Taylor Swift’s African-Dream White Cliché
There is a funny thing going on, when you google ‘white colonialism’, Taylor Swift’s new video for ‘Wildest Dreams’ pops up on the first page of the research! I don’t understand what she wanted to accomplish with this video… is she stupid enough to not have guessed the controversy that such an idea would trigger? Or was she aware of it but wanted her little Out-of-Africa dream anyway? I just wonder why there was nobody in Swift’s entourage to tell her how awkward, insensible and corny this video would look.
Taylor Swift released this mini movie/big production for ‘Wildest Dreams’ on Sunday, and it looks like a Karen Blixen remix with her song for soundtrack. Nothing in the song suggests Africa, but this is nevertheless where the video was shot, because Taylor probably thought she would look good in colonial outfit or Scheherazade veils in front of lions and exotic animals. She seems to have reached some heights of narcissism, when the wildest and most beautiful continent on earth is reduced to the background of her stupid failed romance… I have news for you Tay, Africa has enough problems to deal with before caring about your sex life…
But what else could we expect from a pop princess? The whole video looks like a Barbara Cartland version of ‘Out of Africa’ with 30’s fashion and airplane trips, and the cheesiness of the whole thing culminates when you discover that there is absolutely not one single black person in Taylor’s Africa. Did she do that on purpose? Was she aware of the aberration? She can’t be that stupid, and still I can’t find a good explanation to this…. unless may be she didn’t want to feature any black people because she didn’t want to cast them as servants and maids. I get that, but so why choosing this time period? It’s like trying to make the Third Reich look glamorous by not show what happened to Jewish people. Am I too harsh on Swift? I don’t think so she should know better, she should know there is nothing glamorous about white colonialism in Africa and there is everything wrong about using this for a romance background without an ounce of irony or criticism. Why is she selling herself as this naive school girl? Why is she perpetuating this cheesy 2-cents romance at this point she is no better than Paula Deen throwing a Southern-plantation-theme wedding party or than Bono landing in African bush with his Vuitton bag and Ray-Ban glasses. They both have been heavily criticized for this so why hasn’t Taylor learned anything?
Taylor, it is not enough to hug Kanye West and pretend to be a sister, why not using a black actor as your love interest instead of the very white Scott Eastwood (Clint’s son)? I know, it would have clashed with the period, but it’s not as if your video were a history lesson! It’s a stupid cliche born from the residue of glamorized white colonialism, washed from any guilt and remorse because none of this looks good with majestic rainfall and wild animals.