I love Taylor Swift…but I also kind of hate her. It’s weird having such conflicting emotions for a human being whom I’ve never even met, but I have them, nonetheless. I’m not the only one. Oh, no. We all have them. And by that, I mean my close group of girlfriends whom I polled while drunk at brunch this past Sunday feel the same way. Seeing as how my friends are all college educated sorority girls turned mildly functioning alcoholic real people, I’m assuming that most of you reading this will agree with our sentiments: we love Taylor Swift’s songs, but we hate Taylor Swift.
Like most of you, I started listening to Taylor Swift in high school. Although as I type this, I’m realizing that some of you are five…or six…or if you’re one of our high school readers…ten…years younger than I am, which means that some of you have been listening to Taylor Swift since you were practically in utero. Fuck. You’re so young if that’s you. Seriously, don’t come around me. I watch Hocus Pocus far too many times – I’m prepared to suck the youth out of children. Book! Come to mommy! Sorry. Too far. The point of this is that we’ve all been listening to Taylor Swift’s music for nearly a decade – give or take a few boyfriends. That’s a long time. We’ve watched her grow up literally before our eyes, blossoming from a love struck 14-year-old girl to a, well, love struck 24-year-old
At first, our dear sweet Taylor was juvenile and sincere. She wrote songs about high school crushes and homeroom mean girls. We heard tales of her first kiss, and backseat makeouts, and *gasp! Taylor’s growing up* sneaking out. With each album, her songs grew like she did. They became more complex and in my professional opinion, lyrically gifted. She moved past simple, generic stories and found a voice telling personal narrations of her own love, loss, and heartbreak. It was amazing. And it still is amazing.
A lot of people credit Taylor’s success with her ability to relate to people through her music. Her songs are not generic or a dime a dozen. They are real, they are raw, and they are true. People appreciate that. You appreciate that. I appreciate that. Her words, while carefully crafted based on her own affairs, are transparent enough to where the voyeur in us realizes which celebrity boyfriend she is referencing, and yet they’re also vague enough to let us relate our own experiences to her stories. It’s a gift. There’s no denial: Taylor Swift has a gift.
Her countless awards and nominations, magazine covers and photo shoots, and sold out worldwide tours and record sales speak for themselves. She is a superstar. So, why, then? Why is she so fucking annoying? I will be the first to admit that I hate a lot of celebrities for trivial reasons. I hate Jessica Biel for her horse teeth and the fact that I thought Mary Camden on 7th Heaven was actually a boy for most of my childhood. As a result of her nuptials to Justin Timberlake, I now hate him too. I hate Gisele Bundchen, because her name is pretentious and because she is married to a fuckwit. I hate Selena Gomez, because she looks like a Bratz Doll. I hate Justin Bieber, because he totally stole Hilary Swank’s look in Boys Don’t Cry and identity theft is not a joke. I hate Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, because the fact that they are procreating means that the Apocalypse is coming, and I’m too young to die. I hate Scarlett Johannson because she plays a husband stealer in every role and I’m pretty sure it’s just method acting at this point. I hate Kris Jenner, because she’s a better pimp than I will ever be and I hate the rest of the Kardashians, because they are famous for having a dad who defended a murderer and a sister who fucked a guy on camera. I hate them all. Do I know them? No. But I hate them. I refuse to watch their movies, listen to their interviews, or read their articles. I don’t follow them on social media and quite honestly, I sometimes pray to the little Baby Jesus for them to get hit by a bus, break a leg, and become morbidly obese and addicted to painkillers. But my relationship (yes, we’re dating) with Taylor Swift isn’t like that. I’m not actively plotting her demise or wishing her ill. I just want her to give up the charade.
Anyone who has heard even just a single song from Taylor in the past five years knows that she dates around. Anyone who has read an article about her, seen an interview with her, sat at a middle school lunch table, been to a sorority chapter meeting, taken public transportation, watched the news, read a newspaper, or existed as a fucking member of this human race knows that Taylor Swift dates around. (This is a polite term for “sleeps around.”) She’s in the tabloids every other day with a new boyfriend. She mocks them at awards shows when they break her heart, which is, by the way, a very
cunty noble power move that I respect. And, oh, I don’t know, she includes lines like “after plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own” in her songs. THAT IS ABOUT SEX. Not only is that about sex, that is about dirty sex. Like, girlfriend may have gotten away with missionary with every guy before, but Jake Gyllenhaal made her do some freaky shit. AND SHE WROTE ABOUT IT.
Look. I don’t agree with slut-shaming. Let boys be boys and girls be girls. Let girls be with boys and boys be with girls and boys be with boys and girls be with girls and add together any combination of the sort — I don’t care. It’s the 21st century and thanks to anthropologists and sociologists and sexologists (looking at you, Kinsey), the topic of sex is really not a taboo subject anymore. Pioneers like Gloria Steinem, an iconic ’80s pop sensation for those of you who don’t know who she is, made a career out of female empowerment and thanks to that, girls in our generation are not ashamed of or embarrassed to talk about what happens under the sheets…or in the shower…or in the bed of a pickup truck. So why is it that Taylor Swift is so insistent upon parading around in some holier-than-thou, virginal manner? We read the magazines, we listen to the songs, and we literally read her words. The jig is up, Taylor. We know this ain’t your first rodeo.
I love Taylor Swift…but I also kind of hate her. This charade of being a cookie cutter, stereotypical Stepford Wife (without the husband) is getting real annoying, real fast. You’re not a virgin, Taylor. You’re not naïve. You’re not innocent. You’re not a princess; this ain’t a fairytale (see what I did there?). Stop being something you’re not. You’re a single, twenty-something female who is sleeping with some of the hottest men in the world and you are making money off of writing about their shortcomings and asshole tendencies. You are literally a hero. Act like one. Stop hiding behind this façade of having an intact hymen and just fucking own it. You’re not Anne of Green Gables, you’re Taylor Swift. Have some fun with it. Honestly, I would love nothing more than during her next interview for her to say: “Hi. My name is Taylor Swift, and I fucked John Mayer.” Boom. Cue the lights. That’s a girl I can get on board with.
Come over to the dark side, Taylor. It’s a lot more fun over here.
Image via Associated Press