Taylor Swift began her career with the squeaky clean image almost every teen pop-star evolves from. But the narrative changed dramatically in July 2016, when Kim Kardashian West called her a “snake” on Twitter, and thus the “Cancel Taylor Swift” hashtags, and campaigns began.
In her recent cover story for VOGUE magazine, Swift describes how the backlash and “bullying made her feel. “A mass public shaming, with millions of people saying you are quote-unquote canceled, is a very isolating experience,” she said.
Taylor doesn’t believe people actually grasp the repercussions behind that term. “I don’t think there are that many people who can actually understand what it’s like to have millions of people hate you very loudly,” Taylor added.
“When you say someone is canceled, it’s not a TV show. It’s a human being. You’re sending mass amounts of messaging to this person to either shut up, disappear, or it could also be perceived as, Kill yourself.”
However, with so much turmoil surrounding her, Swift used what she does well to counteract the negativity… writing. “I realized I needed to restructure my life because it felt completely out of control,” she said.
“I knew immediately I needed to make music about it because I knew it was the only way I could survive it. It was the only way I could preserve my mental health and also tell the story of what it’s like to go through something so humiliating.”
These days, Taylor Swift is seemingly at peace and even thankful for what VOGUE described as “the Great Cancellation of 2016”. She said, “When you’re going through loss or embarrassment or shame, it’s a grieving process with so many micro emotions in a day.
She continued, “Sometimes I felt like: All these things taught me something that I never could have learned in a way that didn’t hurt as much. Five minutes later, I’d feel like: That was horrible. Why did that have to happen? What am I supposed to take from this other than mass amounts of humiliation? And then five minutes later I’d think: I think I might be happier than I’ve ever been.”
Taylor told the publication, “It’s so strange trying to be self-aware when you’ve been cast as this always smiling, always happy ‘America’s sweetheart’ thing, and then having that taken away and realizing that it’s actually a great thing that it was taken away, because that’s extremely limiting.”
Swift concludes with, “We’re not going to go straight to gratitude with it. Ever. But we’re going to find positive aspects to it. We’re never going to write a thank-you note.”