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Is It Cool to Like Taylor Swift, Yet?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Washington chapter.

Taylor Alison Swift is one of, if not the, biggest pop star in the world right now. She’s currently on one of the biggest tours in the world, has released several albums in the past four years that have reached global success, and maintains a fairly uncontroversial presences. She’s proved time after time, year after year, that she is a talented signer-songwriter and performer, but it that still not enough?

First, let’s break down one of Swift’s recent controversies. In the past year, she has come under fire for her private jet use. While this is a valid criticism of Swift, she’s not being treated equally as those who are at the same level as her. According to Capital News Service and Unilad, the top ten celebrities with the most private jet carbon emissions in 2023 are Travis Scott, Kim Kardashian, Elon Musk, Beyonce and Jay Z, Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, Tyler Perry, Leonard Blavatnik, Kylie Jenner, and Celine Dion. None of them are on a world tour. None of them, for their job at least, need to fly their private jets. Yet, Swift is the celebrity with the most criticism for her usage of her private jet. Again, I’m not saying the criticism isn’t valid, I’m saying Swift gets it harder and comparably worse than others.

Next, let’s look at some recent news surrounding the release of her new album, The Tortured Poets Department. Right after the album’s release, it was met with mixed criticism. However, after the album has had a week to settle in, the negative criticism has died down. The mixed reviews can largely be attributed to the fact that the album had a lot (31) songs and that it was stylistically different from Swifts previous albums. Furthermore, The Tortured Poets Department deals with darker and deeper themes than Swift has in the past, most likely because she is a more mature singer-songwriter now that she is 34, as opposed to when she was in her twenties.

One of these criticisms was that Taylor Swift was giving fans “too much.” Most notably, the New York Times released an article with the headline “Taylor Swift Has Given Fans a Lot. Is It Finally Too Much?” While Swift has been quite active in her career for the past two years, especially with the tour, new albums, and tour movie, I wonder if other celebrities would get the same treatment. As we saw with the private jet use, it can be assumed they would not. If Travis Scott released a double album he had been working on for two years, would people criticize him for giving fans too much? Or would they say he was misunderstood, or attribute the album to a marketing mess up? Meanwhile, Swift’s talent is questioned.

It would be one thing if Swift’s recent media coverage was strangely harsh, but unfortunately it’s a pattern that’s lasted throughout her career. This leads people to not take her seriously as an artist, which leads to people having a negative, belittling view of Taylor Swift fans.

Yet, Taylor Swift have proved album after album and tour after tour that she is talented. Yet, she’s still doesn’t receive the credit and respect from widespread media and general public. And yet, the people that are fans of her still get made fun of. At this point, saying you like Taylor Swift can be damn near a political statement.

So what is the deeper issue? I believe people just find it fun to have something in common that they don’t like, and in the case of Swift, I think it’s rooted in deep misogyny. It easier to say “I like some of Taylor Swift’s music, but I’m not like a super big fan or anything” than it is to say “I like Taylor Swift.” If you said “I like Travis Scott,” it would be reasonable to assume I liked a few of his songs, but if you say “I like Taylor Swift,” people assume you’re a super crazy mega fan, or perhaps they like you less because of it.

But really, what has Swift done? What has she done to create the charged energy around her and her name? The answer is nothing. She’s done nothing, as in she’s made no statements or claims to anyone. She keeps to herself. So who’s responsible? The answer is us, and our society. We’ve collectively decided it’s okay to treat Taylor Swift and her fan, fans of any degree, this way. I only hope that one day, it won’t just be okay, but it will be cool to like Taylor Swift.

Nirja Thaler

Washington '27

Nirja is a Staff Writer for HER Campus at Washington. She is an intended Philosophy and Economics double major. She was coeditor of her high school newspaper. She has been a part of various types of writing (such as poetry, songwriting, newspaper, and novel writing) clubs throughout her life. Nirja is passionate about exploring social justice issues. She enjoys writing articles that appeal to appeal to both sides of an argument. Originally, her intended major was journalism. With any topic she writes about, Nirja loves to relate the subject to a bigger concept in the community/world. She loves real-life pattern recognition and repetition examples. On her limited free time, Nirja enjoys playing and composing music. She pays piano, viola, guitar, and the ukulele. She is classically trained in piano, and has been playing for over six years. She also enjoys songwriting, and writes most of her songs on piano. In addition to music, she likes to run, crochet, and watch early 2000s movies.