The Evolution of Taylor Swift

This will be the name of my TED Talk someday, FYI.

BuzzFeed published an in-depth analysis of Taylor Swift’s comeback in 2014. Within a year and a half, T-Swizzles has transformed herself from that bitter ex-girlfriend to the ringleader of a massive #GirlSquad. She’s not just a girl. She’s a f-cking movement.

So many of you have become Swift fans without even realizing it. Others are “Born Again Swiftians”, as I like to call them. The point is she’s gotten into our heads and iTunes libraries like a seeping mist. That was no accident.

Swift has used a calculated PR strategy, although BuzzFeed never puts it in those words. Just three years ago, Taylor Swift had a reputation for changing boys as often as she does Peter Pan collars, before namedropping them in her songs. She was seen as “boy crazy” and “anti-feminist”. Her Christmas cover for Cosmopolitan was the worst selling cover that year. She was the butt of Tina Fey’s joke at the 2013 Golden Globes.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to how Swift became America’s Sweetheart again:

Laying low

Swift went underground for a while to record 1989. During that time, there was a shift in her lyrics to show more self-awareness, as we saw in her “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space” videos.

The Single pledge

Swift swore off boys for a year. Even though she didn’t make it that far before (allegedly) hooking up with Matthew Healy and dating Calvin Harris, she spoke about being happily single in interviews.

Girl squad recruitment

Swift has collected at least a dozen famous girlfriends, whom she parades on stage during “Style”. Each member of her Pussy Posse has been carefully selected for different purposes: Lena Dunham is The Feminist. Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid are The It Girls. Cara Delevingne is Chemical X. (Sorry, I had to make a Powerpuff Girls reference.)

Understanding that whole feminism thing

Swift credits her friendship with Dunham for her epiphany: Feminism is about equality! This newfound revelation has made her the poster child for #GirlPower, even if it’s mostly white girls she’s preaching to.

The goddamn fans

Swift has become a mother hen of sorts to her fans, whether it’s passing on her wisdom on bullying, getting over breakups or attending their bridal showers. She’s even confessed to making weird faces on camera so her fans will make Gifs with them? I don’t even know. Is that generosity or narcissism?

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Image credit: Big Machine Records

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