Here's How the Taylor Swift Fandom Went From Lead Detectives to Clowns in One Week

I have been a Taylor Swift fan since the O.G curl hair, white dress, country twang days. I am well aware that taking on the title of “Swiftie” is not easy, especially since 2015--the dreaded year where you had to survive the Kimye/Swift drama, the collective fandom disappointment over every breakup, and the Swift Apostasy between the conclusion of the 1989 tour and the beginning of the Reputation Era. In all of these instances, though, Taylor was the one who caused the anguish. But this past week, Swifties have truly outdone themselves and fan-naggled themselves into their own pit of despair, completely Taylor-free.

All of this started with one poorly timed and tropical IG post. Even those who are not avid Taylor Swift fans will recognize this star-and-palm-tree combo:

And this is where the fandom went batshit crazy.

Every Swiftie was scrambling to explain the 7 palm trees, postulating that each tree represented an album and the placement of the tree indicated the musical genre. Essentially, Taylor’s first 4 albums are featured on the left as her country albums with her latest 2 albums sitting on the right inside the pop genre. The 7th palm tree in the middle indicated a supposed 7th country-pop album.

The 7 palm trees of the caption outlined a 7-day countdown to Swift’s album. I was skeptical of this theory, until the following day, Swift posted another photo in a similar filter where she sat on the 6th step on a stairwell. I was then totally on board for the countdown.

On the 3rd day, Swift posted a photo of her face through a fence with 5 holes. I was still hooked.

But came the 4th day, and nothing was posted. Here’s where I began to doubt again. Swifties were in defense of their countdown theory-- stating that she “4”got to post.

When I received the post notification on the 3rd day, I wanted to drop my phone because this bitch really broke the 4th wall with a post of Olivia (her cat) with a shocked look and the caption "She read the theories" in reference to the fan theories circulating Instagram and Tumblr. This hunty really out here, making fun of her own fandom (who pays ridiculous prices for this merch), and acting like she’s surprised she has a crowd of pseudo- psychologists and detectives following her every move and looking for patterns. Even in the midst of my frustration, the fandom was calling that there were 3 visible doorknobs in the shot. At this point, I wasn’t going to get my hopes up that Taylor was releasing TS7 anytime soon.

The last two posts came through, both from Taylor’s Elle magazine shoot. Though none of the photos included a visual number, each was accompanied with either 2 or 1 emojis to fulfill the Swiftie crackhead theory.

Regardless that the countdown theory was crumbling for me, I still stayed up Thursday night in hopes an album or single release was still going to happen. Did I want to stay up till midnight on February 28th? No. Did I still do it because a very small percentage of me hoped Taylor was, in fact, not screwing with her fans and was releasing a ts7 single? Yes. Did nothing come? Yes. Absolutely nothing.

 

When our theory made of smoke and mirrors turned out to be just smoke and mirrors, the Swifties fell. The fandom died and we had failed. It isn’t like we had sensed our demise- all of us knew our theory was thin and unstable but so is every Taylor Swift song that's good. We all knew we were a bunch of crackheads trying to make sense of something that didn't need sense. Our mindset was muddied, but we had good intentions. 

 

I am sure we will be just like Taylor and rise up from the dead, but part of me wonders if the fandom will ever be able to trust itself or Taylor again. How many more moments of calculating, theorizing, and sleuthing will we have in the future? How much of our Taylor Swift FBI work will hold any truth again? Will we ever be right? Have we ever actually been correct or has Taylor been trailing a crowd of crackhead fans this entire time?

 

Who are we? Unconditionally loyal? Or destructively naive? Stay tuned. 

 

Photo Source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7