressive, and I don’t like secrets — and throughout her career, Taylor has struck me as one of the most artificial, phony, and dishonest players in the game. She’s been involved in some serious feuds with celebrities from all different walks of life from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to Miley Cyrus to Calvin Harris as well as people who knew her ~before fame~ who claim she’s always twisted her stories. Yet she always has an excuse. She always has a reason. She’s always “in the right.” And I can see through her bullshit that the masses so easily believe, which makes me hate her more. That her con job works. It’s gotten to the point where I get mad when people say they like her. Admittedly, it’s kind of weird, but c’est la vie.
But now…something is happening. This Monday morning, several days after wiping all of her social media completely, Taylor posted the following video to Twitter and Instagram:
So cryptic. What is it? A dragon? Some type of reptile? What does it mean? Regardless, it got the attention of pretty much everyone. And then Tuesday happened.
Could it be?!?! Is that a mother fucking snake?! Ho. Ly. Shit. What does this mean? Is she going to sing another sad song about how the whole world is against her, and she’s just so sad? Or is she going to go full-on…
Attack mode. Granted, the face of this snake is far less threatening than expected, as it looks like a character from the ‘90s hit children’s show Dinosaurs, but this is a snake, and it’s out for blood.
We were obviously meant to expect new music coming soon, and at the time of this writing, new information was released. We have an album title, “Reputation,” set to be released November 10, with the first single dropping tomorrow night.
As for me, I’m feeling a lot of things. At the forefront — for the first time in my life regarding this woman — is respect. Many of you might have come here to see shred Taylor as I’ve done many times before. To question her design choices, or wardrobe and makeup, or anything else, but all we really have to talk about right now is that for the first time, we get her truly owning something. At least on the surface.
I have said for years that if Taylor would just come out and say “I think Katy Perry is a skeezy bitch” rather than drop her entire discography on Spotify the night of Katy Perry’s new album release and say it was a “coincidence,” I could deal with it. If she’d say “Nicki, back the fuck off. I won because I was better and you sound like a whiny bitch” rather than pull the “don’t pit women against each other” adage, I’d be impressed. If she’d just fucking admit, “Yeah, I intended to drag Kanye, because he dragged me, and I’m a bitch you can not fuck with,” I’d respect her.
And now, here she is. Leaning into the snake narrative. And this could go one of two ways.
She could have an entire album, once again, dedicated to people misunderstanding her, mislabeling her, and mistreating her. She could claim, once again, that she is an angel in this world of cruel villains, all of whom are out to get her. She can, once again, play the victim and fall back into the same patterns that have gotten so many of us so tired of her for so long.
She could finally come out swinging. She could admit that the whole damn time, she’s been ruthless — savage. She could have diss tracks about Kanye, Kim, Katy, Nicki, Calvin, Miley, Demi, and all the fucking others. She could rebrand herself as THAT BITCH who drags her haters rather than cowers and plays the “good girl,” because that’s what someone told her was best for her young fanbase 10 years ago.
I’m going to be honest — I’m rooting for it. Even though I’ve built part of my pop culture identity around hating her. Even though, for so long, I’ve vehemently denounced her name, while everyone around me cheered her on. Even though, she will without a doubt, drag people I consider to be icons. I’m still rooting for it.
Would it be difficult for me to let go of the hate I’ve harbored for her for years? Maybe. But I’ve always been honest about my feelings on her. When she absolutely rocks a red carpet look, I’ve begrudgingly admitted she looks fierce. When “1989” came out, and they were pretty much all bangers, I said so, even though I didn’t want to like them. It was her soul I took issue with. And if she’s taking a step to admit who she really is, I think I might truly be able to respect her — and maybe eventually like her.
We’ll find out tomorrow night. Swish swish, bitch..
Image via Shutterstock