Taylor Swift dated Harry Styles for a while in 2013 and went on to write some hit songs about him (“Out of the Woods,” and possibly “Style,” from her pretty eighties-sounding album 1989). Taylor is famous for writing songs about her breakups and was known for a long time as a serial dater. The blonde country-crossover superstar arguably made her name through her willingness to dish about her love disappointments and the way she found herself achingly single again and again, until she met current beau Calvin Harris.
Prior to dating Calvin Harris, Taylor was involved with Conor Kennedy, Harry Styles, and musician John Mayer, who is said to have inspired the ballad “Dear John.” The song sees Taylor lamenting John’s changeability, as the songstress gasps that she was always “wondering which version of you I might get on the phone tonight.”
Mayer later shot back with his own unflattering ballad, “Paper Doll,” from the country-inflected Paradise Valley album. Mayer croons that his paper doll lover is the changeable one, singing “you’re like twenty-two girls in one,” in the wistful chorus. The casual but foreboding verses describe Mayer watching as the Taylor character tries on a series of outfits: a black chiffon number, a gold and blue dress, a Moroccan red design and a mint green number from a Spring collection. The verses draw their eerie appeal not only from the delicious images of the vain Taylor slipping into outfit after outfit, and even “strapping into some heels that hurt,” but from the sing-song melody, which draws heavily on lullaby “Hush Little Baby.” Mayer is flirting with a taboo here — Taylor was barely out of her teens, and Mayer was 32 when they started dating.
Later, when Harry Styles and Taylor Swift started shading each other in songs, she dissed his driving skills (“Out of The Woods”), and he went a bit meta and dissed her tendency to diss exes in songs (“Perfect”). Harry may also have signaled that Taylor was on his mind when he sang his final ad lib on “End Of The Day” from the Made in the A.M. album — Harold’s “at the end of the da-a-ay” notes are an exact replica of Taylor’s “are we out of the woods?” ad libs in her eponymous song.
It’s clear that the ex-lovers are capable of arousing strong emotions in one another. Just this week, a source close to Swift revealed that she felt unhappy when she saw Harry with new lover Kendall Jenner — it brought back bad memories of Harry’s flirtatiousness and “wandering eye,” according to Hollywood Life.
Taylor appears to be suffering from the “why will he commit to her, but not me?” syndrome, described by relationship counselor Jane Garapick. The blow to Swift’s self-esteem has come about because she has been suddenly and sharply reminded of the deterioration of her relationship with Harry, which would have caused the talented songstress to question whether she is loveable (Taylor is of course loved-up with Calvin Harris now and has no need to worry about that anymore.)
You wanted this with him. Why couldn’t this be happening to you?
Why weren’t you enough for him?
These are the questions that play on our minds, giving us one more reason to doubt ourselves and believe yet again, that we’re missing whatever it is “she” has that we don’t.
“What’s wrong with me?” we ask ourselves.
It probably doesn’t help that Kendall Jenner is a supermodel, and that she has the dark hair and eyes and exotic look Styles is reportedly fond of, according to Hollywood Life.
Swift even provided a succinct summary of the way she feels when she sees Harry with Kendall:
Hopefully the talented singer-songwriter will keep moving forward, powering over this tiny bump as if it wasn’t even there. If she takes the high road, she may even get a beautiful new pal out of it — stunning Kendall has apparently been eager to join the Taylor Swift girl squad since 2010.
Will Taylor Swift and Kendall Jenner stay friendly? Is Harry Styles a heartbreaker?
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