My resignation letter from being a Taylor Swift fan

16:55

I have been a Taylor Swift fan for seven years now.

I've written about my love for Taylor a bit here, and a bit here if you are interested. I know a lot of people love Taylor, but I loved Taylor. A lot of music fans out there have their one special artist, and for me that was Taylor Swift. Her albums were my breakfast, lunch, and dinner - every song has its own set of personal memories attached. I own hundreds of pounds worth of largely pointless Taylor Swift merchandise. I know every word to every song she's ever recorded. I have playlists of pensive Swift, playlists of angry Swift, playlists of my-first-crush Swift, playlists of falling-in-love Swift.

But sadly, over the past year, something has changed.

Very quietly and in the back of my head for quite some time now I have had the niggling feeling that I much preferred being a Taylor Swift megafan when it made me quite odd and the vast majority of people were not that bothered. I feel like when people used to hear I was a Taylor Swift fan they used to assume I swanned about in princess dresses and was the sort of person your nan would call a Dolly Daydream, but that I was largely inoffensive. However, I feel that being a Taylor Swift fan now means something else entirely.

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My strong bond with Taylor Swift's music is mainly due to the fact I feel as though I've grown up with it. Taylor and I are the same age, and I've always felt we are at similar stages of life and mindset. I know this probably sounds very corny and perhaps inappropriate for a woman of almost 25, but I've always kind of felt as though Taylor was my friend. Her songs showed that she understood me, she knew the kind of things I had been through in my life. I listened to her music in all of my darkest moments. When my beloved grandmother died Safe and Sound had just been released; I played it sixty times on repeat. When I went through the mother of bad breakups and was left homeless I wandered around listening to All Too Well and knowing she understood.

One of the saddest things about hitting your mid twenties is the realisation that one day you can have a best friend who you text 50 times a day and then suddenly you wake up five years later and it's not as if you've fallen out, bu you haven't really heard from them in three months and you don't even know if they have a boyfriend or if they're going on holiday this year or how their family are anymore. Sometimes you go and meet up with them but the conversation is stilted, awkward. What you once had in common is gone. The spark is missing. Your lives have gone in different directions and there's no space for each other anymore. You wish them no harm - if you were on the Sims you'd always keep those lifetime relationship points - but even hugging them now feels weird.

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Last month I went to see Taylor Swift at Hyde Park. It was the third time I'd seen her live. I felt like I was witnessing a moment, that people would be mentioning Taylor Swift at Hyde Park for twenty years. But something felt off. Throughout the concert Taylor Swift talked about her friends. Videos were shown of all of Taylor's friends talking about how great Taylor was. Taylor's friends (all beautiful, all famous, clever mix of ethnicities and industry specialisms) came out and walked out during the catwalk of Style so the best bit of the song was missed out. I stood through and wailed along like everyone else, but was aware that everyone was drunk. I wondered how many people recognised the bits of Enchanted in Wildest Dreams.

1989 is a fantastic album - one of Taylor's best - but I struggle to connect to it like the others. I've been listening to Fearless, the song, a lot recently. The song is simple and not particularly clever and I've heard it a thousand times over seven years. But it is so honest and so true. And now that I'm in a safe and happy and exciting relationship (CLUNK) every time I listen to it it feels like it's the first time again. At the O2 Arena Taylor performed Fearless on an acoustic guitar and everyone knew all of the words and when it got to the first "I just don't know how it gets better than this" I cried. I try to listen to Style - clever, wonderfully produced, perfect, objective 10/10 all round - and all I can think is of Serena bloody Williams randomly walking the catwalk at Hyde Park for no particular reason.

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I've seen Taylor Swift's problematic hyper-narcissism from a distance for some time now, but I've tried to keep quiet about it and hope it would go away and just hope that the next album won't be as successful and then she'll go back to normal again. But sadly, last night as I'm sure you are all aware, I witnessed right before my very eyes Taylor ensure that Nicki Minaj's valid comments about inherent structural racism in the music industry were all about her. The final nail in the coffin was the unbelievably condescending "you can share the stage with me!" that came afterwards.

I listened to Taylor Swift's debut on the tube this morning and wondered what the Taylor who wrote Cold As You would have thought.

I used to always defend Taylor whenever anyone said anything bad about her. Then for a while I learnt to just say nothing. But now there is nothing I can do other than admit that she is not the person I used to be a fan of. I am always here for Taylor Swift's music. I am always ready for the next album. There could be coming back from this. She could redeem herself. But I'm a little worried she's not going to and that she'll end up releasing Rita Ora's shelved cursed album. I wish her no harm but for now me and her are done personally.

I'm interested to see Taylor's next move, and I hope for her sake she calculates it very carefully, because, unfortunately, if you have an awareness of intersectional feminism, you should probably at this point be ashamed to be a Taylor Swift fan.

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2 comments

  1. Sorry, but while i agree that Taylor has had quite a few missteps lately, this is definitely not one of them. There were many things hinting that Minaj's points were about Taylor: the questionable tweets she was faving, Bad Blood being the only nominated video that fits her description, and Minaj fans spamming Taylor's mentions with that tweet laughing at how "shady" she was!

    In fact, what Minaj was doing, was acting bitter because her video wasnt nominated, and then tried to blame that on racism, even when looking at the list of nominees, you see there are 2 videos with POC as a lead artist (one male and one female), and there are 2 videos with POC as a featured act, leaving just one video with purely white artists (Thinking Out Loud). The fact that she thinks her video wasnt nominated due to the VMAs being racist even when 4/5 nominees have POC in them is truly laughable and nothing short of embarrassing!

    Not to mention how she was throwing subtle comments about Taylor while favoriting questionable tweets about how she should "Kanye her" and then proceeded to pretend she wasnt talking about her. And she didnt have the guts to admit it so she backtracked and played it cute

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  2. I couldn't agree with more. She's a raging narcissist and a faux feminist. I can't stand her and can't wait for her to go away.

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