My daughter is a Taylor Swift fan. Like, a big fan.
She knows the words to pretty much every song on the 1989 album. She knows what each song is about. She loves her music videos and her “fashion” and her pretty hair and she especially loves to dance to her TS jams. She loved Taylor Swift in the way that only a four year old can.
And now she doesn’t.
I let her listen to the song “Look What You Made Me Do,” recently, thinking she would be excited to hear something from her favorite singer. I thought the beat was catchy, and she could dance to it and learn the words easily. I knew the video was dark, but I thought as long as I just played the song, the lyrics would be subtle enough to fly right over her head. I figured she’d be bopping and singing along in no time.
But you know what she said? “How come Taylor Swift got mean?”
If you haven’t heard it or seen the video yet, you’ll need to know that it is dark and edgy and the lyrics are full of bite. There are zombies and burglaries and car crashes. The song is a lot more bitter and a lot harder than anything she’s put out before. Clearly, she’s trying to reinvent herself. And look, it is not up to Taylor to be anything for anyone but herself. It is her life, and her brand, and she can do what she wants with it. That’s her right, and I stand by that. But Lila? Lila doesn’t.
And you know what? I’m kind of with Lila on this one. You don’t have to get edgier, and sexier, and darker with each album. It’s okay to be kind, and sweet, and keep your optimism no matter what life throws at you. I’m tired of artists feeling like they have to constantly evolve. You can have a truth and stick to it. You don’t need to keep up with the Joneses Katy Perrys. You don’t have to get mean in order to stay popular. In fact, it may just end up costing you, and some of your fans, a little something in return.
So we’ll keep rocking 1989 in the car, and we’ll keep Shaking it Off. But otherwise, I think we’re done here. Thanks for the fun, Taylor. It was good while it lasted.