The Taylor/Kimye Feud Is An Escape From Life

by Michelle McGahan

If you've been on the Internet or stepped outside your door today, chances are you know all about the Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian/Kanye West feud. It's the kind of delicious, petty drama that social media soap operas are made of — starting with Kardashian's Snap story exposé of those T. Swift phone calls (in which Swift approves at least part of the "Famous" lyric containing her name), leading into Swift's ~swift~ iPhone note retaliation/clarification (she claims she never approved the "b*tch" line and called the Kimye attack a "character assassination"), and ending with a random off-shoot side feud somehow involving Khloé Kardashian and Chloë Grace Moretz. It's an overwhelming amount of middle school-esque playground bullsh*t to be sure, and the Internet is effing riveted.

Of course, it's not surprising that people are losing their damn minds over this Swift/Kimye drama — the public is fascinated by celebrity, we're particularly fascinated when it seems like we are getting an inside look into how they think and operate, and it is a big deal when such a revered, beloved star (Swift) is seemingly taken down a notch or several by celebs who stars shine just as brightly. It's the same old story that has kept celeb-watchers hooked for years — only this time it contains popcorn GIFs and Twitter reactions and watching the juicy back-and-forth like a tennis match. Not to mention it comes at a time when the world is in turmoil.

Interestingly enough, it's that last point that celebs like Selena Gomez and Moretz called out in regards to the feud. When there are such enormous issues going on in the world today — gun control, gun violence, systematic racism, senseless murders and terrorism all over the globe — why do people care about what a Kardashian has to say about Swift?

Gomez tweeted, "There are more important things to talk about... Why can't people use their voice for something that f*cking matters?" While Moretz wrote:

But it's because of the real-world horror that people are so invested in this type of petty drama between A-listers. Don't get me wrong: This is the kind of huge celeb news story that would make headlines no matter what; it would spawn endless think pieces (like this one) and opinions and Twitter trends and #TeamSwift and #TeamKimye hashtags regardless of what was going on in the world. But because we are living through terrifying times, having several hours of your day when you're frantically trying to decide which star to support and who to drag can feel like a relief.

Getting so invested in something so trivial is a form of escapism. It's why so many people are interested in celebrity news in the first place; it's the same reason why people continued to go to movies during the Great Depression — life sucks, things are hard, the world is falling down around you, why not have a few hours of respite from that type of fear and misery and get sucked into something harmlessly enjoyable that has virtually no impact on your own life? There is relief when all you have to worry about, even for a moment, is if Kanye West is going to launch into a Twitter rant or if T. Swift is going to delete her Instagram retaliation.

So yes, there are much bigger, more important issues going on in the world and they are worth talking about, much more than Kimye and Swift — but that's exactly why fans live for this over-the-top, juicy-as-hell celeb drama. Good or bad, morally wrong or not, the Swift and Kimye feud offers many a brief escape from whatever sh*t is going on in people's personal lives and in the world at large. It's an explanation to the tweets posed by Gomez and CGM, even though they were mostly rhetorical and based on their own issues with the public drama (Gomez trying to defend her friend; Moretz getting involved because of her longstanding beef with the Kardashians).

Celebrity worship is escapism, and when such ridiculous drama is purposely played out so publicly, it's impossible not to latch on and get swept away.