Too Swift to judge women

Amber Serio, Staff Writer

Taylor Swift is one of the most successful musicians of our generation. Throughout her career, she has amassed an immense following of fans and supporters. Her career’s success speaks for itself. She is a Grammy-winning artist that has received notable recognition for her ability to write her own songs independently. Having begun her career at 16 as a country artist, she has since adapted into an artist unafraid of change who has explored various genres of music, such as pop and alternative rock. Without a doubt, Swift has proven on multiple occasions that she is a multifaceted powerhouse within the music industry. 

Though, with such fame and success comes constant scrutiny, opinions and judgment from the media. Although her talent and hard work are undeniable, Swift constantly faces criticism from tabloids seeking to make her every move in life a spectacle. As a result, her remarkable accomplishments are sometimes overshadowed by the media’s emphasis on exploiting aspects of her personal life, such as who she is currently dating or if her appearance has changed. Since the beginning of her career, Swift has been notorious for writing songs about her past relationships and has expressed her frustration with tabloids on multiple accounts. 

Her song “Lavender Haze” exemplifies these frustrations, as it fires back at gossipers for their assumptions. The song includes lines such as “I’ve been under scrutiny” and “They’re bringing up my history.” Taylor explained in October of 2022, “This song is sort of about the act of ignoring that stuff to protect the real stuff.” 

In her 2020 Netflix documentary, “Miss Americana,” Swift expresses that the media’s invasive assumptions of her personal life result from her gender. She further explains the double standards she has experienced as a woman in the music industry stating, “Everyone is a shiny new toy for like two years. The female artists have reinvented themselves 20 times more than the male artists.” Swift feels as though her male counterparts do not have the same pressures and are sometimes praised for things women in the industry are scrutinized for, such as dating and breaking up with many people. Overall, this double standard costs women in the music industry to not publically celebrate the victories they deserve and have worked hard for. 

The most recent aspect of Swift’s life that is being exploited and misconstrued by the media is her rumored breakup with her boyfriend of six years, Joe Alwyn. The rumors struck on April 8 when People magazine unexpectedly released an article stating the pair had gone their separate ways. People magazine also mentioned their information came directly from a source closely affiliated with the pair. These rumors caused Swift’s fans to question the authenticity of People’s source because it was not coming directly from Swift or Alwyn. As a result, millions of fans took to social media to share their thoughts, feelings and theories about the rumored breakup. Swift has previously mentioned her desire to keep her relationship with Alwyn private, which would explain why neither of the celebrities have spoken on the subject. 

When will it no longer matter who a woman is dating or what she is wearing?

The breakup rumors come at a time of major success for Swift, as her current tour is receiving global attention for selling out tickets nationwide. The Eras Tour takes her fans on a three-hour-long journey through every album of her discography. This alone is an accomplishment since it is not common for an artist to perform for this long. Swift’s tour is projected to become the highest-grossing female tour of all time, surpassing  80’s pop icon Madonna. The “Eras Tour” is also significantly increasing tourism revenue for the cities Swift has performed in so far. This has resulted in the city mayors awarding her in an array of different ways, such as gifting her the key to the city or temporarily naming their city after her.

Despite the blatant success and praise for the Eras Tour, the media has once again overshadowed Swift’s accomplishments with breakup assumptions and relationship gossip. If someone were to google Taylor Swift’s name right now, the articles that would result from the search would pertain mostly to her and Alwyn’s relationship. This perfectly exemplifies Swift’s frustrations with the media and the double standards it creates for women in the music industry. Why are women still being undermined for their accomplishments at a time when equality is celebrated and encouraged more than ever? When will it no longer matter who a woman is dating or what she is wearing? 

It is disappointing to think that the scrutiny Taylor Swift has experienced is just one example of the hypocrisy and misogyny that is occurring within the music industry and the media. In response, Swift has not let these rumors falter her success and has used the negativity as a driving force to make music that highlights her experiences as a woman. Though the double standards may never cease to stop affecting women in music, Taylor Swift’s music will continue to prosper and give a voice to women with similar experiences.