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Tortured Poets Oath: Why No One Can Be Normal About Taylor Swift

Tortured Poets Oath: Why No One Can Be Normal About Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift has always been a pop culture litmus test. Every song Swift releases, every song she performs or award show she attends, and every candid photo of herself is up to everyone's interpretation. What people see depends on how they feel about it.

For some, it is A ruthless capitalist Which intersects with the ground on Her private plane, He shouts Her cute boyfriend is a professional football player, and she has no integrity Move aside In the next elections. Plus, maybe she has Celine Dion shrugged At the Grammys.

To others, she's the greatest songwriter of her generation, but she's not Afraid to be successful Or even misunderstood – because everything she does is for her fans.

Extreme interpretations can never fully capture Taylor Swift's entirety, but they do provide a picture of her appeal in popular culture. The most obvious thing about Taylor Swift is that no one can stop talking about her, and that when it comes to the pop star, it is impossible to remain neutral.

Before releasing her album… Section of tortured poets April 19 — Swift became extraordinarily famous, and she may have broken us all by doing so. She's always been successful and thriving in the spotlight, but over the past few years, she seems to have achieved a rare level of celebrity that makes her and the attention swirling around her feel inescapable, even for Swift.

“Whatever's going on and whatever she's doing, it's working. Her persona and her cultural dominance are more saturated than ever,” said DJ Louie XIV, a Swift fan and podcast host. pop pantheon, Tell me. Lowe has been in love with the star since 2008 fearless But he says he can do without the constant debate surrounding it.

“As the biggest star right now, it can feel like Taylor Swift is eating up 80 percent of our entire pop cultural discourse. But there's also an element of that dominance that's not necessarily her fault,” he added.

It is impossible to avoid everyone's feelings, thoughts, criticisms and admiration, and it is even more difficult to remain neutral towards Swift. Like the Rorschach, some of that is by design. But some of them are a peek at how efficiently social media can crush any kind of nuance.

Taylor Swift has become inescapable

What makes being Swiss over Swift so difficult is that the rhetoric that follows her — her fans and detractors fighting with each other — is everywhere. After release Three new albums in as many years (Tortured poets She will be four years old since 2020) and set about setting records Eras Stadium World TourI created Box office smash A film about the aforementioned tour, and I found the right time to announce it She will be directing her first feature film. She also started dating professional NFL player Travis Kelce and went on to attend not only a few of his games but also his Super Bowl win. In the midst of all these events, Gannett Magazine, which publishes USA Today, announced That she was hiring a Taylor Swift correspondent to keep up with everything Swift.

Because she's so famous, Swift attracts attention. These things you do are becoming less about the things themselves and more about Swift. Miscellaneous feature like Managers on managers He's usually inside a movie idiot's baseball game, but when Swift talks to him Inchirin Panchayat Director Martin McDonagh's short film for her song “All Too Well” has become another part of Swiftie lore. Now when she attends an awards ceremony, she is not just a guest but the guest, with the camera cutting to her repeatedly She's dancing The audience gasps. Before last year's Grammy Awards, Swift and her team Changed profile picture on her Instagram account, which led to a frenzy among the public to try to decipher the meaning. This meaning was revealed during her Album of the Year acceptance speech when she announced it Tortured poets.

Taylor Swift and her friends went to a football game and it became one of the biggest Super Bowl stories.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

This focus-grabbing phenomenon became painfully apparent when I started going to Kelsey's soccer games. Her weekly attendance at America's most favorite televised sport has become a story in itself, one that has turned into a rebuke for male fans Networking decisions To dedicate (Even the minimum) Her camera time. Unfortunately, some of the criticism has subsided misogyny. At the same time, her presence at matches raised ratings and brought in new fans, Women in the first placeto the NFL.

Swift-Kelce has become as big news as the former president Donald Trump weight On their relationship. Swift's impact on the NFL is just a microcosm of Taylor Swift's.

Even if you don't have a direct opinion about Taylor Swift or her music, talking about sports or movies eventually becomes directly about them.

Why do people react to Taylor Swift the way they do?

The polarizing reaction Taylor Swift has caused among her critics and loyal fans is no coincidence. Like other hugely successful pop stars — Madonna, Beyoncé, Britney Spears — Swift has created a persona to which people respond passionately.

Swift's character has always been one of all-American character and remarkable accessibility. First and foremost, Taylor Swift has always been putting herself out there in public As a good friend. the 1989 Album and tourposts on Instagram about her fame Fourth of July parties, Paparazzi shotsThe awards feature quotes entirely dedicated to Swift's friends, including Selena Gomez, Gigi Hadid, and Blake Lively. She's a best friend who also happens to be the biggest pop star in the world.

In addition to these traditions, Swift's songs are full of Easter eggs, inside jokes, and anecdotes that only fans who really know her — her best friends — will understand. If you really know her music, then you really know who Swift is and her friendship seems as obtainable as it is fantastically desirable.

Swift has also long presented herself as the underdog in the industry.

This part of her character goes back to the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, when Kanye interrupted her speech to tell her that she didn't actually get video of the year. And it continued with her responding to jokes made at her expense and lazy reductive reviews of her music that were about the men she dated. There were also moments where Swift He spoke Addressing concerns such as: sexual harassment, Artists get paid for their music, and misogyny in the music business where men (Kanye West specifically, and Scooter Braun indirectly) try to undermine women's success. This message reached her fans, who were quick to point it out when they felt she was being insulted, especially by men.

People want to protect the vulnerable. Friends want to defend their friends.

The thing about these characters is that in order to succeed, they need something to fight against. You can't be friends with everyone. You can't be an underdog if no one pulls you down. Swift's characters need criticism as much as they need loyalty.

Taylor Swift happily holds the hand of a young fan.

Taylor Swift's genius is her ability to supernaturally connect and give her fans a sense of what a friendship with her would be like.
Ashok Kumar/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

Can one love Swift's music but not love the Easter egg paraphernalia that accompanies each album? Is it possible to love the positive things that Swift inspires in young girls but not like her music? Can you be upset by the conversation surrounding Swift but actually love her as an artist? Is it possible that you don't like any of them but keep that fact to yourself?

Maybe one day it was. But on social media, where stan culture dominates the conversation, all sorts of quick criticisms and compliments get turned into very simple, scathing arguments for and against.

“There are a lot of people who engage in the rhetoric that anything less than adoration is grounds for attack,” pop culture expert DJ Lowe told me. “How are we supposed to have any kind of nuanced critical discourse about any of this? Taylor and Beyoncé and all pop stars deserve praise and criticism, and we should want that to exist in our culture. But I feel like we've just gotten to a situation where it's almost impossible There is no way to conduct any kind of nuanced cultural discussion.

To that point, he called a Reddit forum FastNetural It exists where fans and critics are encouraged to express their opinions while keeping the conversation civil and respectful. There, criticism is not viewed as an attack, and praise is not the only belief. One can also find discussions about the aesthetics of her new album and the changes in her music.

Perhaps the most ridiculous thing about all this chatter is that it doesn't affect Taylor Swift herself. All the things we feel about Taylor Swift end up saying more about us — our hang-ups, our desires, what we like and don't like about ourselves — than anything about her.

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