They're baaaaack. First, Taylor Swift fans — "Swifties," as they like to be called — went after Abercrombie and Fitch for their "More Boyfriends Than T.S." shirt. Now, they have a new enemy in indie clothing company, Bad Kid Clothing. The company, run by 26-year-olds Lex Houser and Andi Cross, created a custom tee listing Swift's ex-boyfriends for a friend to wear to a Swift concert. Houser uploaded an Instagram of the shirt, and within hours, BKC was bombarded with hate mail from Swifties.
“They keep telling me to take it off the site, but it wasn’t on the site, so I guess they wanted me to take down the picture [from Instagram],” Houser told Fashionista.
BKC took down the photo, but that wasn't enough for Swift's loyal followers. They started receiving messages saying, ‘Oh, you think just because it’s gone that this is over? Just wait until you see what happens to you.’
From there, Swifties began attacking BKC with phone calls, emails, and Twitter, using the hashtag '#BadKidsClothingTakeAwayTSwiftTop.' But it wasn't just a hashtag that Swifties were throwing BKC's way. They threatened to burn down the store (which, good luck, since it's a website), kill the employees, and even told BKC that "everything [they] stood for was worse than Hitler and the assassination of millions of Jews.” Don't kids say the darndest things?
Instead of releasing an apology à la Abercrombie, BKC decided to make a profit from the all the press they were receiving. After all, if Swift Nation wasn't going to quiet down after they deleted the Instagram, why not find the silver lining? The company began selling the shirts for $19.99 in an array of different colors.
In a blog post, Cross writes, "We will not be removing the shirt from our store... We will deal with the death threats and incredible slander from here on out, when necessary, with proper authorities as it is never acceptable to threaten anyone’s life."
There are a few different reasons that this story is so upsetting. For one thing, Swift has spoken candidly — both in her music and in interviews — about how she was bullied growing up and how troubling it was for her. Presumably, the logic of Swift's fans is, "Well, this makes us even," but payback isn't the anecdote to bullying.
What's even more troubling is that all this petty drama comes in the wake of Cory Monteith's tragic passing this weekend. Monteith was an ex-boyfriend of Swift's, and his name was originally on the shirt, but BKC removed his name after his passing. “We are really just sad that these children look at life in such a different manner than what I ever thought possible, and I hope they realize that the hate is not worth it,” Cross tells Fashionista. “People die at 31 in the blink of an eye. Cory was a good person and he died… and life is precious, it can be gone in a second.”
Hopefully Swifties will remember what's really important in life — not graphic tees and bullying hashtags, but life itself.