The barrage of Taylor Swift praise that saturates my daily news feed fills me, simultaneously, with inexplicable rage and undesirable intrigue. From rescuing a local Surry Hills theatre production, to her public declaration of love to Calvin Harris, there is definitely something about ‘Americas sweetheart’ that is so problematic and yet so click-worthy.
To get to the bottom of this super-important pop cultural conundrum, I took to the twittersphere and interwebs to investigate.
EXHIBIT A: THE GRIZZLY TRUTH OF TAY
Back in February, frontman of indie pop band Grizzly Bear, Edward Droste, posted a mysterious series of tweets calling out a nameless, hateful celebrity who he was too ‘petrified’ to identify.
"Met a celebrity I always speculated was terribly calculated and mean, and they exceeded all my expectations of rudeness and arrogance. HATE," he wrote. "If you know please don't @ the person, they see all and have the capacity and desire to destroy, seriously, please just know and lol [sic]."
Last month it was confirmed the aforementioned ‘rude and arrogant’ celebrity was one, Taylor Swift. Naturally her pack of delusional BFFs came to the rescue, ostensibly denying the claims.
But how deep does this conspiracy run? Is Ed the only outsider willing to blow the whistle on the seemingly two-faced Taylor Swift?
EXHIBIT B: A FEMINIST’S FAVOURITE WORST NIGHTMARE
The case of Taylor Swift is certainly a ‘feminist's nightmare,’ and boy do we love-to-love and love-to-hate Tay.
In the ’90s I was a ‘Girl Power’ disciple, bowing down at the altar of Spice Girls fandom. Their mess of hair, their ziggy-zig-ahh antics and their big shoes were my first taste of pop-cultural feminism. The Spice Girls were the manufactured pop underdogs that could, and although their brand of feminism was a little more soda pop, it was certainly less sinister.
For someone that doesn’t like to “pit women against other women,” Tay surely has a funny way of showing it. From the obvious faux-feminist ‘Bad Blood’ to her beef with Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Camilla Belle, Nicki Minaj and now, Avril Lavigne (?) Taylor has been making her fair share of frenemies of late.
Let’s not forget, Tay had the sass to throw shade at Tina Fey and Amy Poehler! B*tch please. Post their Emmy’s speech, our fave feminist duo made a benign comment about Tay and her revolving door of boyfriends. When asked about the Amy and Tina incident, she hit back with a passive aggressive, “There's a special place in hell for women who don't help other women.”
By the looks of it, Tay’s performative feminism seems more like a phony sales tool than genuine conviction for the sisterhood.
EXHIBIT C: TAY IS NOT YOUR BFF
With her lithe, slim figure and her supermodel BFFs, Tay has perpetuated an unrealistic perception of female friendships aka #SupermodelSquadGoals.
Perhaps Katy Perry said it best when she tweeted that Taylor Swift was “Regina George in wolf’s clothing. “
She is undeniably pop music’s prom queen. The most popular, high achieving, blonde starlet, surrounded by the coolest clique and the best shoes. Her braggy, albeit bizarre, star-spangled live shows are the perfect example of Taylor’s pretentious display of cool-girl celerity.
From Julia Roberts to Matt Le Blanc, to John Legend and Ellen (why Ellen?!) Taylor’s association with these pop-cultural legends boosts her personal celebrity and increases the gap between her and you, her plebby fans.
Unless you’re a Victoria’s Secret model or an Oscar winning actress, ‘nobodies’ need not apply to Taylor Swift’s #squad.
VERDICT: “IMA LETCHU FINISH”
I’m going to put down my haterade for a second and admit that Taylor probably ain’t all THAT bad, and surely she has done SOME good. But I am suspicious of her faux feminism and legginess…no one is that perfect or leggy.
If you ask me there needs to be a little less Tay and a little more Tina Fey, Queen Bey and maybe even, but only just a touch, a little more Kanye.