Tag Archives: artistic intent

Taylor Swift and Artistic Intent

You can’t ignore Taylor Swift. Whether it’s having her mic snatched by Kanye, hosting Saturday Night Live three years ago, or having her hit “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” play as you flip through radio stations [yes, some people still listen to the radio] she’s become a public pop culture icon and she’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

Yes, she’s loved by millions, but also derided by a sizable number. While many of the judgements stem from her seeming inability to hold down a relationship, this more often than not seems like the public concentrating on an aspect of superstardom that they tend to turn a blind eye to when it comes to their  respective favourites. What Taylor Swift really receives a lot of flak for [and for better reason]  is the content of her music.

I first came across this idea on a blog post by Shelby Fero that has since been taken down. Recently I managed to dig it up again since it had been replied to on another tumblr, and you can check it out here[EDIT: That has since been taken down as well] There’s a four-minute video you can watch, but if not, Let me recap it:

It’s a follow-up to another post on tumblr where she says, in one line without profanity, “‘Mean’ by Taylor Swift pisses me off so much.” Which is fine. The video goes on to elaborate her point, and is largely about the music video. In essence Fero says that it’s fine to have a song about those bullied because of their sexuality or poverty [both seen in the music video], but you can’t marry or compare that to your own problems about being told you’re not a good singer; you can’t put yourself into this song and still have it be about these other bigger problems.

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