Opinion: Taylor Swift is Misconstrued

By: Taylor Healey

Taylor Swift is an academy award-winning singer and songwriter who inspires millions of young girls and has continued to show her generosity by donating to various organizations around the world.  Yet so many people only talk about the men in her life. Some might say that she solely writes songs about her exes but that wouldn’t be true. Even if it was, why does no one say these things about the male singers who only sing about the women in their lives? The truth is the media and men in the music industry are the real reason that Taylor Swift is hated. Specifically, Taylor Swift’s infamous feud with Kanye West has made many people have a false perception of  Swift. 

The first reason that people may think Swift is an unpleasant person might be that the media perpetuates a bad image of her on purpose. Some might ask what motive the media would have to do there and the real reason is that it gets attention and draws in readers. Swift was a vulnerable young girl and instead of focusing on her career or being supportive, the media labeled her as a serial dater. The media would write articles about Taylor being seen with a new “boy toy” or her newest victim. Swift addressed the articles in her empowering song The Man where she says “Cause if I was a man Then I’d be the man” and “They’d say I played the field before I found someone to commit to And that would be ok” pointing out the double standard the media and patriarchy sets for women. If fans look at her dating history it’s consistent with a normal young adult, but her life was just publicized. Tabloids have been accused of intruding on personal lives and even endangering celebrities for a good shot, Swift was no exception. Newspapers and tabloids exploited Swift similarly to how they exploited Britney Spears. 

As most pop culture fans know at the 2009 VMAs Taylor was collecting an award for best female video when Kanye stormed the stage. He felt like he had the authority to get up on stage and take the mic from a then 20 years old Swift. “Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time,” was what he said through the stolen microphone, while this might be true he had no authority to say so. Taylor was rightfully distraught and went home in tears that night. She was actually able to joke about it, even putting a bit about it in her SNL monologue. Then in 2015 after Taylor had made more of a name for herself in pop music, she presented Kanye with an award at the VMAs. The pair seemed to have reconciled with Kanye even sending her flowers as a nice gesture. That was until Kanye released his song and music video Famous in 2016. “I made that b*tch famous I made that b*tch famous” were some lyrics Kanye sang in his new song. The music video featured a few naked celebrity wax figures, one including Swift. The wax figures were asleep in a bed all next to one another. The hypersexualization of anyone without their consent is never ok.

 While Kanye does struggle with mental health issues which some might excuse his behavior, his mental issues don’t mean that he gets a write-off for what he did. Bipolar and other mental health issues do not have a symptom of misogyny. Kanye later came out and said that Swift had agreed to this and that she had thought the lyrics were funny. Not too long after Kanye’s statement, Swift put out a statement of her own, saying that she had not agreed to the lyrics or the music video. Kanye’s wife released a phone call where Swift seems to agree, leading internet trolls to bully Swift. Swift had no idea that the phone call was being recorded which violated her privacy. Swift said that while she had agreed to some lyrics, they were not the ones featured in the song meaning Kanye changed the lyrics from the original ones. It eventually leaked that the video of the phone call was edited and Swift was telling the truth all along. Kanye fans and misogynic men said that Taylor was playing the victim but she was the victim. Swift actively tried to forget about the incident and move on, but instead, the media pushed it and Kanye contributed to treating the young girl like garbage for years. When Swift stood up for herself she was gaslighted and demonized. Even with an apology from Kanye and his wife the damage had already been done though with Swift experiencing abuse from the media and angry fans calling her disgusting and disturbing things even posting pictures of the naked wax figure from Kanye’s music video. 

The horrible treatment that Swift endured and continues to endure should not put her in an unsavory light. Swift has every right to be mad but instead, she channels that negative energy into writing masterpieces that amaze and inspire millions of people around the world. If anyone deserves to be called a good person it’s Taylor Swift. 

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