Post-Grammys, there’s always buzz about Taylor Swift. This year, there has been a good amount of articles that are [finally] calling her out on a lot of the problematic things she’s done and reasons why the author “cannot support her anymore.” My issue with these articles is that so many of them are more shallow than Swift herself.
Not to undermine anyone’s plight, but the usage of the word “squad” is not the worst thing Swift has done. If her usage of “squad” offends anyone, I am so deeply sorry. If you’re offended by that, you must be outraged by the other ways she’s appropriated culture (see: the video for Wildest Dreams).
Here’s the thing though, I like her music. There, I said it. I like her music. Even though I think it’s boring and not creative, it’s also catchy and relatable, so I like it. But as a person, Swift falls short, and here is why:
- Her use of “squad” is a problem, not because it’s cultural appropriation, but because it is a real life Mean Girls scenario playing out before our eyes. Swift gets to say who is “cool,” who is “feminist,” or who is “on her side.” This ‘for us or against us’ mentality is exclusionary, elitist, and childish. Not to mention most of these people are tall, beautiful, supermodels. Anyone she accepts in her “squad” after the core group of barbie dolls looks like a sympathy thing, like when there’s a nerdy new kid from Africa and you allow her to sit with you at lunch because you’re trying to appear welcoming and charitable. I would be dying for Tina Fey to get her hands on this but she already has.
- She has sued her fans. I’m not even expanding on this one – it’s old news. Frankly all of this is old news.
- We constantly ignore the terrible things she’s done because she paints herself as an underdog but she’s in no way an underdog. As I said, I like her music but she is not groundbreaking. Taylor got her start writing songs about boys who broke her heart, like many teenagers do. But, here’s the difference between Taylor and me and everyone else: Taylor’s family was able to uproot from Pennsylvania to Tennessee so she could start her career a young age. How could they do that, I wonder? Its because they had the funds. Both of her parents were successful stock brokers who believed in her child’s dream and had the means to support it to the fullest extent. So few people have that, and I would love for Taylor to acknowledge this and stop trying to seem like a victim. No one was ever trying to sabotage a young, beautiful, singer song-writer, who was making cross over hits at the age of…what? 16? Okay, maybe we are NOW, but when she first got on the scene, she had very few critics (and whomever they were, they became the muse of her song ‘Mean’ thus making her millions of dollars more.) Frankly doesn’t she make up for these struggles in money, Grammys, and hot A-list boyfriends? On top of it all, her song lyrics have always been based on these encounters. From Drew to Katy Perry, Taylor has capitalized on every petty problem she touts as a road block, so shouldn’t she have reconciled them by now?
- Of course, I cannot leave an article about Taylor, and her pitfalls as a public figure, without mentioning the Kesha situation at least a little. As a population we know very little, but from what I have gathered from various tabloids and twitter, Demi Lovato shares my base opinion on Taylor. However, there are also arguments being made about Demi’s imperfect feminism. That, a problem within itself, does not change the fact that everything Lovato has tweeted about the issue is correct. Women should support women, women should be appalled by Kesha’s situation. But I think Taylor misconstrued that message. Giving Kesha 250,000 dollars “in support” of her plight during this difficult time, is not even a band-aid for the emotional and physical trauma she has endured. This money doesn’t give Kesha control of her life or freedom from her abuser. Like many of Taylor’s actions, this is to save face and appear a saint to people who cannot read between the lines. This is the newest, and honestly most ignorant, of Taylor’s displays of “feminism.”
All things considered, Taylor may actually be a narcissist or have some inferiority complex that may need treatment. In this case, I feel for her but in the meantime, as she continues to steal artwork from tumblr and instagram artists, sue people for saying an ancient phrase like “sick beats,” use the plight of minorities for her own gain, and be a Grade-A Regina George, I will continue angry tweeting and wondering when we’re going to stop glorifying fake feminism (one that is self-centered) in lieu of making some real changes. *cue Nicki Minaj*