Recently, well-known feminist writer Camille Paglia criticised Taylor Swift and denounced her as an ‘obnoxious Nazi Barbie.’ Eilis Walsh gives her verdict.
Taylor Swift is a successful young woman in practically all aspects. I like listening to her music, especially her album “1989” which I feel is her best album to date.
I have been interested in her music and life since 2008. But as the years have gone by, I have genuinely become more and more wary of her public persona and the image she is putting forward to the public.
Is it all real, this good girl, kind to all humans/animals alike personality? I feel as though there has to be a catch somewhere.
There have been many articles where Taylor’s management have reportedly sued fans for selling little handmade items with Taylor’s face on them or suing her former guitar teacher for advertising that he had taught her at a young age. I can’t say if these are true or not, but these articles had to have some origin somewhere.
I’ve observed Taylor’s ever changing style, music and persona as the years have passed. She has transitioned from a sundress-wearing teenager singing country songs to a crop-top-wearing pop star belting out multi-platinum pop hits.
And fair enough, as you grow older you experiment with your style and interests - we all do! And in all honesty, pop music sells more than country music. So I guess it makes sense that she has adapted with the times.
As for the term “obnoxious Nazi Barbie”, I think Camille Paglia is over-exaggerating quite a bit. To be honest, I think we need to examine Taylor Swift and her “squad” from both sides.
On one hand, Taylor’s girl squad contains a collection of extremely successful young women, who all exude confidence, strength and in some respects show that women are not short of talent and innovation.
Her squad certainly screams “Girl Power” in a way that no other group of high profile female friends has lately. Her group of friends includes actress turned singer Hailee Steinfield, model Gigi Hadid, Lily Aldridge, another model and Selena Gomez, yet another model, actress, singer and philanthropist. The group also includes singer and actress Zendaya and model and YouTuber Karlie Kloss.
And these are just some of the young women in Taylor’s so-called squad. We could say that this promotes ambition to the young female fans of these successful women.
However, do you see a pattern emerging? All of these women are drop-dead gorgeous, with athletic, slim bodies and millions in their bank accounts.
Even Lena Dunham, a long-time friend of Taylor’s and an actual member of the squad has said she will no longer appear on stage with the girls as she feels insecure standing beside tall, perfectly made up goddesses.
Taylor has always said that she supports women and identifies as a feminist, but there isn’t much diversity in Taylor’s friend group. Zendaya and Serena Williams have publicly appeared on stage for Taylor’s 1989 shows, but predominantly it has been her white female friends that have appeared.
Perhaps it gives off the idea that you can only make Taylor’s squad if you are a rich, successful, Caucasian woman in the career of acting, modelling or music. And admittedly it doesn’t do much for my confidence to see pictures of this huge group of immaculately dressed women at multiple award shows together.
Taylor Swift is one of the most powerful, influential and famous people on the planet. She could easily be using her voice to talk about the growing extinction of animal species, the fight against police brutality and African American rights.
Surely she is aware of these growing issues? She has not commented on them and she isn’t necessarily obliged to. But I for one, wish she would use her voice to spread awareness on these issues and to campaign for change.
Of course, Taylor has been very generous in the past, donating to various charities such as campaigns for cancer awareness and promoting education. I am not doubting her generosity. I just feel that she could do so much more in her position.
I genuinely feel that Taylor and her squad could potentially be a powerful movement if they wished to be. They could stand against African American injustice in the US, promote education, feminism and show young girls out there that yes, you can do practically anything you set your heart to.
I wish that they would show us the less flashy side to being in an internationally famous squad, or show us when they, like us, sit around eating crisps, gorging themselves on chocolate wearing sweatpants and hoodies with makeup free faces.
That would be refreshing to see, instead of photos of these young women wearing clothes with multiple figure price tags on them.
We’re all well aware these girls are human just like us and their lives are not perfect. I just wish that they would show it.