Taylor Swift knows exactly what you think of her. And she wants you know that she doesn’t care.
To show just how much she doesn’t care, she’s devoted the release cycle for her new album to expressing how much it doesn’t bother her when people don’t like her.
Swift announced her latest album, Reputation, by deleting all of her old social media posts, replacing them with a video of a snake hissing, in what appeared to be a reference to her reputation as a lying snake. The video for her first single off Reputation, “Look What You Made Me Do,” concluded with a lineup of Swifts spouting the most common critiques of Taylor Swift at each other: Her surprised face is annoying and fake; she’s constantly playing the victim.
The subtext was clear. Taylor Swift knows that some people don’t like her, and she knows why. And she wants to be very clear that she doesn’t like them either, and that for the record, none of the bad things she’s done are actually her fault. It’s all stuff that someone else made her do.
“Look What You Made Me Do” ushered in the age of the New New Taylor (as opposed to the Old New Taylor circa 1989), and the response was not welcoming. Vulture declared it “the worst music of her career.” USA Today said Swift had “never been more exhausting.”
The chilliness of the reception that greeted New Taylor was on one level surprising, given how much goodwill she had going into this latest album cycle. Just before she announced Reputation, Swift was at the center of a high-profile lawsuit involving a radio DJ who groped her during a meet-and-greet. Swift handled the case with aplomb, gave an endlessly Read More Here