Why I Still Care About The Taylor Swift & Katy Perry Feud
On Thursday night, the world was intrigued, outraged, and amused to find out that Taylor Swift was releasing her music to streaming sites again. Mainly because this was happening at midnight — the same time that Katy Perry's new album, Witness, was due to drop on iTunes and Spotify. And, indeed, Friday morning, Swift was a trending topic on Twitter because of the return of her old music. But even if it's the question on everyone's minds, it doesn't matter why Swift returned her music to Spotify and other streaming sites.
Listen, we're kind of past the point where I need to spend a bunch of time speculating about whether Swift's move was a calculated one. After years of holding her music off streaming platforms like Spotify, the 27-year old casually releases all of it all at once on the same day that Katy Perry releases Witness, her first album since 2013. I think that is ice cold, and I see no reason to tiptoe around it, because I love it. I happen to be a member of the group that lives for this feud, and I refuse to apologize for it.
The Taylor Nation Instagram post said that this event came in celebration of the singer reaching 100 million song certifications. But whether or not you believe otherwise, within the pop cultural event of the 1989 singer finally making her return to streaming, there is room for all of us. There's room for those who see this as further proof of a feud that the two stars have been more and more open about in recent years. There's room for those who want to stop talking about this stupid Perry vs. Swift feud already. There's room for those who are just psyched to get access to Swift's entire discography. There's room for anyone who needs a distraction from the political implosions taking place all around us. And there's room for anything and everything in between.
I'm someone who, like many people, delights in the simple pettiness of an artistic back-and-forth. I love reading into song lyrics for hidden references, listening to diss tracks, and the simple joy of knowing what people really think. So many celebrities these days are so careful about what they reveal about themselves or who they let in. In some ways it feels cathartic that everything between Perry and Swift is right out on the surface. And this is a classic case of picking on someone your own size. Both of these women have handled their fair share of controversy, and, at this point, they can dish it out as well as they can take it.
Swift and Perry are outspoken, independent, and opinionated, which are three traits that I appreciate in any woman, no matter her position. And, hey, it doesn't hurt that the ways they've chosen to throw their weight around so far have directly rewarded their fans. The song "Bad Blood"? Thank you, I'll take it. The song "Swish Swish"? Delicious, yes, I'll have another. A new Katy Perry album and Swift's entire catalog on Spotify in the same day? Bless.
At the end of the day, no matter which side — if any! — you agree with, you can't deny that these women are inspiring each other. You can be inspired by anything, good or bad, easy or difficult. In the past, both women have delved into their personal lives for sparks of inspiration. So why can't they mine their relationships with each other for the same thing? It's like a friend breakup, and they're both entitled to not only talk about it, but to let their feelings about their experience influence their career trajectories. That's literally what being an artist is all about: sharing.
Conflicts are natural, and not everyone is going to get along, so we might as well make the best of it. Instead of women being forced to smile and pretend like they're friends, I would much rather they get to be who they are. Even if who they are is petty AF. I'm petty AF, so that's recognizable to me. I appreciate that Swift and Perry are acting like normal people who get their feelings hurt, and I am living for the ways that they can get back at each other.
But maybe you aren't like me, and this isn't your thing. Which is totally fine, because you can still enjoy the benefits of it. There are some fun tracks on Witness, and Swift threw some damn karaoke tracks up on Spotify, so have at it. Me? I'm delighted by how much neither of these women is messing around. They came to play, and during a political moment that feels more than a little fraught? I will embrace the distraction with open arms, and say thank you. No matter what form it comes in, I am always down for women speaking their truths.