Why Ya Gotta Be So Mean?

Let me first preface this by saying I am going to sound like a wet blanket.

Let’s talk T-Swift. I grew up with her. We’re basically the same age. I loved her before anyone even knew who she was and I have religiously gone to all her concerts, some more than once. I’ve bought every album. I know the words to every song. I am a very, very loyal fan.

Her new single though, it kinda makes me sad.

From a marketing standpoint, it’s genius. I’ll give credit where credit is due. She sings that the “old Taylor is dead” and that’s represented in the removal of all her social media and going dark. Genius. It’s a rebirth in so many different forms and what I feel this album is probably going to be for her – a complete change.

Taylor has always been honest in her lyrics and she draws so much of her work from her personal life, as many artists do. She’s always seemed to take the high road in her lyrics though – calling people out and being semi-direct, but never vengeful. She’s also had her fair share of shade thrown her way as a result. She not only seems to  be embracing that shade, but she’s seeming to indicate that she is everything they say she is.

Some people might construe this as “using her power” and applaud her for it. I don’t quite look at it the same way. She is powerful. This rebirth is powerful. Has her power ever even been a question?

She’s leaning into it, I get it. It’s definitely a strategy, but it’s not one that we’ve ever seen her use in the past and I am not sure that it shows growth.

Her newest single is vengeful. It is full of bitterness and I have no doubt that’s how she feels. Why does it make me kind of sad? Well, as someone who has grown up with her, it’s a definite change and it makes it seem like the bitterness is stealing her sweetness. Where before she used to question why people were mean, she seems to be embracing the queen of mean stereotype that people  have been throwing at her. Does this make them right? In my mind, people live for reactions and she’s giving them one. She’s claiming they’ve changed her as a result of their actions, and while I am sure they have, the way she’s portraying that they’ve changed her is not one of growth, but rather makes her look like kind of bitter and petty. THAT is what makes me sad – I saw her as someone who would rise above that stuff and right now she’s not doing much in the way of rising.

She’s entitled to her feelings. I do think this is another stage of her life and is definitely a shift in her personality. I wouldn’t expect someone to sit back and take all the lashings from her haters, but I will admit I expected her to respond differently and was surprised when she didn’t.

My curiosity is piqued for the rest of the album. If it reads much like this one song, I am not sure it’s going to be a favorite of mine. I am still an avid Swift lover, but I am proceeding with caution on this one. I support an evolution in music and in person, but I thought she stood for something different than what she’s making herself out to be at present. For now, it’s not love for me.

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