Breaking News: Does Taylor Swift Deserves All The Critics And Hates She’s Getting This Days? And here is the answer worth pondering…

 

Taylor Swift began her career way back in 2006. At first, she started off producing country music, but over the past couple of years, she has moved onto the pop music scene and gained immense popularity. Some of her most popular albums released fairly recently have been “Evermore,” “Folklore,” and “Midnights.” All three of these albums are included in her Era’s tour, which has been going on since March 17 of this year and is set to continue until August 9.

However, with every light, there must be darkness. With this boom in popularity, there has also been an increase in the amount of hate towards Taylor Swift, both from men and women. I believe that this hate is unfounded. While it is perfectly okay to not enjoy the particular kinds of music she creates, there is not much reason to hate her as a person. In fact, I would argue that much of this hate stems from misogyny. Do people hate her because she has done anything wrong? Or do they hate her simply because she is a successful woman in the music industry whose more recent songs often aim to expose the pain of heartbreak and teach people that they deserve partners who treat them well and recognize their worth?In the end, I think it’s important when we find ourselves disliking someone to examine the “why” behind our distaste.

Is it because they genuinely have done something wrong and/or been bigoted? Or is it the result of one of our internalized biases? By having an open mind and going through this thought process, we can unpack the biases we do have and learn to change our viewpoints

Taylor Swift is an expert at dealing with ‘haters’ – here’s what we can learn from her epic comeback

 

There was once a time when it was ‘cool’ to hate Taylor Swift. I know. It sounds crazy to say. Currently, Swift is arguably the most popular person on the planet. It feels like everyone is talking about her. She’s selling out stadiums around the world with her The Eras Tour, and her upcoming album re-release – 1989 (Taylor’s Version) – is already predicted to break records.

But, despite all of that, I stand by my first statement. There really was a time when hating Swift was practically a trend. It started how the usual scrutiny of celebrities does: nit-picking comments she made in interviews, dissecting all aspects of her appearance, questioning whether or not she ‘deserved’ her success.

With Swift though, things quickly developed into a different beast. The singer was subjected to something of a witchhunt when it came to her romantic life. Tabloids were advising any man pictured with her to steer clear ‘or else she’ll write a song about you’, there were endless gossip columns about her being a ‘serial dater’, and she was often the butt of the joke at awards shows, and even in just everyday conversation.

Of course, there are so many issues with all of this. For one, it was sexist. Yes, Swift attracted a certain amount of attention to her love life by writing about her relationships and breakups so openly and vividly in her songs. But male pop stars were doing the exact same thing, and they weren’t getting the same criticism for it.

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As Swift herself said during an interview in 2014: “People are going to say, ‘oh, you know, she only writes songs about her ex-boyfriends’, and I think frankly that’s a very sexist angle to take. No one says that about Ed Sheeran. No one says it about Bruno Mars. They’re all writing songs about their exes, their current girlfriends, their love life, and no one raises a red flag there.”

Here's what Taylor Swift teaches us about dealing with haters. Credit: Getty Images
Here’s what Taylor Swift teaches us about dealing with haters. Credit: Getty Images

Secondly, the treatment Swift received was slut-shaming, plain and simple. There’s no point in mincing words about this. People were tearing a woman in her early 20s apart for going on dates and having relationships. And, what was so disappointing about it all, was that just as much of the shaming came from women as it did from men.

How Swift dealt with this criticism was what was so interesting though, as she decided to use it to her advantage. In the song ‘Blank Space’ from her 2014 album 1989, Swift takes on the persona the world had forced on her – and creates an ingenious piece of satire, managing to expose the vitriol that was levelled at her for the nonsense it truly was.

The music video is as over-the-top as possible, depicting a ‘crazed’ ex-girlfriend screaming, crying, smashing her boyfriend’s car with a golf club and even setting his clothes on fire. Swift’s lyrics are just as quick-witted – from the iconic “darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream” to the song’s hook: “Got a long list of ex-lovers / They’ll tell you I’m insane / But I’ve got a blank space, baby / And I’ll write your name.”

Satisfyingly, ‘Blank Space’ remains one of her most successful songs to this day, as does the album’s other mega-hit ‘Shake It Off’, in which Swift also claps back at her “haters”. Her message was clear: keep coming for me all you want, I’ll just keep turning your hits into my own.

Kanye West (L) jumps onstage after Taylor Swift (C) won the "Best Female Video" award during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on September 13, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

Kanye West (L) jumps onstage after Taylor Swift (C) won the “Best Female Video” award during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on September 13, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

However, then 2016 hit – and for Swifties everywhere, this was a dark time. Kanye West released the song ‘Famous’, in which he crassly suggested he “and Taylor might still have sex” because “he made that b*tch famous”. This is of course a reference to the controversial incident at the 2008 VMAs, in which West interrupted 19-year-old Swift’s acceptance speech to say that Beyonce should have won.

Swift appeared to shoot back at the lyric when she accepted her Album of the Year Grammy for 1989, remarking: “I want to say to all the young women out there, there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success, or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame. But when you get where you’re going, you’ll look around and know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there.”

Things turned ugly when West’s then-wife Kim Kardashian confronted Swift’s comments, and claimed during an interview that she had “totally approved” the lyrics but nevertheless “dissed my husband just to play the victim again.” Kardashian then released a video of a phone call between West and Swift, which appeared to show Swift consenting to the song.

Despite Swift trying to explain in a brief tweet that the video did not show the whole story, the damage had been done. #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty became the Number One trend on Twitter, and people everywhere were slamming her as “manipulative” and “calculated”. Social media users left trails of ‘snake’ emojis on all of her posts, and a video of a Kanye West concert, in which fans could be heard yelling “f*ck Taylor Swift”, went viral.

 

 

Why did everyone turn on Swift so quickly? I think there’s a lot to be said for the timing of all of this. Swift had just reached new levels of success with 1989. She was being lauded as one of the most talented pop stars out there, was winning award after award, and had broken countless sales records. And some people, and some aspects of society, simply can’t handle seeing a woman at the top of her game. There has to be something to undercut her success.

So, although Swift had done nothing wrong – which was later proven to the world when it was revealed that the video Kardashian had posted had been doctored – the hate became too much. She disappeared. As she later remarked in her documentary ‘Miss Americana’, “No one physically saw me for a year.”

This time, Swift hit back at her haters in a different way. Not through clever songwriting like in ‘Blank Space’, but by healing and re-building herself. She made her comeback with her 2017 album Reputation, which, overtly, through singles like ‘Look What You Made Me Do’, seemed to be a bitter and angry retaliation to all that had happened to her.

But actually, when you delve into the lyrics, it’s the story of her falling in love with her (sadly) now ex-boyfriend Joe Alwyn, and how she was learning not to let past experiences – including the hatred levelled at her by the media – affect their love story.

People predicted the tour for Reputation would be a “flop” when the album first dropped, but Swift proved them all wrong by selling out stadiums across the world – and breaking the record at the time for the highest grossing US tour in history. And so her journey back to the top began.

Taylor Swift performing at The Eras Tour. Credit: Getty Images for TAS Rights Mana

Taylor Swift performing at The Eras Tour. Credit: Getty Images for TAS Rights Mana

In her albums since then, Swift has often reflected on the ‘hate’ she has received over the years. In her most recent release, Midnights, she effectively summarises her journey in the song ‘You’re On Your Own Kid’, singing:

“From sprinkler splashes to fireplace ashes / I gave my blood, sweat, and tears for this / I hosted parties and starved my body / Like I’d be saved by a perfect kiss / The jokes weren’t funny, I took the money / My friends from home don’t know what to say / I looked around in a blood-soaked gown / And I saw something they can’t take away.”

And what is it ‘they’ can’t take away? In simple terms, it’s where Swift has ended up. She made it, in spite of everything, as she remarks in her 2021 album evermore, where she sings: “Long story short it was a bad time, long story short I survived”.

She humorously muses on this in ‘Karma’ from Midnights, singing: “Karma is my boyfriend / Karma is the breeze in my hair on the weekend / Karma’s a relaxing thought / Aren’t you envious that for you it’s not?” She then becomes more blatant in the song’s bridge, opting for the lyrics: “Ask me what I learned from all those years / Ask me what I earned from all those tears / Ask me why so many fade, but I’m still here.”

What did Swift learn from all those years? Among many things, how to stand up for herself, how to use the hate to her advantage, and, most importantly, how the best ‘revenge’ is living her best life. She’s doing that now with her record-breaking The Eras Tour and will likely continue to do so with however many albums are still yet to come – including 1989 (Taylor’s Version), in which we’ll likely get more dissection from Swift about her early-20s experience via the vault track ‘Slut!’

To finish, I’ll leave you with the words of Taylor Swift herself, as she can explain it far better than me. From the song ‘willow’, off the album evermore, Swift sings: “They count me out time and time again, but I come back stronger than a 90’s trend.”

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