In 2014 Taylor Swift came out with her fourth album 1989 and introduces too Squad goals and the urban dictionary version of feminism. An unequivocal success Taylor Swift dominated the charts and with songs like Blank Space she showed growth and self-awareness that showed she’d matured as a songwriter.
Pop culture historians will notice an almost circular trend when it comes to Taylor Swift. She drops an album with a great lead single, wins a lot of favourable press in interviews and viral videos. Then she takes it a little too far whether it’s dining out on song inspiration or the perfectly staged photographs, she loses credibility pretty much as soon as she gains it.
But one thing is for certain Taylor Swift has unequivocally aligned herself with a progressive feminist agenda. It was easy, at a time when Beyonce sampled feminist scholars and was literally standing behind a ten-foot feminist sign Swift aligned herself with the movement.
To her credit, Taylor Swift introduced the concept of feminism to a platform of young girls who otherwise wouldn’t have known about it. She’s been a lightning rod for sexist rhetoric as a young girl in the spotlight her personal life comes into play in her music she’s been branded a ‘slut’ for dating as a normal twenty-year-old. And she’s not the first musician to use her personal life in her music, but she’s easily the most criticised.
It’s impossible to not link Swift’s success to what she does in her personal life, whether it’s cute cat videos or a Vogue style photoshoot over the Fourth of July weekend part of her charm is an openness with her personal life and her relationship with her fans.
So Swift’s silence on the recent election and her late support of the Woman’s March has drawn criticism online. And it’s not the first time that Taylor Swift has been accused of using the concept of feminism to suit her. She used it to dismiss Nicki Minaj’s criticism of the MTV awards and tried to use it when she faced backlash after the Kim & Kanye video leaked.
It seems like she uses feminism as a defence when she pleases not endorsing a politic candidate seems like a careful move to avoid upsetting a large number of fans. Whether you like or not 59.4 million people voted for him and Swift got her start as a country star, a historically Republican sector she can’t afford to upset them.
So how does she manage to look like a committed feminist while still sticking to her country roots? Firstly, taking a step back would probably win her back some credibility. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and the next supermodel-laden party probably doesn’t have to be on instagram.
I say all of this as a fan of Taylor Swift, the type of fan that owns actual albums and concert tickets. It’s impossible not to note the hypocrisy in terms of the media rhetoric surrounding Taylor Swift, I doubt that Bieber or Drake have ever had their moves dissected as much as Swift has.
The rise and demise of Taylor Swift probably won’t stop with 2017, the next album release the online attitude towards Swift will have changed once again.