Taylor Swift, America’s Not-So-Sweetheart
Taylor Swift, often called “America’s Sweetheart” is finally showing her true colors.
While she has been criticized in the past, when she made her comeback on social media and with her new single, more and more people were fed up with her and more things started coming out of the woodwork. Although there are plenty of musicians who have been deemed “problematic” and are still able to have fans overlook it, Swift’s recent controversies have started to really effect even die-hard fans.
There are two major issues with Swift’s recent behavior:
One: the date of her upcoming album.
The Kanye-Swift feud is old news. However, Swift’s upcoming album titled Reputation (cringe) is being released on the tenth anniversary of West’s mother’s death, who he was extremely close to. It’s supposedly entirely coincidental. West fans have chosen to use the day of the release to have people stream a single West song for the entire day to hopefully beat out Swift. Regardless, it’s obvious that Reputation is going to be full of disses and snarky comments about West and for it to come out on such a sensitive day seems distasteful.
Two: the way she’s selling tickets for her upcoming tour.
It’s no surprise that Swift fans are willing to (ask their parents to) shell out hundreds for the bet tickets. However, her new ticket system is just a way for her most privileged fans to have access, which just goes to show who she prioritizes—the ones who pay her rent.
Fans looking to buy tickets are going to have to register first. Then, they can participate in what are being called “boost activities” to “improve their place in line.” What??? These boost activities include purchasing her album up to thirteen times a day, purchasing pricey merchandise, or even buying a 24-karat gold-plated ring. Of course there are smaller and free boost activities, like following her on social media or signing up for an email list, but these don’t boost you nearly as much as if you spend money. Then, once fans pay for an expensive tee shirt and buy the same album a couple times to boost their place in line, they now just have a better change of buying a better (read: more expensive) ticket. That, frankly, is bullshit. It’s Swift telling her fans that if they really loved her, if they really cared, they’d pay more. That’s incredibly classist and problematic. Yikes.
Whether or not you’re a fan of Swift, it’s important to think of who her average fan is. Young middle class girls. Even if they can convince their parent or grandparent or whomever to buy them a ticket for their birthday or a holiday or special occasion, that guardian is not going to also pay more on top of what will already be an expensive ticket price. That, to me, is the saddest part of all of this. It takes the genuine element out of music and entirely commercializes it. While it’s obvious to be cynical and say, well, of course, we live in a capitalistic society, that doesn’t mean that every little girl who loves Taylor Swift doesn’t deserve to see her in concert. Swift has just made it into a competition. It’s disgusting.