You know, I’m really starting to think Taylor Swift gets a bad rap, especially after rolling my eyes at the Grammys performance haters and reading through Swift's most recent interview with Glamour. As this month’s cover feature, T. Swift talks to the more-grown-up-than-Cosmo-but-not-quite-Vanity-Fair mag about her songwriting process and keeping her cool amidst media storms. All in all, Swift portrays herself in a way that is perhaps the most relatable version of Taylor to date. The way she talks about relationships and writing and how the two intertwine reveal her to be, well, a 24-year-old. And that’s a good thing.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that Swift’s sour-pussness over the Amy Poehler and Tina Fey joke heard ‘round the Twittersphere was a lame move. Celebrities are all the more personable when they have a sense of humor about themselves. However, the constant barrage Swift gets for her dating life is unfair. She’s 24.
As Swift puts it, “I find it relatively easy to keep my clothes on because I don’t really feel like taking them off. It’s not an urge I have. For me 'risky' is revealing what really happened in my life through music. Risky is writing confessional songs and telling the true story about a person with enough details so everyone knows who that person is. That’s putting myself out there, maybe even more than taking my shirt off.” Preach girlfriend, preach.
Why do we so easily turn on someone who is just putting the shitty behavior of her exes on blast? Swift is merely trying to navigate her way through the awful world of dating. So why hate on her for it? I mean, how many hours do each of us spend with our friends mulling over inane things like texts and mixed signals? We might not have dated Harry Styles, but we sure have all dated our share of dum-dums and have been played more times than we feel safe admitting. Swift’s honesty about the garbage bin that can be the twenties dating world is unsavory for so many, but why?
Well, Swift’s emotive and truthful lyrics are in many ways “inconvenient.” Much like the ever-present and problematic “Crazy Ex/ Crazy Girlfriend” motif in pop culture, Taylor gets a lot of flack for being a human person who has feelings, and talks about them. And I think it’s high time we stop contributing to that nasty mechanism used to keep women quiet.
It’s already having its effect on the mega pop star. She noted, "Silence speaks so much louder than screaming tantrums. Never give anyone an excuse to say that you're crazy."
Ergh, okay, sure sometimes the “speak softly and carry a big stick” approach can be important in relationships, careers, war, etc., however, it’s not something that women should feel they need to employ all of the time. Taylor, if you need to shout sometimes, then shout. Adele put her ex’s dirty laundry out to dry with 24 and we all loved her for it. She’s raw, real, and unapologetic. Screw convenience, we want art.
Like her or not, Swift is a powerful celebrity. And a pop star who stands up for herself and writes songs that are honest about her experience as a woman is a good thing. She's not perfect and she's done a lot of things that have probably annoyed a lot of people but hey, at least she's using her celebrity to talk about herself and her art in a way that's actually good for women. Now let’s say we all start sticking to our guns and supporting each other as much as possible. Then listen to Red and have a nice cry, shall we?