Brankin: It’s not cool to hate Taylor Swift anymore

There are plenty of celebrities to harbor resentment toward, but Taylor Swift shouldn’t be one of them.

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Tara Brankin

I realized that I was a Taylor Swift fan at the tender age of seven. It all started when I heard her song “Teardrops on My Guitar” on the radio for the first time. Though I had never experienced heartbreak or unrequited love, the raw emotion within Swift’s song resonated with me. I will admit that there were several nights I spent listening to “Teardrops on My Guitar,” when I was supposed to be asleep, pondering how Drew, the boy Swift pines over in the song, could possibly choose someone else over her.

When high school rolled around, it suddenly became cool to hate Taylor Swift. Until that point, I had shamelessly adored Swift. I listened to “Love Story” and “White Horse” on repeat throughout elementary school and became an even bigger fan after she released her albums “Speak Now” and “Red,” which were released when I was in fifth and seventh grade, respectively. But many of my high school peers thought Swift was annoying and incapable of writing about anything other than her boyfriends.

While some might write this off as high schoolers trying to seem cool by hating an artist that was too “mainstream,” there is actually a deeper source of hatred toward Taylor Swift that is much more insidious: sexism within mass media and on social media.

Since the release of Swift’s first album in 2006, many have criticized Swift for her short-lived romances with fellow A-list celebrities. This criticism, along with claims that Swift was not politically active enough, only got more intense as social media platforms like Twitter gained popularity. According to an article written by MTV Australia editor Alice Griffin, while Swift has not been as vocal about politics as she could be given her enormous platform, people take their dislike of her to extremes for seemingly no reason.

I am ashamed to admit that I abandoned my love for Taylor Swift in favor of fitting in with my peers. For years, I did not listen to any of her new releases or pay attention to any news surrounding her.

Then Swift’s surprise albums “Folklore” and “Evermore” were released in 2020.

In my opinion, “Folklore” and “Evermore” are amazing albums. The songs on these albums perfectly capture themes of lost love, heartbreak and the toxicity of one-sided relationships. It was after listening to these albums that my love for Taylor Swift was reinstated, and I began to revisit her older music. To my surprise, they were even better than I remembered. Turns out, her songs have always been well written and full of raw emotion, and I started to feel embarrassed for letting peer pressure and sexist attitudes get in the way of appreciating them.

Taylor Swift is not perfect by any means, but some of the reasons why people hate her are absurd. It’s true that she has been in obnoxious feuds with celebrities such as Katy Perry and Kanye West, but in my opinion, many celebrities have been involved in scandals much worse. There is absolutely no point in resenting an artist just because they are fun to hate.