Cracks may be developing in Taylor Swift’s squeaky clean image, but she nailed it in her speech Monday night at the Grammy Awards. She started off in a cringeworthy tone and bragged how she was the only female artist to ever win two Grammys for Album of the Year.
“There’s Swift being a narcissist. I told you so,” a lot of her anti-fans probably thought.
However, Swift soon said something that was very touching and needs to be heard again and again.
“I wanna say to all the young woman out there — there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments…or your fame. But if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you — someday when you get where you’re going, you will look around and you’ll know it was you and the people who love you who put you there.”
Swift’s speech seemed to touch a nerve in the audience, with some — such as Selena Gomez — tearing up. The backlash Taylor Swift is facing now in the music industry isn’t nearly as bad as the backlash Britney Spears faced 10 years ago or the continuous backlash that Madonna as faced for more than 30 years. But it is just as ridiculous.
Taylor Swift is a threat to the status quo. Her critics know that, but they try and make her a representative of the racist and rich status quo in order to make their criticism of her seem more legit. The new “Taylor Swift is racist” meme has to be the most ridiculous thing to come out of pop culture. It not only undermines real racism, but it is a disguise for the real reason she is hated: her success and hard work.
The accusations that Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” video that immediately declared Swift to be a cultural-appropriating bigot were all done for the purposes of click bait, with others joining in to get the page clicks. There was nothing problematic about that video.
When Taylor Swift released “Out of the Woods” on the first day of the new year, there were also accusations that the video had racist undertones. Some, believe it or not, believed it was exploiting animals. It’s as if people eagerly await a new video from Taylor Swift just so they could pick it apart, make outrageous complaints, and cause huge advertising revenue for dishonest journalists who will go at desperate lengths to get page hits.
You would think that a site like Salon, which is supposed to be progressive, would support an extremely successful woman like Swift. However, the site just couldn’t wait to post their click bait article about how she is everything wrong with the Grammys and the music industry. They were certainly able to fit the words “Taylor Swift, Grammys, and Music Industry” in the title.
Women in the music industry can’t win; they are either too young, too old, too fat, too skinny, too mean, too nice, too….well, just about everything. Taylor Swift and other female artists may be ruling the music charts these days, but there is always somebody just waiting to see them fail and it’s not a patriarchal thing anymore given that many women hate other women who take control of their lives. Still, Taylor Swift will thrive because she’s talented, smart, and on the right side of history.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]