Taylor Swift post-2020
Swift-ly Stealing Your Heart

Line drawing of Taylor Swift
illustration by Courtney Jeffs

She is everywhere; she has taken over the hearts of people all over the world and impacts economies and levels of pollution, all while creating music that spans so many genres that it is sure to connect with at least one person. Taylor Swift has taken the world by storm, especially in the past two years. 

Since her surprise releases of sister albums Folklore and Evermore in 2020, Swift has been unstoppable on the charts, leading to her domination in many other ways of life. While most of this is due to brilliant marketing strategies, offered incentives, or pressure from the media to fit in, when Swift’s name is searched, the cyclical domination continues, leading to a larger portrait of cultural idolization within capitalist societies. Swift is like those who aim to maximize profit margins, she appeals to all demographics which will increase her status. Swift is releasing her eleventh album amid a two-year world tour that features all queer artists. Swift is everywhere, when you turn, she is there. She is the real-life Barbie in the post-2023 world that praised Barbie. As a Black lesbian who has listened to Swift’s music for over fifteen years, her laid-back yet emotionally complex, indiscernible personality doesn’t interest me anymore. 

Swift’s omnipresent spirit throughout celebrity culture is neither good nor bad, it is what she does with the power of her spirit that can have good or bad repercussions. For Swift, the inclusion of variety in genre, and the spread of marketing herself through not just music but also movies, clothes, shoes, jewelry, and more, allows her to be loved by a larger audience. In our capitalistic society, this leads to the person, in this case, Swift, receiving elevation within her status of cultural and economic power. Swift opens herself up to causes like LGBTQIA+ rights or the Black Lives Matter Movement, which pushes her to gain praise and admiration from the media for being a good person and then earn more money. It is a cycle in which she continues to maximize the amount of wealth she has. Swift effortlessly and effectively shares what she claims to be her raw emotions and feelings, her life, to connect to consumers who pay for her art. She relies on a relational and pathos-based approach to communication with the media to achieve the most money. Swift aims to portray herself like a “regular” person who is just like us. She portrays herself to be an activist, cheerleader, dancer, poet, songwriter, and model, but also a suffering woman who is, as she claims on her next album, “tortured.”

Nevertheless, the celebration for Swift must remain in mind. It is monumental that women can climb to the top of a male-dominated industry and thrive, it is monumental that women can make art living in a society that celebrates hegemonic masculinity, and yet, I struggle to always remain positive in my own opinion of Swift due to her ethics and morals. 

In 2019, Swift announced herself as an endorser of the United States Democratic election, openly speaking out on her dislike of the then-president, Donald Trump. She then goes on to release a movie, Miss Americana, where she opens up about how she has been scared of speaking on her personal belief system in the past, but she acknowledges her social power and the weight of the world and believes it is right to speak out. Swift states in the film, “I’m getting to the point where I can’t listen to people telling me, ‘no, stay out of it. Stay out of it.’[51:32-48]”

This was huge for Swift. Trump then spoke ill of her and she was on a complete rebrand. During this time, Swift was trending with advocacy, she released songs about the patriarchy and LGBTQIA+ rights. Swift refers to this as her “Lover” era, which led up to the aforementioned sister albums that spiked her rise to true star status. Since this “era,” Swift has become a billionaire and now has very little to say about anything other than her music.

In the past year, Swift has surrounded herself with those who have said openly racist remarks such as Matty Healy from the band, 1975, and even people with sexual battery accusations to their name. In 2020 on Juneteenth, Swift announced that she was to “…reprogram any part of our [herself and family]  lives that hasn’t been loudly and furiously anti-racist, and to never let privilege lie dormant when it could be used to stand up for what’s right.” 

Four years later, and now, Swift has been silent on many losses of human rights including the genocide in Palestine, Congo, unjust harm done to the poor, systematic inequalities or essentially any other topic that is controversial. Swift is now a billionaire, and with this new status, she has lost the empathy to care for anything other than herself. Swift speaks up for what she believes to be right when it will make her more money, otherwise, she remains silent.  She must remain neutral in order to maximize her profits, so she waits to see if saying anything activist will earn her money or not. Yes, Swift speaks up for abortion rights and for women in the United States to an extent, but she refuses to enter terrain that could distort the image that she displays.

Throughout her career, Swift has made incredibly successful efforts to have positive relationships across the span of all industries or parts of life. She upholds her relationships with those around her to maintain her social gain. Swift plays into what will bring her more money at the time, then moves on to whatever will next. In terms of the next album, I am curious to see a rebrand on how Swift declares herself to be a tortured artist while being a white woman who is a billionaire. She is not an ethical billionaire because she earned it through her sharing art that reminds you of your ex or your partner, mom, or best friend, she is, like all other billionaires, a capitalist who is actively exploiting you.

Written By
More from Executive Editor
Executive Executions
Trump approved more capital punishments than the last 10 administrations combined.
Despite moral objections and legal challenges, the Trump administration executed 13 people...
Read More
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *