Singer Taylor Swift probably could have used the help of one of the world’s most powerful women when it came to publicly noting her reasons for not attending the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.
After interviewing security specialist and author Gavin de Becker in 1997 about his book on surviving harrowing ordeals, The Gift of Fear, media mogul Oprah Winfrey explained during an episode of Oprah’s Life Class that deeper explanations regarding any given situation or obligation are completely unnecessary.
“No,” she expressed, “is a complete sentence.”
Granted, while the VMAs are hardly what one would call a harrowing experience (unless you actually witnessed Sunday night’s event, which was noted by TIME as being “disastrous“), the method Winfrey described still fits far too well with what the “Shake It Off” singer is now doing in order to, once again, force the notion that she’s not that much of a bad person.
As mentioned last week by the Inquisitr, it was reported by several outlets that the 26-year-old would be bowing out from this year’s festivities due to not being nominated for an award at the ceremony. In fact, she claimed not to have ever been invited at all.
“Taylor was never scheduled to attend the VMAs,” an insider shared with People.
That should’ve been the end of that conversation right there, but alas, it wasn’t. Early Monday morning, several reports, including one from the Huffington Post, revealed that Swift had more of a “civil” reason for not making an appearance at Madison Square Garden in New York City, where the VMAs took place.
She had apparently been summoned for jury duty the very next day in Nashville.
Along with the news came several pictures and videos proving that Taylor had, indeed, followed through on the minor inconvenience every American eventually has to forego at some point in their lives. She was even nice enough to snap selfies with fans who were forced to be there alongside her.
Taylor inside doing Jury Duty in Nashville earlier today. pic.twitter.com/OV0govxfEr— Taylor Swift Updates (@TSwiftPR) August 29, 2016
Ironically, Swift’s photo evidence became the bombshell in breaking the case of her VMAs absence wide open.
For starters, while it is not illegal to take pictures inside of a courthouse, it is something that is mostly prohibited due to the privacy of potential jurors being uncovered. Surely if Swift didn’t know this first-hand, there were more than likely signs all around the building explaining this in big, bold print. Just ask Today Show weatherman Al Roker, who, in 2009, got in hot water for doing the exact same thing.
According to the New York Daily News, the bubbly television personality simply wanted to “share the experience of jury duty” with his followers, but David Bookstaver, the director of communications for New York State’s Unified Court System, explained that unless Roker was there in the capacity of a news photographer — which he definitely was not — picture taking was forbidden.
“It is a general policy that’s put into place so you don’t have people running amok,” Bookstaver added.
Of course, Taylor could have been incredibly aware of this rule, but that, interestingly, leads to another truth. Perhaps this open display of her actual whereabouts was meant to loan credence to the more honest reason why she probably had no interest in turning up at the VMAs: She didn’t want to deal with Kanye West or Kim Kardashian after the entire “Famous” debacle. In all honesty, that would be the more acceptable excuse, at least, when it comes to being an adult, which Taylor should have relied on.
Whether or not you side with Swift regarding her true knowledge of West’s lyrical homage to her (“I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex. Why? I made that b**ch famous!”), she is old enough to make her own choices regarding whom she surrounds herself with, or what she wants to do with her downtime. There was never any need for a definitive reason as to why she did not want to sit in VMAs audience, and she did not need to try so hard to press the issue so strongly.
And for the record, absolutely no one believed from the start that Swift was not being invited to the ceremony. Someone as big as Taylor Swift was most definitely invited to one of the biggest celebrations of contemporary music each year, so that’s a flat out lie. Furthermore, that same reasoning for her invitation to the show is the same reason why someone like Taylor Swift could have easily gotten out of jury duty. In closing, Swift is placing far too much emphasis on a performance for something that easily could’ve remained covered by a curtain.
At the end of the day, simplicity is always best, and Taylor Swift should seriously consider picking up lessons on how to dial it back several notches when it comes to making some kind of statement. She’s one of the richest singers in the world, her music is always in constant rotation, and she will have a place in entertainment for as long as chooses to have it, no matter what “non-Swifties” have to say about that.
When it all comes down to it, someone with that much power should have a complete understanding of what it means to not just say “no,” but to stand by it without saying anything else, even when others allegedly demand a further explanation of what she is or is not doing.
“No” is a complete sentence, Taylor Swift. That’s all you ever needed to say.
[Photo via Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Photos]