Oh Taylor, look what you made me do…
So unless you are living somewhere where there’s no internet, (also, how are you reading this????), I’m sure you know Taylor Swift released her first single “Look what you made me do” from her upcoming sixth album, Reputation.
When the song dropped (and I am going to be brutally honest with you guys), I just wasn’t impressed. Like, at all. In fact, I sort of hated it. And when I say sort of I mean totally.
I’m all for artists expanding horizons and trying new things, but it didn’t really feel or sound like Taylor. I’ve been a country Taylor fan for a looooooong time and was sort of thrown off by “Shake it Off”, but I really wasn’t ready for pop Taylor to turn into…Lorde-Taylor?
For those of you who know me, you know that I was a huuuuge Taylor Swift fan since the early days. True story, I even went to her house once! (I KNOW, I KNOW!)
When the whole Kimye disaster happened, my trust in Taylor Swift was broken forever. After watching Kim Kardashian’s video, Taylor went from being my most beloved celebrity and my fave artist after Michael Jackson to a person I felt like I didn’t know anymore. She lost a fan that day. (If you need all the details on the drama, read this Buzzfeed article.)
So why am I writing this article?
Well, after a year of not listening to her music, Taylor somehow has my attention again.
In fact, after she released the “Look what you made me do” music video, she earned my respect…again. A different respect. But a respect nonetheless.
“Look what you made me do” is one of those songs that you don’t like the first time you hear it, but it gets catchier and catchier each time you hit replay. Then paired with a BRILLIANT music video, it’ll be stuck in your head for good.
So what happened? Why do I think Taylor is “brilliant”?
OMG so many reasons.
THE MARKETING GENIUS OF THE TAYLOR TRANSFORMATION
First, I think everyone can agree that the Kimye situation was a PR DISASTER. (Unless it was a part of a long term marketing plan for her brand’s evolution that involved getting the biggest celebs in the world to play along. I highly doubt this, but it’s one of my conspiracy theories.) Taylor could have defended herself forever and could have made everyone feel sorry for her. Instead, she went radio silent (which made her seem even more guilty) and then BAM came out with a single that basically said “Yeah, you caught me, I AM a bad person. Deal with it.”
Do you know how much FREEDOM she must feel from releasing this single?
Taylor used to be a goody goody that would get scrutinized for every single little tiny misstep she took, while other celebs with a less-than-perfect reputation would get applauded for basically not committing a crime for the day. Now that she’s admitted that she’s a new Taylor…a bad Taylor…a mean girl Taylor….she has the freedom to release herself from those perfect girl shackles and do whatever the heck she pleases.
Side note – I can TOTALLY relate to this. Because Blogilates is a very family friendly and overall super positive female fitness brand, when I say one slightly tough thing, I seem to really upset people right away. I mean, literally the other day I posted a motivational quote that said this:
It was meant to be inspirational. A little kick in the booty! But I got a ton of comments on Instagram saying how disappointed people were in me…how people were going to stop doing my videos because of how insensitive I was. My follower count was in the negatives that day!
Honestly, if this quote made you mad enough to unfollow me, then I apologize for offending you, but I urge you to take a step back and ask yourself why. There’s a big difference between actually being lazy versus taking a rest day, needing a moment to relax or taking some time off to not work.
Anyway, I digress.
But see what I mean? “Good girls” aren’t allowed to make mistakes. “Bad girls” are.
Taylor can wear skimpier clothes, she can get plastic surgery, she can cuss, she can cut off all her hair, she can even release sex tapes – because guess what, you do not have the power to judge her based off of her old good girl standards. Those ancient standards are dead. The new Taylor has written her own rules – rules of which the public no longer has control over.
She is BORN-AGAIN.
This is the brilliance that I am impressed with. Who Taylor Swift is as a person, I am unsure. (I mean she was nice when I met her, but that’s all I know.) But the marketing behind her image and the execution of her new brand is SO GENIUS that my mind is exploding.
So for my business and advertising people…listen up.
Taylor went from naive country girl to romantic country princess to a squad-goals pop star to a certified bad girl. She’s been in the spotlight for over a decade and STILL has my attention. Many stars fade after a year. How did Taylor withstand the test of time? BECAUSE SHE EVOLVED. Even when people didn’t want her to.
In her latest transformation, Taylor went with the flow. She could not fight against the tide. Though the tide was one of major negativity, she embraced it and embraced it HARD. I really did not expect her to admit to her character flaws in her music video, but when she did, I forgave her. Once I did that, I felt like I was allowing myself to enjoy her music again.
The fact that Taylor is so self-aware (a la the scene at the end of the video where the Taylors from different eras argue with each other – ugh so good) lets me know that she’s smart, she’s creative, she’s funny and that she’s one step ahead of us.
HOW TAYLOR COMMERCIALIZED THE DISS TRACK TREND
Logan got to over 11 MILLION subscribers in less than 1 year! To give you some context, I’ve been on YouTube for about 8 years and I am about to hit 4 MILLION – and that’s supposed to be pretty good.
The Pauls are brothers whose entire empires rest upon their oddly successful diss tracks – each video racks up hundreds of millions of views. The numbers are OUTRAGEOUS and pretty much unheard of these days for non-celeb musicians. These diss tracks are rap songs where the brothers make fun of other YouTubers. You could call it comedy or you could call it straight up bullying and harassment. Either way, kids LOVE IT and it’s super viral.
So, was Taylor’s new music video a type of high production super celebrity diss track? Is that why “Look what you made me do” became the highest viewed video of ANY VIDEO in the first 24 hours of it’s release?
You know, I think yes.
Do I think diss tracks are good for society? No.
But the truth is, I think people love a good drama…especially when it’s “real” drama. To be completely honest though – what’s real and what’s not these days? It’s hard for me to tell because I feel like everything is planned. Especially social media.
Entertainment has evolved and it is not at all what it used to be. We went from seeing actors in plays, to seeing actors in movies, to seeing “real people” on reality TV shows, to seeing “real-er real people” in YouTube videos, to seeing the “real-est, rawest, real people” in Snapchat videos. I mean, we think we’re seeing the truth, but is there still an underlying script that we don’t know about? Like are YouTube feuds and IG story dramas the new reality TV drama? Are we all just being played by Kim, Kanye, Taylor and Katy?
I don’t know. But either way, it’s all marketing and PR brilliance because it gets the entire world talking about them over such petty little things.
I mean, I just wrote an entire blog post about Taylor Swift after a year of ignoring her music. She got me. And she got me good.
Oh gosh, this post ended up being wayyyyyyy longer than I wanted it to be. But I have some takeaways for you:
- If you run a brand or business who has made a mistake, own up to it. Admit it. I find it much easier to forgive a guilty person who has admitted fault than to believe a semi-guilty person who keeps trying to defend their innocence.
- If you’re a person who feels boxed up and restricted by what other people want you to be, set yourself free by not letting their expectations shackle you. Allow yourself growth and change. Those who can accept the new you deserve to be by your side on your journey. Those who don’t can stay left behind.
HAHA who would have thought that this blog post would end up with “Look what you made me do” life lessons?
What did you guys think of the video and the song? What do you think of Taylor Swift? Let me know your HONEST feelings in the comments below! I am DYING to hear them!