Being a Katy Perry fan when new Taylor Swift music drops is like Winter in Game of Thrones. It's going to be an inevitable Hell on Earth for you for an extended period of time.
I've had a mixture of friends, acquaintances, and total strangers respectfully ask my opinion on the pop star. I've also had particular die hard fans of Taylor tell me I'm one of the dumbest people they know for not liking her. Okay, child, have a seat. Honestly I am exhausted for voicing my reasons as to why I do not like Taylor Swift, and it has absolutely NOTHING to do with my love of Katy Perry. So, since there is nothing more important than discussing a tired pop diva feud, I'll gladly make my opinions of Swift candid and explicit.
Before we go on, I would like to illustrate an example of an opinion and a fact, so that we aren't confused here. So here ya go:
Opinion: "Taylor Swift's music is horrible."
Fact: "Casey Thibodaux does not like Taylor Swift."
Glad we got that out of the way. I find it necessary, not only because we often confuse opinions for facts, but also because this little diddy will feed you my opinions about Swift as well as undeniable facts about TayTay.
First, I'd like to squash this whole Katy Perry vs. Taylor Swift debacle. Why? This is tired. The feud is childish, and we, as mega fans of either Kween, fuel the fire with speculation and hatred of each other. That's a problem. I believe that both do not desire others to hate, especially given the world we live in today. This feud is also based in business decisions. If you haven't seen Katy Perry's Carpool Karaoke with James Corden, I suggest that you do. Katy lays out the details of what had seemed to be a clouded plot to conspire against Taylor. No dancer was 'stolen,' but dancers wanted to express their art differently. Sure, this is Katy's side of the story, but I find it hard to deny, given Taylor's victimhood, that she wasn't telling the truth. But there's an even bigger reason as to why the feud doesn't matter within the context of this article: it has nothing to do with my opinion of either artist.
Let's start with why I love my Kween Katy. It's quite simple. I was born and raised in a very conservative part of Texas. A part in which any person who was different was considered a black sheep. Trust me when I say that this environment was devastating for me. I was a gay boy living in an anti-gay society. I was told that I was a mistake; a traitor to God and my family for something I had no control over. Love and who you love doesn't have a limit or a rulebook that you can refer to when you get lost. So, when I was feeling lost, I found sanctuary in pop music. It's fun. It's experimental. It's high energy. It spoke narratives that were foreign to me. Drinking all night? Freedom to love? These concepts were unusual in my hometown.
When I was coming out as gay, I feared what would happen to me. At 17, I was worried I would lose my friends, my family, or my life. I couldn't cope with this overwhelming feeling I had in my heart. I had this feeling that, because I was an anomaly, I wasn't "made right," or that I was doing this in rebellion. With all of this swirling around in my mind, I found solace when I would turn on Katy's album Teenage Dream. The colorful tracks, the messages of having fun, and being beautiful no matter who you are struck me with force. She spoke to me. A gay boy that she had never met was completely moved by her music. When I was lost, she held my hand and guided me to peace within myself. To this day, any Katy song brings me to life. Through her artistry and talents, she began to heal my fragile little Scorpio heart.
Now, in the other corner we have Taylor Swift. Let's start from the beginning, as it's a very good place to start. When Taylor first hit the scene she was a country artist. Being from Texas, country music was rampant among high school proms, and was the genre of choice when it came to choosing a radio station. Country music never spoke to me. I couldn't relate to driving a tractor or scootin' my boots. Yes, it was and is relevant to Texas, but I had and still have no interest in the subject matter.
Already, it's not looking good for Taylor. Her roots in country music were not my cup of tea. And, when I did hear songs like Our Song, Hey Stephen, or Teardrops on My Guitar I didn't like her voice. Strike two. However, I have never doubted her ability as a lyricist. The girl can write circles around many artists in the industry. I admire her ability to write songs that speak to the heart.
In writing her music, Taylor had undergone a transformation. She dipped her toes in the pools of pop. This was interesting to me, as this is preferred genre of mine in comparison to country music. I thought, why not? I love when an artist of any kind experiments and plays with their abilities. That's how artists grow. I heard I Knew You Were Trouble and I was convinced that this girl could succeed in this realm of sound. It was a bop (a bop means that it's a good song, Dad). Then, the album this song is featured on, Red, was a disappointment to me. It was this strange mixture of pop and country. I felt like Taylor wanted to have her cake and eat it, too.
So, fast forward to 1989. TayTay has gone completely pop. What? She made the transition? Oh cool! Wow, this new song Shake it Off, it should be... Oh. Like, I get that you need to have a catchy first single to get people excited for an album, but this was an annoying mess. I'm sorry. I believe that it's the weakest song on the album. While my excitement wasn't present leading up to the release of 1989, I did find tracks like Blank Space, Style, and Clean to be standouts. I enjoyed them.
With the release of 1989 came the release of Bad Blood, the most successful track of the collection. It's success was motivated by this stale feud between her and Katy. Yes, it had a killer video, but Taylor made it... suspiciously clear (is that a thing?)... that it was about Katy. And, we, as pop culture fanatics, craved this drama. This was the peak of the rivalry.
Now, being a die hard Katy Kat, I was appalled. Admit it, we are all overly protective of our favorite of anything. Want to share my sweet potato fries? Forget it. Want to borrow my leather jacket? Next question. You're coming for my pop icon that helped me through a very dark time in my life? Bring. It. On.
So, in my traditional and analytical fashion, I decided to take a careful listen to each track on 1989. What did I find? That Taylor writes herself as the victim as if she were in a Greek tragedy. I don't need to go into detail about the narrative she "doesn't want to be a part of." We all know she capitalized on playing the victim card over, and over, and over again.
That's when I started to question the only redeeming quality I found in her: her song writing. Like, where's the creativity? I get it. You were done dirty by this person and that person. Blah blah blah. So, just like the feud, I was over the image that was Taylor in distress.
Above all else, what has me the most disappointed in Taylor, is her convenient activism and her deafening silence. She capitalized on feminism by depicting the take down of another woman who did her wrong. She tweets about how proud she is to be a woman without marching on Washington and demanding a change. She said nothing during the whirlwind Trump campaign that took the entire world by surprise. This was even after Trump admitted his love of grabbing female genitals. Not once did Taylor speak out on the injustices that were going on around her. Imagine that. Her fan base is mostly comprised of young women and those in the LGBTQ+ community. When the Trump administration marginalized both, and hindered both in tremendous fashion, Taylor was silent.
I find it disrespectful that someone who has a platform to do good and motivate progress refuses to use it to the advantage of all who are oppressed. This put the final nail in the coffin for Taylor. I had lost all respect for her.
Now. Taylor has released Look What You Made Me Do. Yes, I have my opinions. I don't like the song. Sure, you could say that if it were Katy's I would like it. And, you're probably right. Sometimes, an artist sings a song that doesn't work for them. I don't think this song works for Taylor. What's more, is that Taylor is coming straight out of the gate blaming someone(s) else for making her do something. An eye for an eye I guess? It makes me question if she had learned anything while on her hiatus. Is this single doing well? Yes, of course it is. Taylor still has a huge fan base that will buy anything she puts out, just like I would do for Katy. But, let's be real here, in the history of comeback singles, I haven't seen one not do well. Look at Gimme More, Chained to the Rhythm, and Hello by Britney (Bitch), Katy, and Adele respectively.
Now, the video is wonderful. In fact, it saves the song for me. I enjoy the catchy chorus, and the visuals. But, I still am not a fan of it, nor am I a fan of Swift. I do believe that people can learn from mistakes they have made. I truly do want to enjoy Taylor, as I am tired of defending my love for Katy. If you haven't read the breakdown from Taylor court case against the Colorado D.J., You should give it a read. This is a Taylor I can get behind. She bravely stood against a man who assaulted her. Her answers were poignant, and she controlled the argument. She spoke on an issue that the world is facing on a public stage. I applaud her honesty and courage to stand against assault.
I need more of that Taylor. I need a Taylor that will denounce the Cheeto in Chief. Make progress with us, Taylor. We want you and we need you. Rise to the occasion like your pop contemporaries. Stop being indifferent. Stop staying silent. Stop trying to please your fans, or parents, or anyone else you're afraid of offending. The world needs to hear that you are not a part of this hateful rhetoric. This goes beyond feuds or fandom. This is about principle and purpose.