And so it begins again: the urge to put two successful women face-to-face in an unnecessary competition is resurfacing. As we gear up for the height of sad girl fall – with two of the biggest female musicians set to release their newest albums in the coming weeks – some so-called fans are determined to ruin it for everyone else. Despite the internet’s vehemence, Taylor Swift vs. Adele isn’t a thing, so please stop trying to make it one.
I don’t like how the internet is making me feel like I need to choose one artist over the other. When Swift announced at the end of September that she’d be moving the release date of Red (Taylor’s Version) – objectively one of her saddest albums – up from November 19 to November 12, it further fueled rumors that Adele was getting ready to drop an album, which she officially confirmed just a couple of weeks later. Obviously there can only be one single and/or album at number one on the charts at a time, and we all want our favorite artist to be the one the reaches it, but that doesn’t mean that we need to create rivalries between female artists – or start fights with their fans – just because they’re doing their jobs. We can hope our own favorite outperforms the other without having to turn it into an attack campaign.
Swift and Adele are both wildly talented artists, with an incredible number of broken records under each of their belts. They’re both known for the heart-wrenching themes that can be found throughout their discographies, as well as their impressive vocal and lyrical vulnerability. They’ve also made it clear they’re fans of each other, so why can’t we just sit back and allow the two of them to be successful at the same time? Why does Swift’s shift in release date have to mean a fear of competition when it could just as easily be a respectful move to allow Adele’s first release in years to have its moment in the spotlight? It’s 2021, so we’re not going to be tearing down other artists in the name of lifting up our own favorites anymore – a lesson I’m very tired of having to teach!
Why aren’t we focusing on their artistry? Why are we wasting time arguing about who’s a better songwriter or singer, or who dresses better or is more scared of the other, when we can all just sit back and enjoy the works of art they create and the ways they make us feel? Not doing so only takes away from their talent and hard work. We shouldn’t get sucked into the drama, and instead enjoy the fruits of their labor; at the end of the day, it’s not records and charts and filled seats that matters, but what the music means.
For me, Adele creates an Anastasia-esque world with her music, filled with memories from the past and nostalgia that wraps around me even though I can’t explicitly recall what she’s reminiscing about. The way she’s able to express her emotion through her tone of voice has been known to leave me sobbing like a baby. Swift, on the other hand, transports me into a story. She makes me feel like the main character of every song she writes because of how vivid her imagery is. She uses well-known references and allusions in order to illustrate a feeling without using many words at all, which makes each song all the more personal for her fans, allowing us to assign our own meanings to them. But just because I like different things about each artist doesn’t inherently make one better than the other!
No matter how ridiculous the origins, there are plenty of legitimate rivalries between stars – and more still who would prefer to choose sisterhood over rivalry – so let’s not try to force one into existence where there’s absolutely no evidence. It was several albums ago now that Swift herself called out those who pit women against other women from the safety of their computer screens, so it’s safe to say that it’s beyond time to calm down.