You’ve got to hand it to Taylor Swift for how she’s mastered the art of transformation. From long-haired, country singer with teardrops on her guitar to superwoman with the enviable #squadgoals, and now to this seemingly raw version of herself, after a year of silence since the #KimExposedTaylorParty.
It’s a not-so-subtle message to how Taylor’s reputation has been the subject of praise and scrutiny. Accusations of white privilege, white feminism, and multiple love interests aside, Taylor knows the perception of the public eye is a tricky narrative to play. It’s one that a few have controlled, namely Beyoncé with her exclusive interviews and how she lets the work speaks for itself. Her silence is what launches a thousand speculations. It’s amazing how we talk so much about Beyoncé and yet when you think about it, we know so little about her. And every detail we do know is strictly something she has already filtered.
That mystery seemingly swept the slate clean for the pop star. Of course, it had to be coupled with some hint that she was still working. Hence, that little song with Zayn Malik (boyfriend of #squad member Gigi Hadid) for a somewhat controversial but no longer relevant Fifty Shades Darker. “I Don’t Want to Live Forever” was catchy and radio-friendly. It was non-experimental pop that kept Taylor on the charts and in our thoughts as a singer, and not a celebrity.
Taylor’s reputation which has been associated with a myriad of names, and headlines (notice how the text on the album cover mimics newsprints and Kanye’s merch) is still Taylor’s to dictate it seems. It’s an admirable feat especially when you think about how women are often labeled and shamed for having a “reputation.”
Forget the sweet and poppy Red and don’t look back at the sepia filter on 1989. In shades of grey for her latest album cover, Taylor seems to be cooking up something else, something we haven’t seen before.
It makes for excellent fanfare and intrigue. How she will pull it off with the debut of the first single and the album release this November will be a fodder for all sorts of stories at least.
I AM SO READY FOR THIS NEW TAYLOR SWIFT ERA OH MY GOD
Most of all, she made good on that statement she gave last year when Kim Kardashian dropped those recordings on Snapchat. She ended her statement which was typed out on her Notes app with “I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative, one that I never asked of, since 2009.” It looks that wish of hers didn’t just end with that now-deleted social media post. Taylor’s going to tell her own story, using the very words that were used to take her down.