February 17, 2019

The Redemption of Taylor Swift

“I’ve never been a Taylor Swift fan. While some of her songs are certified bops, virtually impossible not to dance to, I’ve always found her—whether as performer, or artist, or just plain and simple person—to be deeply unlikeable.

It’s probably the narrow, self-centered way she views and expresses “feminism”—using it as a marketing crutch via “#squadgoals,” or as a way to deflect any form of criticism. It’s also probably because she likes to wallow in victimhood by reviving old feuds and making weak diss tracks with matching overtly “symbolical” music videos. Part of it, too, would be how manipulative that all feels when she presents herself as a sweet, old-fashioned, romantic country girl. Her personal brand has always just seemed so saccharine. All of that matched with weak talent—let’s be honest, she can hardly sing and she cannot dance—and you’ll find there’s really not much to admire.

I’ve always wondered what hardcore fans see in her. After debating with a friend about her “merits” for over half a decade now, I thought I had found the one thing that could probably change my opinion of the pop star: the Reputation tour documentary now streaming on Netflix.

I tried to watch it with an open mind. This can’t be that bad, I thought, especially since I I’ve seen tour documentaries of artists I didn’t necessarily like but ended up enjoying them. Yet less than a half hour into Reputation, I found myself minimizing the tab and resolving I would try going back to it later that evening. It took two whole days to convince myself to resume the play button.”

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