Love to Hate Taylor Swift
This is us 22
Please visit our sponsor.
What was happening to me? I finally realized the simple truth: I don't hate her at all. I love her.
Or do I hate to love her?
About seven years ago, I listened, unimpressed, to my then roommate describe some country teenager who wrote her own songs and was going to be huge. Now that Taylor Swift has infiltrated every radio station and dated every celebrity I've ever lusted after (whether understandably--Jake Gyllenhaal--or borderline statutorily--Harry Styles), I know now that's who my roommate was talking about back then. Still unimpressed, I remember exactly where I was when I heard that Fearless won the 2009 Grammy for Album of the Year. I took instantly to Facebook to complain that the Grammys had surely gone to crap if some whiny snot who uses the word "cheerleader" in a song received this top honor. And for each "like" my irate status received from fellow elitists, I got a comment kindly informing me that the lyric is actually "cheer captain." God, sorry.
Before I knew it though, a string of crazy things happened. First, Mean became my go-to karaoke song. I told myself it was because I could sing it just as well as her and I wanted to prove to the world that she shouldn't be famous, but I secretly just kind of liked it. Then I told myself I should stop making fun of her now that she's moved to Beverly Hills because if I ever meet her at the supermarket, I'd like to think maybe we would hit it off. Then, by God, the girl got a new stylist or something because she got those great bangs, started wearing red lipstick and polka-dots and looked AMAZING. I mean, I was pinning her outfits regularly! What was happening to me? I finally realized the simple truth: I don't hate her at all. I love her.
But then she had to go and date Harry Styles and I cursed her for penetrating my precious One Direction with her uncomfortably apparent but somehow overlooked promiscuity. Which then annoyingly reminded me again that she got to date Jake Gyllenhaal. Which then reminded me of that time she hugged Reese Witherspoon when she won one of her million awards and I was like, "Oh, COME ON!"
But then the childhood loves of my life Hanson covered We Are Never Getting Back Together, and how could I possibly disagree with Taylor Hanson's angelic face? And then 22 came out and I couldn't stop singing it. Or watching the video. Truth be told, she looks kind of cute dressed up like a hipster. Plus, rumors surfaced that Harry Styles broke up with her for being boring and old lady-like, and I thought to myself, "Omg Taylor, can we go antiquing together and come home and discuss our finds over tea and an episode of Murder She Wrote?" Because I'd be totally down. Seriously.
But see, then she collaborated with Tim McGraw (and Keith Urban for that matter) on Highway Don't Care. To make matters worse, Tim McGraw even made it the thirteenth track on his record because he knows 13 is Taylor's favorite number. Wait. How do I know all this stuff? I may be too embarrassed to actually publish this piece. The point is my bewilderment and outrage at her can-do-no-wrong success came flooding back and out my ears in two symmetrical cartoon clouds of smoke.
And that's when it hit me: Taylor Swift is a regular girl who, despite some irritating personality traits, can also be adorable. I've come to realize that she reminds me not just of basically everyone I know, but of myself. I mean, I'd like to think I'm fairly lovable most of the time even though I've done some lame things in my day (which the media, luckily, has not cared to preserve). Yet in the face of all sorts of backlash and mockery, Taylor Swift unapologetically refuses to go away. She persists in her young, still-finding-herself way to be rewarded with some of the hugest milestones of success imaginable. And isn't that as admirable and inspirational as a young celebrity can ever get? Like, ever?
Annie Aboulian, Contributing Writer: I'm a young attorney gone rogue. Yes, I have a license to practice law in California, but I'd rather write. Based in Los Angeles, I love to write about fashion, food, entertainment, and culture. I blog about all of the above at happyasannie.com and about my new love, country music. (more...)