July 18, 2016


It's OK for Swifties to Criticize Taylor Swift

Anthony Harvey/Getty Images
Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

Have you ever felt like Taylor Swift is your best friend? 

Have you ever felt like she was speaking directly to you with her music? Do you feel like she confided in you when she sang that she was a "crumpled up piece of paper lying here" after a breakup? Have you ever heard "Style" playing in the grocery store and get genuinely excited because you're like "OMG I KNOW HER!" but then realize you don't actually know her? Do you feel a sense of pal-pride whenever Tay covers a magazine?

Intense Swiftie fandom can sometimes feel like a relationship. Even though Taylor Swift isn't directly communicating back to fans, she is, in a way. She digs up her deepest feelings with a shovel the size of Rhode Island and hoists her heart onto us in a slew of eloquent songs, speeches and letters. Swift fans do the same, spilling their innermost thoughts onto Taylor's Instagram and Tumblr. She listens and speaks back.

And with every friendship, you can give your friend advice, you can tell them if they're out of line, and you can tell them your opinion...because you know that, ultimately, they'll respect it. You can treat your fandom like a friendship too, especially with Swift, who's hosted hundreds of fans at her house(s), sent them Christmas presents and wrote them handwritten notes.

Overnight, Kim Kardashian posted video of husband Kanye West's phone call to Taylor Swift, in which he asked permission to use her name in his song "Famous," a song Swift denounced at its release for its misogynist message (a.k.a. when he called her "that bitch"). On the phone, Swift seemingly approved of Kanye's line, "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex." However, there was no mention on the phone call of the subsequent line, "I made that bitch famous."

The video of the call does not jibe with Swift's rep's statement from February: 

"Kanye did not call for approval, but to ask Taylor to release his single 'Famous' on her Twitter account...She declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message. Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric."

Kim Kardashian said in her GQ profile that Kanye had indeed called her (which we clearly saw this morning), and that Taylor was using the narrative to play victim.

If you ask my opinion, I think the whole thing is a misunderstanding. Maybe Kanye really did ask to release the song on her Twitter account. Maybe he never ran the entire lyric by her. But then again, maybe it's not a misunderstanding at all, and after hearing the song for real, Swift wanted nothing to do with it. It's hard to tell, and it seems now that Swifties are left scrambling what to believe.

Here's what's important for Swift fans, a.k.a. Swift friends: If you've got Taylor's back, tell her you've got her back. If you're disappointed, tell her you're disappointed. Tell her how you feel. But also, if you don't want to say anything, you don't have to say anything either.

All Swifties can do is be a friend.

And sometimes being a friend means echoing back the same advice they've given you: "You are not damaged goods just because you've made mistakes in your life."

Watch Swift friend Selena Gomez detail her relationship with Taylor below: