Pop Culture Shock: In defense of Taylor Swift
Columnist McKenna Bulkley makes the case for the “1989” singer.
It’s time to talk about something important, because I have a confession to make. I love Taylor Swift. I have 80 different Swift songs on my phone, and nothing makes me happier than dancing around my room to “Shake it Off.” I am a die-hard, over-the-top “Swiftie.”
And because I’m a Swift fan, it’s a little upsetting for me to hear everyone talk about what a slut she supposedly is, or how that all she ever does is write songs about boys. So it’s time for me to spread some Taylor Trivia with all of you and hopefully enlighten you guys.
Brandon Borello, Sam Armstrong, Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner, Jake Gyllenhaal, John Mayer, Harry Styles, Conor Kennedy. Swift has allegedly dated eight guys from the time before her first record came out all the way in 2006, up until her most recent relationship with Kennedy ended two years ago. But the entire universe still can’t shut up about how she can’t be alone and always has a new boyfriend.
“All of her songs are about boys!”
Now that’s just not true. “22” is about hanging out with her friends. “Long Live” is about her band. “Tied Together with a Smile” was written about her friend who had an eating disorder. “The Lucky One,” “Never Grow Up,” “The Best Day,” “A Place in this World,” –– none of these have anything to do with any romantic relationship — and there are a dozen more just like them.
“Taylor Swift writes songs about all of her ex-boyfriends and they’re always so mean!!!!”
This one particularly irks me. Firstly, where else are artists supposed to draw inspiration from if not their own lives and the lives of those around them? That’s how you make good music.
“But she uses names and lets everyone know whom she’s talking about!”
Because no one else has ever made it clear whom they’re talking about. Certainly not Ed Sheeran, who wrote a song about his ex-girlfriend (fellow British singer Nina Nesbitt) that was actually named after her. (Really. The song is called “Nina”).
Also, most of the English-speaking world knows Miley Cyrus’ song “FU” is about her ex-fiancée Liam Hemsworth — in fact, basically all of her album “Bangerz” is about him.
And let’s not forget that John Mayer wrote a song about Swift. But these artists don’t have a reputation for writing songs about people, so they’re all in the clear.
Let’s be honest here: Swift has a reputation for doing the same thing everyone else is doing. Yeah, she calls people out in her songs. Just like everyone else. Yes, one could possibly say she’s had quite a few famous boyfriends, but so have a ton of other celebrities. Those Hollywood guys and gals switch partners more than square dancers, if we’re being honest. But for some reason, we love to trash on Swift when she does it.
And imagine being Swift for a second. Imagine that every single one of your relationships is now doomed from the start because the second the paparazzi sees you two out in public, you just know the media is going to slam you and warn him to watch out because you might write a song about him. It’s mean and it’s unfair.
But the best part about Swift is that even through all of this hate she’s able to “Shake it Off” and continue to write songs and create music—because haters gonna hate (hate hate hate hate).