I tend not to comment on the Kardashians, as I am typically of the opinion that their actions and words could not possibly ever have anything valuable to offer me. Between posting naked pictures of herself on Twitter (and embarrassing us all with her phenomenal hips) and defending racist makeup artists, there was only one time and one time alone Kim Kardashian did something that was actually important to me. Kim Kardashian ended Taylor Swift’s “America’s Sweetheart” phase.
I have managed to be a Taylor Swift fan for more years than she deserved from me, but it looks that that may be coming to an end. After Kanye West’s drunken mic-stealing of 2009, she drew the incident out for as many years as possible — writing a song about it, referencing it whenever she possibly could and playing the victim, as she does so well. Over the years, Taylor Swift has played her “fragile white feminist” card as often as possible. She has slut-shamed women in her music (“Better Than Revenge”), talked about her breakups and explicitly named men who didn’t deserve to have their personal business aired on television, regardless of how they hurt her. She has refused to recognize that the common denominator in all the men who have broken her heart is herself, and her version of female empowerment that has been based solely on being publicly rude to men for the majority of her career.
Fairly recently, Kanye West dropped “Famous,” in which he claims his 2009 MTV Awards stunt was what made Taylor Swift famous. It didn’t. It did help her career. Kanye West called to ask for permission and she said it was fine to put the line in the song and he did. Taylor Swift then said she wasn’t aware of the line — that he never ran it past her. She accused him of trying to “take credit” for her success.
Kim Kardashian was not having that. Kim posted snapchats showing Taylor Swift’s conversation with Kanye West, where she approved the lyric. Swift’s credibility was shattered in that moment. I was utterly dismayed. I’d always trusted her to never get caught being a liar, so I could enjoy “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “Dear John” in peace, pretending they weren’t about actual people whom she may have actually humiliated by writing a song about.
Now, unfortunately, for everyone’s ears, Taylor Swift is trying to rebrand herself as a “good girl gone bad,” which would be fine, if it didn’t look like bootlegged version of Rihanna’s “Rated R” album. She is failing miserably to create good music in these parameters. Taylor Swift’s new single, “Look What You Made Me Do” seems to blame Kanye for her change in style — how original!
Taylor Swift’s single was absolute and utter garbage, but not in a fun way, like Kanye’s “The Life of Pablo.” The vocals were empty, raspy and echoey, but not in a sexy Britney Spears-esque way. It was devoid of the instruments, but not in the way of EDM. The chorus repeats in the way you’d expect to hear from a drunken sorority girl singing atop a table after a breakup. The verses are choppy and utilize end rhyme in ways that even Dr. Seuss would undoubtedly look down upon.
There is not a single good thing about the song, yet it was a #1 hit on Billboard. There is no part of it that proves she deserves the blind allegiance she gets from her fans. She is just a 27-year-old woman making revenge music.
When her fans continue to stream this trash, it enables her to produce it. Maybe she will get caught lying again and hit a new low, or maybe she’ll rise up and figure out a way to not sound horrible again. Either way, one thing is clear: accepting white mediocrity in the name of supporting women has been the very basis of her career and it’s truly time for it to come to an end.