Typically when I launch into a diatribe against Taylor Swift, I lament her tired lyrics, and I write her off as a one trick pony, and I cringe at what I like to call “her stupid face.” Then I bop along to her music on repeat while I’m on the stair machine. I burn like, 30% more calories when she’s on my playlist, and, full disclosure, it isn’t because she fuels my hate-fire. She’s poppy and good, no matter how much I hate how vapid she is and how long her legs are.
Hating on Taylor Swift is a vice that I grant myself. I’m of the school of thought that drowning in your own hypocrisy is okay, as long as you’re painfully aware of it and it makes you hate yourself a little bit. That being said, the worst part about her new single, is her. And not in all the ways I mentioned above. In a new, gross way.
The song itself is refreshingly not love-centric, and its catchy enough that nothing negative anyone says in regard to it will stop it from burrowing into everyone’s amygdala like a zombie disease. But the video is way too much Taylor Swift, in my humble, and completely correct opinion. Nothing grates me like a girl calling herself awkward, and the video is just four minutes of a perfectly made-up TSwift, noticeably thinner and prettier than the three dozen other people featured in the video, dancing out her false modesty.
Which kills me, because without her toothy mug traipsing, jointless, through every scene (my favorite is the hand dancing. HAND DANCING! What a time to be alive), the video is actually, well, great. It’s reminiscent of that awesome Gap campaign from the late 90s that made everyone love swing music and khakis.
Maybe Taylor Swift removing herself completely is too big a request, but if she dialed back even a little, that slow, guttural moan of disgust wouldn’t escape my lips, despite my singing along. Her eagerness means she’s not doing the quirky thing as well as Jenny Lewis, not doing the captivating train-wreck thing as well as Miley Cyrus, and not doing the …whatever made Robin Thicke famous… as well as Robin Thicke. There’s something about her performance that reads like a kid on Christmas morning, and I don’t mean in the ‘charming, youthful wonderment’ kind of way, I mean in the ‘spoiled brat that’s whining at you to go buy batteries’ kind of way.
Chill, Tay. No more sugar for breakfast.
I realize this is probably an unpopular opinion, and I’m sure everyone just loves her squinty, weird enthusiasm, and on top of that, her song is literally about how she plans on sitting atop her pile of money and strumming her guitar while people talk shit about her. But if you really want to approach this in a way that won’t make you grind your teeth, just play her audio against a muted Gap ad.