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Let’s Stop Pitting Taylor Swift & Travis Kelce’s Ex Against Each Other

I’ll be honest: Before Taylor Swift showed up at the Kansas City Chiefs’ game on Sept. 24, I only recognized Travis Kelce from the American Girl Café SNL sketch he starred in. As a huge Swiftie and hopeless romantic, I’m watching the budding couple’s relationship unfold like something out of a romance novel (hello, pop star x football player trope!). Unfortunately, some people online are still stuck on an old chapter.

Two of Kelce’s exes have been brought up in online conversations amidst Swift and Kelce’s headline-making romance. Maya Benberry, who dated Kelce after winning his E! dating reality show Catching Kelce in 2016, warned Swift to not get too comfortable with her new beau. “Once a cheater, always a cheater,” Benberry told DailyMail.com. “Taylor seems like such a fun girl with a beautiful spirit so I wish her the best of luck, but I wouldn’t be a girls’ girl if I didn’t advise her to be smart.”

Kelce’s other ex is Kayla Nicole, a sports reporter and model who dated the football player on- and-off for five years. Nicole has yet to comment on the Swift-Kelce news (why would she?), yet her Instagram comments are flooded with people bashing Swift under the guise of supporting Nicole. Backhanded compliments like “Yeah, Kelce took an L and downgraded” and “Taylor Swift wishes she was this beautiful…” are causing more harm than good. 

@sophiaacsta

Leave Kayla Nicole ALONEEE

♬ original sound – Sophia🦋

It’s pointless and disrespectful to compare any two women’s physical attributes or make parasocial judgment calls about who’s a better person (or a better match for their mutual man). Some comparisons between Swift and Nicole have even been racially motivated, which majorly crosses a line. TikToker user @mommysaidabadword333 observed that many of the haters in Nicole’s comment section are black men, specifically “the ones who can’t wait for an opportunity to put down a black woman.”

Why is it that when a famous man’s dating history grows a little longer, the women involved are always pitted against each other? Swift and Nicole join a long list of women the public compared just because they dated the same person: Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie, Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber, and Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy, just to name a few. And by the way: all of them would very much like to be excluded from this narrative. 

Swift and Nicole have so much more in common than Kelce. Both are gorgeous, talented, successful women carving out space for women’s voices to be taken seriously in the media (did you know that as of 2021, only 14.4 percent of sports reporters are female? Go, Nicole!). Let’s celebrate their accomplishments instead of tearing them down over a man, ‘kay? 

Fabiana Beuses is an entertainment journalist at Her Campus, where she interviews celebrities and professionally fangirls over pop culture phenomena. She previously served as the Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus at FSU and as Her Campus' Summer 2023 Entertainment & Culture Intern. She graduated from Florida State University with double majors in Media/Communication Studies and English (Editing, Writing, and Media) and a minor in Film Studies. When she's not polishing her latest article, you can find her browsing bookstore aisles, taste-testing vanilla lattes around town, or rewatching the Harry Potter series for the millionth time.