MACKENZIE KINTIGH; Arts & Culture Editor; kintigmf@plu.edu

When I was younger, I was very influenced by the music I was listening to. As a teenager, I went with what was popular and cool then. I used to listen to Taylor Swift constantly.

I would alway have “Speak Now” on my old purple iPod Nano. I was all about her breakup songs and how she was a woman who would not take crap from those who criticize her. I supported Swift no matter what people said. I could technically be considered what many call a Swiftie. I’ll be honest: I was 16 and naive about the world at the time.

Then I grew up a little bit and realized  that I did not like Swift at all. A lot of her behavior just rubbed me the wrong way.  I figured out that her values and actions did not align with my own. Many of my beliefs center around the concept that people should be able to live in a country without judgement or prejudice. This plays a huge role in my life. That desire for an equal society makes me question a lot of problematic celebrities’ actions with how they handle or react to certain situations.

This brings me to Swift and her “big comeback.” Swift’s newest single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” has become an ode to all of her haters. Many claim that the song is an instant hit while commending her for coming out with such a song that showcases the pain she has gone through in the past year.

However, I think that Swift’s behavior overall is just plain childish and not only with her newest single. She has been this way throughout her career from blaming her ex-boyfriends for breaking her heart to challenging celebrities who call her out for her actions.

She is showcasing to her fans that it is okay to play victim by not owning up to her past mistakes and questionable behavior. Instead of apologizing for how she reacted to a lyric that was in Kanye West’s song “Famous” about her, she essentially addressed to the media that she would “like to stay out of this narrative” throwing West and his wife, Kim Kardashian-West, under the bus.

Another example of Swift’s playing victim was in 2015 when Nicki Minaj tweeted about how there was a lack of diversity in the music industry. Swift took this particular tweet as a threat to herself and started accusing Minaj of tearing down women. Minaj responded back that the tweet was not about Swift and to be a better role model.

Even two years later, it’s clear Minaj was right about Swift’s actions. Taylor could have, instead of creating a new persona, owned up to her past actions and apologized to those she hurt. Swift could even create a more positive environment when she works with artists.

Swift could have stopped blaming her ex-boyfriends and simply said that she played a role in her past failed relationships. She could have a better role model. She could have spoken up but she chose to stay silent for an entire year.

Now as an almost 22 year old woman, I am much more aware of social issues going on in the world. I do cringe at the fact that I used to like Swift as an artist when I was younger, but I know that it is perfectly fine not to like the artist you enjoyed as a youth as you grow up.

I’ve used my maturity to realize that there are so many more important things to be worrying about than Swift’s new single. There are a lot of tough things going on in the world.  I’d rather not be worried about an autotuned song about getting back at the haters and focus on creating a more positive environment.


HANNAH HOLDERBAUM; Guest Writer; holderhe@plu.edu

The hit new song “Look What You Made Me Do” by Taylor Swift has been very controversial for Swift fans everywhere. In my opinion, the new Taylor Swift, along with the new single, is her best self and shows how much she has matured since she became famous with the song “Our Song” in the early 2000s. She lays claim to who she is and has made sure that we know she can fight back and that she will not let anyone degrade her. This song does just that and helps her explain the new Taylor Swift.

In this song, she boldly claims that the old Swift is dead and proceeds to show what the new Swift is going to look and act like from now on. In the video, she references many things that she has been accused of and most definitely claps back at all the people who have hated on her since she’s became popular.  Swift has always been hated on for playing into the girl stereotype of being a lovesick teenager, but why is that bad?

So many girls see this as just playing into everyone else’s stereotypes of us, but why don’t we all just be whoever we want and not hate on each other? We see this in the whole dilemma of Taylor being called “that bitch” by Kanye in one of his songs. At the end of her song, she clearly references this by one of her copies calling her “that bitch,” and her proceeding to yell not to call her that. She has every right to not be okay with the fact that someone is calling her something as derogatory as that in a song that will be heard by millions. Unless someone has explicit permission to, it shouldn’t be something that is taken so lightly by so many people. Especially because it is definitely demeaning and can be completely sexist and hurtful.

There are a lot of double standards surrounding the accusations towards Swift. She is constantly berated for the fact that many of her songs are towards past lovers. This seems a little unnecessary, mostly because of the fact that many of her male counterparts, including Justin Bieber, Harry Styles, etc., are not criticized for writing many songs about girls and their past lovers. This is common for many male pop singers, so why do many people question Swift’s songs? I would claim it is because of the fact that there is a stigma against woman having many lovers. Women are seen as sluts and whores when they are publicly known for having more than the “normal” amount of lovers. This is completely sexist and is a definite double standard. Men are able to have many partners and are even praised for this amount. Swift is just one of many who have been shamed for her lovers. Luckily for us, she even references this in her video for her song, “Look What You Made Me Do,” in which she has eight men dancing behind her wearing ‘I <3 TS’ shirts. This shows the eight men she has been involved with since becoming a popular singer. She continuously shows that she will not stand for being put down or degraded in any way.

That is what makes the new Swift so amazing and is why her new single is one of her best.

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