The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Opinion | Yes, Taylor Swift plays the victim

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift on her Reputation Stadium Tour at CenturyLink Field on May 22, 2018.

Let me start with the fact that I am a Swiftie. I appreciate and recognize Taylor Swift’s gift for songwriting and poetic lyricism. But that doesn’t negate the fact that I am growing uncomfortable with who she is as a person and how she regularly seeks validation for her victimhood.

Like most other celebrities, Swift has been involved in controversies and conflicts with other artists in her nearly 20-year career.

For instance, Kanye West and Swift have a feud dating back to 2009. Most notably, in his song “Famous,” he released a lyric calling Swift a “bitch” without her knowledge. Kim Kardashian recorded and edited a phone call to clear West’s name after he received backlash from Swift’s fans. 

Her album “reputation,” which heavily alludes to her feud with West, was supposed to be her telling her side of the story and getting the last word. I mean, she wrote and dedicated an entire album to how bothered she was. Popdust writer Eden Arielle Gordon said Swift “doesn’t deserve constant sympathy” she regularly collects from her followers. Rather, she deserves “respect and accountability for her actions as a public figure.”

This is just one of the many examples of Swift bringing up instances over and over again where people wronged her as justification to hurt them back

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Record executive Scooter Braun also had a large dispute with Swift that blew up, resulting in Swift’s fans continuing to hate on him years later. 

Swift originally accused Braun of bullying her in the past. In 2019, he bought her music catalog, much to the chagrin of Swift. After she put Braun on blast for buying her music catalog, his family received death threats from her fans, with Swift being aware of it.

I am not defending Braun’s actions. His actions are unacceptable — and for a man many years her senior — immature. 

Bullying someone is never okay, but what Swift doesn’t realize is that she has become the bully.

Braun’s ex-wife and children aren’t involved in his feud with Swift at all, but they’re still receiving death threats, all with her knowledge. In fact, Swift has never put out a response condemning the massive amounts of hate sent toward the people she is feuding with. 

If it weren’t for the high detail security Kim Kardashian employs, I am positive that she would be receiving death threats as well.

What has happened to Swift is not uncommon; hundreds, if not thousands, of other artists have had the rights to their entire music catalog stripped away from them. She could have used what happened to her as an opportunity to uplift other voices of artists who have had the same thing happen to them. She could even support a philanthropic cause that encourages ownership of an artist’s work. 

She has the opportunity to rerecord her albums and take back her ownership. Hell, she could even sue Kim Kardashian for illegally recording and editing a phone call. 

But still, she fixates on everything that went wrong in her life. When will it ever be enough for her? How long will she keep punishing the people who have wronged her?

The world is a nasty, cruel place, and there won’t always be good people with your best interests at heart. But instead of choosing to learn from instances where she was wronged, Swift constantly brings them up and becomes a panhandler for constant sympathy. 

In a sit-down interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Swift says she’s moved on from her past feuds but she continues talking about them, which gives the impression that she hasn’t moved on at all. 

Most fans grew up with Taylor Swift’s songs and continue to favor them due to how relatable they are. Not only does she write about relationships, but she also digs deeper and writes about the internal, messy feelings around them. 

She’s the idol from our youth, but for a 34-year-old woman, she needs to grow up and actually move on.


Safia is a sophomore in LAS.

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