The Taylor Swift Problem
Tyler Hanan, Opinions Editor
The case against Taylor Swift has nothing to do with the tabloid fodder.
She doesn’t go on too many dates, it doesn’t really matter how long the guys stay, and there is no way she stays out too late. Taylor doesn’t seem like one to rage all night.
The issues with Taylor Swift run deeper than that. The longtime first point of reference was Swifts’ uber-popular “You Belong To Me” and the slut-shaming that comes with songs that say “she wears short skirts, I wear t-shirts.” T-shirts are wholesome and good, while short skirts are slutty and unworthy. As a certain friend of mine put it, the “I know what’s best for you, you belong to me, I’m better than your slut girlfriend” part of Swift’s music
The taking down of those other, unwholesome ladies isn’t the most recent issue with Swift, though. Race has played the biggest role in recent Swift-centric takedowns, most notably in the video for new, purely pop single “Shake It Off.”
The charges are exploitation and appropriation as Swift, like Lily Allen and Miley Cyrus before her, use black culture to seem “exotic” or “crazy.” “Shake It Off” isn’t as glaringly bad as Lily Allen’s “Hard Out Here” – Swift’s song has a more light-hearted bent with an intended inclusiveness – but this isn’t an issue that can be glossed over with song like an 80’s movie montage. There is a sequence that results in Swift crawling under a line of twerking women of various ethnicities, gawking upwards in amazement at the bouncing butts. This after she stands in front of a line of twerkers, hands clapped to face in shock. It’s shocking! But also great! But still kind of crazy!
Rapper Earl Sweatshirt’s tweets on the subject (@earlxsweat) have been the most quoted take, and they summarize the problem well. The most succinct (and okay for print):
“Perpetuating black stereotypes to the same demographic of white girls who hide their prejudice by proclaiming their love of the culture”
Naturally, this limited space is only enough to touch on the many issues, not delve into them as deeply as needed. Good thing we have the boundless internet. Swift meant well, throwing an inclusive party for all the wonderful dancers – and isn’t she just so awkward – but good intentions, as we’re so often reminded, don’t mean a thing. This is a problem you can’t shake off.
Why Taylor Swift is actually Queen B
Kaila Parent, Production Assistant
Who has won 4 Gammy Awards, 7 Billboard Awards and has managed to sell millions of copies of her albums within the first week of their release? Taylor Swift.
I can’t stand it when I hear people talk about how much of a teenybopper Swift is or how she is constantly criticized about the amount of dates she goes on.
What people who hate Taylor Swift refuse to see is that she is one of the only stars left in the spotlight that is actually a good role model for young girls.
First off she writes all her own music and from a very real place that almost any girl can relate to. There have been many days where a T-Swift song gets me through a tough time and I know there are many girls hat fill the same way she knows how to relate to her audience and that just makes her awesome.
Second she is not letting fame go to her head you do not see tabloids plastering pictures of a drunken Taylor Swift out clubbing or going through a twerking, chop off all my hair phase. She stays home on the weekend with her cat watching Law and Order and baking. She isn’t someone parents have to shield their adolescent children from because she simply is a good-hearted person.
Not to mention the countless amounts of dollars she donates to charity. Taylor Swift was the named the most charitable celebrity of 2013, according to the social change nonprofit DoSomething.org. In 2009 she performed on BBC’s Children in Need concert and donated £13,000 to the cause. In response to the May 2010 Tennessee floods, Swift donated $500,000 during a flood relief telethon hosted by WSMV, a Nashville television station.
Just to name a few of her generous donations.
She doesn’t my overly priced cars or jewelry and she certainly doesn’t flaunt her wealth around like Kim Kardashian or Beyonce, instead she gives the majority of it back.
Instead of criticizing Taylor Swift for her music, voice or dating habits, why don’t you look at the person she is?
She is talented and one of few who still writes her own music and manages to stay down to earth despite being a billionaire at the age of 24. Just look at the Biebs he is not even 21 yet and has let his fortune go to his head.
There just aren’t many stars out there that have come from fame at the age of sixteen and still manage to keep it so together like Swift does. But hey like Swift puts it the haters are “gonna hate, hate, hate.”