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Taylor Swift – above the hate

If you watched the news, had social media, or were above the age of let’s say 10, you must have heard of Taylor Swift, «TIME’s 2023 Person of the Year». The superstar has achieved what most never will, and her impact, even for the US economy, as a music artist is unmatched. Yet, for most of her 17-year-long career, Swift had to endure an unreasonable amount of hate. Why Taylor Swift doesn’t deserve what she has to take.

Von Sina Schmid

Taylor Swift, who was signed by SONY at the age of 14, has since experienced a continuous rise in success. She shies away from drama, keeps her circle close, and makes smart business choices through and through. Her persona and music, while not for everyone, has only gained popularity over the years. 

With societal movements pushing to dismantle internalized misogyny and rethinking how we view women in the music industry, Taylor Swift manages to grow her fanbase day by day. Yet, one of the most openly disrespected superstars and «TIME’s 2023 Person of the Year» remain one and the same person. 

Let’s look into her success a bit further. One of the most impressive feats Ms. Taylor has achieved is growing a fanbase disregarding most political movements in the US. She has loyal listeners and followers from both the right and left political spectrum, rarely takes an open stance on where her political views align and focuses on music and preserving past relationships in songs. 

She did openly voice her disdain towards the Trump presidency, however prior stayed mostly in neutral territory regarding politics. 

Another testament to Ms. Taylor’s talent, is having fans from many different generations, starting with extremely young listeners to extremely old fans. Her songs lack profanity and focus on love and all topics related to it. 

The list of shame and humiliation she had to endure in her 17-year career, mostly caused by men in the entertainment industry, is too extensive to even put in an article like this. From Kanye West stealing her thunder during an award ceremony and dragging her to win, to the latest incident at the Golden Globes – men don’t shy away from trying to embarrass and disrespect Swift. And yes, the disproportionate amount of hate she receives from men as compared to women, on- and offline, is mind-boggling.

But Taylor Swift makes the best out of any situation, which she has proven repeatedly over almost two decades in the industry. When Scooter Braun sold the master rights to her songs, that she wrote, without her consent and as an open act against her, she made profit off of his foul actions. 

She started re-recording her old albums, facilitating a boycott of her songs not owned by her. This ignited a discussion and movement within the music industry regarding rights of artists. Her fanbase grew further. When we now see old Taylor Swift songs with the added «(Taylors Version)» we know that Ms. Taylor herself owns them. She also managed to create an astonishing amount of anticipation for new-old releases, meaning fans are waiting eagerly for re-releases of her oldest albums. 

So, let’s talk about the biggest reason Taylor Swift was 2023’s Person of the Year. Her ERA’s Tour. The music tour is incomparable to any music tour ever. Not only the amazing 3.5 hour shows she puts on, but also her impact on the US economy and any local economy on her tour. 

The ERA’s Tour, which is still going strong and international, has had a measurable and unimaginable impact on local as well as federal US economy, especially in regard to tourism. In Arizona, it was observed that her concerts had a greater impact on the local economy than the National Football Association, NFL Superbowl, held the same year, had.

So, while haters keep hating, Taylor Swift keeps winning. 

In 2023, she started dating NFL Player Travis Kelce who, amongst other things, grew in popularity by mentioning how much of a Taylor Swift-Fan he was prior to dating her.

Their relationship was highly followed by every news outlet in the US, the sports and entertainment industries going crazy over the new lovebirds. The relationship still maintains significant public attention. But, with the fame and watchful eye of the public, came hate against Taylor Swift and her followers. 

Many fans of the NFL had nothing good to say about Swift. They compared her popularity to the NFL’s (shocker, Taylor Swift is more popular and has far wider reach globally), bashed her music and fan base and complained about «more women watching the NFL and taking away their joy», because the NFL Organization joined the bandwagon and profited off of the new-found popularity of the Swift-Kelce relationship. 

So, what does it mostly broil down to? While it may seem cheap to attribute it to sexism, the majority of the negative incidents regarding Taylor Swift suggests just that. As a society, we seem to struggle with women so successful and influential it goes beyond our comprehension. If one of those success stories also monetizes her romantic relationships with men, by dedicating many songs to them after ending said relationships, people lose their shit.

A quick Google search allows us to see how often Taylor Swift is at the receiving end of open disdain, the majority from men. And still, she rises to heights of fame never seen before. 

So, in true Taylor Swift fashion, she keeps «shaking off» the haters, one song, album, tour at a time. 

11. Januar 2024

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