There’s a change in barometric pressure. Everything is suddenly eerily quiet and your pet is cowering under the coffee table. It’s not a super-storm, it’s the beginning of the end of Taylor Swift’s reign. It’s the inevitable dethroning. Whether you love her, hate her, or flip-flop aggressively on the matter like I do, it’s time. Her run as the queen bee of Pop Culture High needs to come to a close before she ends up like a recurring dream I have where I’m a 31-year old who can’t find her 12th grade Algebra class.
This change of tides has been happening gradually over the years. People have popped out of the celebrity-colored woodwork to express distrust or dislike of Swift and her posse of long-legged knockouts, claiming that she’s just an overgrown popular girl with Regina George tendencies and a very limited view of what feminism means. Katy Perry is probably the most well-known leader of the anti-Swift brigade, focusing mostly on vague Twitter-takedowns in the form of subtweets and popping back into the mix whenever Taylor finds herself in any sort of drama-cycle.
It’s not the level of drama that has been changing, necessarily, it’s the public’s reaction and our collective willingness to grab one of her ankles and help drag her off that throne. We’re ready.
If you have real life things to worry about and have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s a timeline:
1989 – Taylor Alison Swift climbs out of her mother’s downstairs, one long leg at a time. Doctor suggests leaving silver spoon in mouth so as not to provide any discomfort later in life.
2004 – 14-year-old Taylor stomps her feet and holds her breath until Mr. and Mrs. Swift agree to move from Pennsylvania to Nashville to pursue her music career.
2005/6 – Taylor leaves public high school after her sophomore year to accommodate her tour schedule, and finishes a homeschool curriculum, thus requiring an open-ended need to collect social points in a high school-based rewards system.
2006 – Taylor’s debut album is released. Songs about high school and boys are endearing and make sense for both her age and her audience.
2008 – Fearless the 2nd T-Swift album is released and is met with even more enthusiasm. One critic accurately described it as “literally ripping a page out of a suburban girl’s diary”.
2009 – “You Belong With Me” wins Best Female Video at the MTV VMAs and Kanye infamously interrupts Taylor’s acceptance speech to tell the world that Beyonce deserved that win, creating one of the most hilarious feuds in the history of pop culture as well as the meme, “I’ma let you finish, but…”
Also 2009 – Katy Perry and Taylor Swift are sweet as pie to each other in a series of nauseating Twitter exchanges. Appear to be friends, publically.
2010 – Taylor allegedly dates John Mayer (briefly) and then pens the song “Dear John” about the whole sitch.
2012 – Katy Perry dates John Mayer because he’s John Mayer and it’s a rule if you are famous and you have boobs.
Also 2012 – Three of Katy Perry’s former dancers (that she legally owned) found their way onto Taylor’s Red Tour. They were contacted by Perry’s people and offered a spot on her upcoming world tour, but they’d have to leave Taylor’s tour early. They agreed. The fan was priming for shit to hit it.
2014 – Taylor’s latest album, 1989, is released as her first officially “pop” album and absolutely slays. You found yourself longing for the days when you THOUGHT the world was saturated with her face.
Also 2014 – Taylor confirms that “Bad Blood” from 1989 is about a “well known female star” and literally the entire world knows she’s talking about Katy Perry and she’s mad that Katy stole dancers from her tour, but like, she totally hates drama, you guys.
Also 2014 – Katy Perry tweets “Watch out for the Regina George in sheep’s clothing”. Oh man. Oh man, you guys.
2015 – Taylor unwisely and ridiculously engages Nicki Minaj in a twitter-altercation. Is slayed immediately. Because like, it wasn’t even about her, gawd.
2015 – Katy subtweets the Nicki Minaj situation very un-subtly and shades Taylor further.
2015 again – Tay Tay starts dating Scottish DJ and producer, Calvin Harris and they’re like totally THE it couple and it’s true love always.
2016 – People are talking about how maybe Taylor isn’t that nice, and how maybe she runs her #squad like an actual military battalion and that maybe she’s ACTUALLY Regina George, but no…she’s on Tumblr. So.
February 2016 – Kanye releases a song called “Famous” which includes the line, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/Why? I made that bitch famous”. (*clutches chest and gasps*)
The Next Day in February 2016 – Taylor’s people release a statement saying that she never approved that line, and that she is disappointed such a misogynistic phrase was used. (See: pick and choose feminism)
The Day After That in February 2016 – Kanye tweets, basically saying “nuh uh!”
February 15th, 2016 – Taylor throws major shade at Kanye in her Grammy acceptance speech. (I believe I exclaimed out loud upon seeing this, “Ooh, Taylor! Kanye is coming for you!”)
June 2016 – Taylor and Calvin break up and the world shed one giant, collective tear. But Taylor starts dating Tom Hiddleston before Calvin Harris is even out of the room.
Also June 2016 – Kim Kardashian does an interview with GQ and talks about how Taylor TOTALLY knew what Kanye was going to rap about her, and that she approved it on a pre-release telephone call.
July 2016 – Taylor’s people leak that she co-wrote Calvin’s latest single, “This is What You Came For”, insinuating that Calvin was withholding credit, even though it was allegedly mutually agreed upon that Taylor’s contribution would remain confidential. Because like, she really hates being the center of attention, you guys.
July 13th, 2016 – Calvin tweets a thing that basically implies that since Taylor’s not on tour, she’s trying to keep busy by “burying” him like she did to Katy Perry. (ooooooooh)
Also July 13th – Katy Perry tweets a really well-timed Hillary Clinton GIF.
Last Week 2016 – Teasers for the upcoming episode of Keeping Up with The Kardashians include Kim saying things like, “so she can play the victim again” about Swifty. (Earrings off.)
Yesterday 2016 – Kim K. tweets a bunch of snake emojis and not-so-low-key shades Taylor.
Yesterday 2016 also – Oh, my bad. Kim K. tweets that there’s a difference between shading someone and speaking the truth. So, that was on me. It was truth. Not shade.
VERY EARLY THIS MORNING – Kim K. tweets, asking if the world follows her on Snapchat, says we should, and then e-winks.
The world listens. The world follows her on Snapchat. She proceeds to add the ENTIRE PHONE CONVERSATION THAT UP UNTIL THAT MOMENT HAD BEEN MERELY ALLEGED. There’s a full recording of Kanye and Taylor’s phone conversation about that line in that song and Taylor is not only happy that Kanye thought to ask her permission, but she is downright flattered.
The world is SO ready for a Taylor Swift trip-up that it literally leapt onto the bandwagon and continued spamming Tay’s Insta and Twitter with snake emojis (I assume Tumblr is still her safe haven). Taylor Swift is being called a snake and you guys, YESTERDAY WAS NATIONAL SNAKE DAY. THAT’S REAL. THIS IS REAL LIFE.
This Afternoon – Taylor posts a statement on her Insta, reiterating that she was NOT told about the “bitch” line and that she is upset about that line, being lied about, etc. Again, you guys. She doesn’t want the drama. THE DRAMA. She also requests to be “excluded from this narrative” which is probably the best phrase I’ve ever heard. And frankly, I’m going to use it for everything. And I’m probably never going to credit Taylor.
In summation: Taylor Swift is Regina George. Kim Kardashian is Cady Heron. Kanye is possibly Glen Coco (He seems like a troublemaker) and Selena Gomez is likely Karen. She means well, but just ends up saying something weird and getting dragged herself. None of them are necessarily good, and we’re all sort of realizing that and just munching the hell out of popcorn as we watch them slowly erupt into flames. Except Kim. She’s not on fire. She’s on FIYA. The Kardashian Empire is killing it with their manipulation and timing of this whole situation. They have flawlessly pinpointed the exact right time to go in on Taylor Swift. The time when the world would not only allow it, but we’d pile on, and pile on hard. Even a couple of months ago and we’d be printing out new victim cards for Tay to play. But not today. NOT TODAY. Today, for some reason, a veil has been lifted and we are seeing the (presumably) real Taylor: perpetually petulant.
Sources: me, being a human who has a Twitter account. And, let’s be honest, Wikipedia.