I love Taylor Swift and I’m not sorry.
I know that’s an inflammatory statement in the never-ending wake of the #KimExposedTaylorParty but hear me out. When you ask someone why they hate Taylor Swift, the reasoning is consistently outdated or sexist. The most tired examples are of her history with Kanye West or her romantic relationships.
Let me fill you in on something: Taylor Swift is allowed to have a tumultuous relationship with the man who has been publicly bullying her since she was 19.
Kanye West did not make her famous, seeing as she was actively winning an award for a song off her second RIAA Platinum certified album when he infamously jumped on stage to interrupt her at the 2009 Video Music Awards.
She is allowed to have nine confirmed romantic relationships in the span of 12 years and, more importantly, it’s none of our business. Despite the world having front row seats, Taylor is allowed to live her life, make her mistakes, and grow past them. Or she should be allowed to, but neither public opinion nor the workplace are kind to women and Taylor faces both on a grandiose scale.
Thinking the worst of Taylor Swift has become commonplace and believing every negative thing said about her is reflexive. People are so convinced they know what Taylor Swift is going to say that they have stopped listening. The woman is rarely afforded sympathy because pop culture is stuck on a narrative that does not have room for her as anything other than the victim or the bad guy.
I, however, do not believe her to exclusively be either; she’s just Taylor.
In refusing to see her complexly, as a fellow human, people are missing out on the best parts of her story. Taylor is currently on an all-stadium tour for her newest album “Reputation.” This album and tour confirm for those of us who are still tuned in that Taylor is done caring about people who do not care about her. She is living her best life as someone, who like us all, has experience as both victim and bad guy.
Instead of looking to the past, she is concentrating on the version of herself she has become.
Her outward focus is reserved for the people who have supported her in her journey, whether it be loyal Swifties or Joe Alwyn, the person she has been romantically linked to since November 2016. Taylor Swift knows where she stands with the people who matter to her and has told everyone else to ‘Call It What You Want.’ If you listen, it is clear she has emerged as a person who has defined her own story and come forth with wisdom, not regret.
This is made obvious within her poem ‘Why She Disappeared’ where she says, “without your past, you could never have arrived so wondrously and brutally, by design or some violent, exquisite happenstance…here.” This renaissance period for Taylor Swift makes it clear that the version of her so many are hyper-focused on hating, does not exist.
The old Taylor is dead.
It is now the “Reputation” era and attempting to cancel her talent, validity and the validity of those who support her needs to go out of style.