I have never been a die hard T-Swift fan, so this comes as a shock to me too, but I actually like her single. Like a lot of people, I go back and forth with Taylor Swift. Sometimes I like her, other times I find her really annoying and whiny. And 9 times out of 10 I’m wondering why no one on her team has hired someone to teach her how to dance…
Maybe it’s my age or my own recent experiences, but there is something about this song that just really resonates with me. I feel empowered and like someone else gets it—I’m not alone. And isn’t that the pure brilliancy of Taylor Swift? Whether you love or hate her, you can’t deny her ability to write songs that speak to your soul. She’s the artist that is somehow able to capture exactly how you feel in one line. We all like to hate on her, myself included sometimes, but I have to give credit where credit is due. She has a talent for being able to speak to your emotions. We know what’s it’s like to feel hurt, broken, betrayed, in love…but being able to articulate that in a way that truly captures the emotion outloud is another story. Her words may be cunning, and maybe she calls out the men in her life too much, but I can’t pretend I wouldn’t do the same thing if I had her platform. Her credibility as an artist lies in the transparency she shares of her personal life and how raw she is, and this single is no different.
When I heard it for the first time I rolled my eyes and thought it came across very immature. *Queue all the preteens sitting in their dark bedrooms brooding over how they hate the world because no one understands them.
But, as I kept listening and reading the endless articles written about her and the song, I changed my mind and here’s why:
I really don’t think she is trying to play the victim or blame others. I think what she is trying to say is that she is villainized a lot in the media and by other celebrities and she’s not going to sit on the sidelines anymore. We hear about her feuds with other big names in the music industry and I honestly think she’s tired of being portrayed in a way that is just not true. I don’t know her, and the truth is none of us know the truth behind any of the rumors, but from what I have read and heard in interviews with her, I think at the end of the day she is a good person who genuinely cares about others and tries to be the best version of herself she can be. Does she always get it right? No. But why do we expect her to?
Even if you find her annoying and immature, I think it’s important to acknowledge how hard it is to be her. Sure, she wanted to be famous and make it big, but I don’t think anyone wants to endure the ridicule and scrutiny that she faces day in and day out. It’s relentless, and if you’ve experienced a fraction of it, you know what a toll it can take. Just with this song alone, people have been ripping her to shreds. Put it into perspective of your own career. Can you imagine if you spent months or a year working on a project and you present it, just to have it completely torn apart and diminished down to nothing by the entire world? This is her career, this is her passion, and she gets it from all angles that she’s not worth her weight, she sucks, she plays the victim, etc. etc. I know other celebrities go through this too, but I think Taylor Swift experiences it on another level. We didn’t hear this level of backlash about Beyonce and Lemonade or Demi Lavoto and her new single Sorry Not Sorry. I try to acknowledge how hard that would be whether I like the song or not. She is a person too after all.
I relate to Taylor and this song in particular in that I have been portrayed in a way that is just not who I am as well. Haven’t we all? Perception is not always reality, especially when perception is others projecting their insecurities and shortcomings onto you.
I hear, “wow that was a really mean thing to say.” Or “yeah, you can really be a b****.” This is incredibly frustrating because I am not mean. I am not a b****. I am very forgiving and ALWAYS give others the benefit of the doubt over and over again. But I am human and I am also very honest. I am very straight forward and speak the truth. Which yes, is usually not received well. The truth is hard to hear and most people cannot be honest enough with themselves to swallow the tough truth given to them. Instead of being receptive to it, they throw their insecurities and short comings back onto me so that I am the mean one and the b****. I’m sure others can relate to this. It is an issue that is well documented for women in the work place in particular.
Heck, all you have to do is look so far as the last election. Donald Trump made vicious attacks on Hillary Clinton. Actually had crowds chanting “lock her up.” Made awful remarks about Mexicans, immigrants, John McCain - the list goes on and on. His poll numbers went up every time he said another hateful thing. Hillary tried to call him out on - not releasing his taxes, being a sexual predator - and she was portrayed as unhinged, hysterical and a b****. As women, as human beings, as good people, we need to stand up for what is right. It needs to be said - out loud and honestly. Those that stand up for what is right and call people out on their lies and unacceptable behavior are not the villains—they are the heroes.
This song is representative of that point because Taylor calls out the behavior and is then attacked for it. She’s saying, “look what you made me do. I tried to be nice, I tried to help you, I tried to be the bigger person, but you just kept pushing and taking advantage of the second chances I gave you.” Well, now she’s had it and we’ve pushed her too far. And good for her for saying so.
Haven’t we all felt this at one time or another? I don’t want to be this person, I don’t want to be mean or call you out, but you just kept going too far and pushed me overboard to where yes, now I am going to say the cold, hard, mean truth. Now YOU made me into this person that you can villainize so that you don’t actually have to deal with your own inadequacies. Taylor is saying enough. Enough to the media, enough to other celebrities, enough to society and political climate.
I agree with yesterday’s post in that we don’t need any more hatred going around. We need love, we need understanding. Revenge isn’t the answer, but as much as we would all like to blame Taylor, I just really don’t think she is the one spreading hate. The people doing that are the one’s this song is about. Somehow this country has allowed the bullies to take over. Cowering in the corner, handing out pamphlets promoting peace and love is not going to change this. Good people (like Taylor) need to get angry and fight back and stop accepting blatantly wrong behavior. Take back our country, society—humanity. Call out the bullies who have been given a platform by the biggest bully of them all.
We need people to stand up and start calling people out of their BS behavior. Because that’s what it is, total BS. It’s not okay and like Taylor, I’m not condoning it anymore. (And yes, by not saying anything, you’re condoning it.) People have to be vocal about what is right and what is just blatantly wrong. We need people to stop accepting malicious and disgusting behavior; that is what this single is to me. Taylor isn’t accepting it anymore. Taking the high road and being nice isn’t going to change anything unfortunately. She is speaking her truth, she is standing in her power, and I commend anyone who has the courage to do that.