I know… I know, perhaps the title is a little bit suggestive, a little bit politically incorrect but nobody can deny it is an important part of the narrative in the last hit from the American blonde songwriter born in Reading, Pennsylvania. Undoubtedly, the message goes beyond than the useless gossip around all the Taylor’s men tales, which has been printed since she released her album Speak now, when she should have to start to defend herself on multiple interviews about her dating choices, as well as, the number of guys she used to be seen with.
If the main goal of this song is creating a new alter-ego, it had implied an excessive eiffort to establish the Taylor Swift’s edge side as a woman, more aggressive, leaving behind her image of the sweet teenager playing a song in her guitar for her platonic love, Tim McGraw. The message is clear she is not anymore a girl lost in the woods. Finally, she explores herself as a woman. It is possible the fact of overcoming difficult experiences as facing her mother’s mortality while fighting against cancer and some famous ex-lovers going against her on social media while expressing the worst expectations about her actions made the songwriter explored a complete human vision of herself, where she won’t keep smiling after listening rude comments or denying that perhaps, drama follows her all the time.
Even when media has been excited about the sarcastic tone of the lyrics interpreted in a theatrical way for giving it the right tone to their media drama. I believe she wants more than that in this exercise of critical analysis. The final concept is just the representation of being at the top of her game. At this point, it is full of mines and dangers because being able to sell the number of albums she had been achieved to sell in our times is almost a miracle, after Napster, it is something a few artists keep doing.
And when I mentioned men, I don’t talk only about her high-profile list of ex-boyfriends but the presence of Kanye West‘s and one of the most criticised moments of the music industry in the last decade. To bring back the memory Swift decided to wear the same dress from her interrupted MTV Awards’ speech, when Kanye decided to share his opinion about Beyoncé’s work and who should have won the prize for Female Video of the Year. That was the precise minute, where these little frienemies battle-a.k.a.-WAR begun between both artists.
Look what you make me do, gave her the chance to give the longest last word I had ever seen to everybody. Some people could be surprised, others annoyed but she crossed all the boundaries with the cemetery scene at the beginning of her video, also following Kanye’s game and she uses it as an answer to her ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris when you can appreciate the name of Nils Sjoberg in the tombstone next to her.
The substance of tthe video is playing with the irony over her twitter battle against her ex-boyfriend DJ producer Calvin Harris, when he published a message saying “I know you’re off tour and you need someone new to try to bury like Katy ETC but I’m not that guy, sorry. I won’t allow it”…
Even when Taylor had been fighting over her romantic choices since the beginning of her career and sometimes, playing the girl who ended with her heart-broken, which usually let the boys or men in a very bad situation for her fans and the media.
Perhaps, her awareness about sharing responsibility on relationships appeared with time, more experiences and maturity; her last album 1989 showed more details from a grown-up relation, where even when you tried to leave somebody behind because it hadn’t worked multiple times, you still keep the faith in your connection with that person.
It was closer to a mature way of thinking on relations rather than her original lyrics, were being forgotten or ignored used to be a regular concept in her first pieces. What has changed is her perspective about the world and how to interact now she got a lot of power in the Music industry and the showbiz.
The rise of the feminist rhetoric
If somebody has doubts, I am pretty sure her feminist rhetoric appeared as a way to face multiple, cruel and intense critical views from audience, famous artists, and media on her relations, romantic life and some of her ex-boyfriends – I am not interested in taking sides but the problem with Katy Perry begins after both dated John Mayer and Swift’s claiming Perry was stealing her dancers before one of her album’s tour- so, in that sense it is impossible to avoid the fact that both women were trying to be competitive and ended acting like one of Swift’s cats: Meredith.
If you take the end of the video, you will find more than coming back from the other side after being buried by multiple high-profile artists and social media stars. Her expression “I get smarter, I get harder in the nick of times” is visualized through all her list of clones in different eras of her albums.
This is the real meaning: her evolution to face the hardships of becoming a Pop Star, particularly, when she begins as singer and songwriter of Country music. She mocked herself and her transition as an artist. From the silly girl dreaming to become a famous Pop star in front of her mirror in her room until the moment his ex-boyfriend buried her supposed ‘fake’ good girl image, which used to be nurtured by her lyrics of her as the weak, crying, over-emotional, overreacting, hopeless romantic, country girl who ended with a broken heart one more time.
In some sort of way, the use of language under these circumstances could be an example of how women see themselves in a man’s world, which is slowly changing, and I said it because it is what you see at the end, a barely seventeen years-old, who was speechless, who did not want to create tension between her and his fans after the impromptu of Kanye West in the scenario to give his opinion about who deserved the Award.
I don’t want to start a war against Kanye, Taylor has done enough with her video, I think women shouldn’t be categorised anymore as bad bitches, or the angry black woman, in some sort of way that should be the real message of “Look what you make me do”…She is trying to establish a new version of herself while she faced the deconstruction of the latest American sweetheart, particularly, when a gang of famous people: Ms. Perry, Mr. Harris, Mr. West and Mrs. Kardashian, among other musicians decided to end with her reputation as a good girl, which she has been promoting in her own tracks.
Even the fact of using a Taylor Swift toy clone in one of his videos under a sexual tone played with both the undertones of maturity and leaving behind the virginal presence of Swift in her first albums. I believe as an artist you should have control over that transition, however, in Swift’s case has been more like Carrie. The horror movie from the 80’s directed by Brian de Palma, the main difference was how they replaced Carrie’s dress destroyed after the bullies throw on her pig’s blood with a social media war, as well as, the desire of trying to oversexualize her image in Kanye’s video Famous. Something that Swift has been trying to avoid since the beginning of her career. She has always played the role of a Southern lady-like beauty; a classic lady girl or a sultry but classy blonde. Her Grunge style from the 90’s is an experiment in this path to find her new presence and reinvention of the Pop-Star paradigm.
Beyond the amusement for her fans, the truth is Taylor used for the first time all the bricks they throw to her in the past to create a Glock 17- 9mm developed as a song to hit back all the people involved in some little or bigger scandals about her ‘secret’ inner desire to attack and destroy people’s reputation. However, as we had seen nobody is a Saint in this story.
Becoming one of the best sellers in the Music industry is a tough experience, which most of the artist would like to experience. Particularly, when you had been selling albums and winning Awards since an amazing breakthrough. Is it possible the power won’t only exacerbate your good talents but it would do the same for your not so good attitudes?Would it be true Taylor has become obsessed with the title given to her by million of fans?
She needs to scheme in some sort of way how to keep working without the perfect picture image, which was exposed in the worst way by Kanye West. I don’t doubt he played dirty but it was evident that Swift army hadn’t played an important role to give balance to this scenario, nobody said anything about it.
She used it too in her video when all the dolls from her army are defeated on the floor. She is smart to show and explore her own world. I think she got a high score in this video for going until the end to expose her vision about the criticism she faced, particularly, for the people who remained silent.
Once and again, a man has created on purpose a complicated scenario for Taylor while he was trying to get more attention for media while overusing social media to explore her P&R relation. Everything went perfectly until Kanye called her bitch and he expressed he made her famous, which if we want to be honest it is, perhaps, his dream but not a reality.
Swift was not wrong to say it was a misogynistic message, even when you are doing it for Artistic purposes. Expressing that he made a 17-year-old famous after saying she did not deserve her Award is really being cynical about the real flow of facts, beyond her aggressive statement about his power over women on the scenario and those who use the streets like any citizen in her song Famous. A lot had happened, and this confrontation made Swift expressed her disagreement with machismo on the Entertainment sphere, indeed, not only in that sphere but also in the person after being the victim of sexual harassment when she was groped by a DJ David Muller a few years. The case was analysed by a judge in Denver, Colorado, after Muller asks for an economic compensation for the consequences of Taylor Swift, claimed in 2013 of being a victim of sexual harassment when the radio worker decided to grab her ass. She won as part of the countersuit a symbolic $1, which also appeared in her video.
Her action gave her the satisfaction of a group of judges gave her the reason, which is one of the best examples of what women want. Not the man with less control or power, which I used to listen but men who promote awareness about when the moment is right to do something like this and if they are understanding the woman in front of them or next to them in the right way.
Men, who can ask if they feel dubious about a sexual situation rather than men thinking of women as objects without any sense of self. That is relevant, a woman should always have the opportunity to say “No”, or avoid being attacked considering beauty, attractiveness, or youth as an invitation. Particularly, when the only element any man should have in his mind when he shares a romantic moment with a girl or a woman should be consent.
Although the honesty of her lyrics about choosing to kill her own good girl image and becoming the snake everybody said she is, she has taken all the drama to put herself in a better position in the showbiz jungle, where her look of being a sweet girl 24/7 is not relevant anymore.
Perhaps, that is her change, she has acquired enough maturity to express her lack of interest for playing the role of the surprised girl, which appeared at the end of her comment but it is too late for it. Probably, she is in that way.
The song is good enough, however getting into the Pop Music has decreased her past interest to explore deepness through her lyrics. I consider she could bring back more of her sentimental style for exposing her mind rather than following the path of many artists, guiltiest of the same crime in Pop Music, choosing a good chorus, a cool set of musical arrangements and forgetting the human emotions, which made her famous.
There is a really long story behind this work and under those circumstances, it is playing amazing but it is not from an Artistic spirit keep repeating themselves all the time. If it is true the role of the damsel in distress was a strong element to make her successful so, we will see how that part really evolves.
In case we are keeping with our research to change the female narratives in the Artistic environment, it is impossible we forget to analyse how we love to observe her dating guys like a normal girl, then to criticize her for doing it and finally, to discover how people need to find the way of saying she is a bitch.
Undoubtedly, in the female world winning is hard because we played in the same environment without all the millions from the Music Industry, which makes this circus more profitable but for women around the world this narrative is cruel, useless and absolutely unintelligent, even though it is a reality for each woman. How could we transform it? That should be a relevant topic in our agenda.