Taylor Swift, please don’t read this article.
I know she will. At this point, she must know my work; our relationship can’t be one-sided.
She probably saw the DMs I sent her in 2015 pleading for tickets to her concert, but she must have been so busy she didn’t have time to respond. I miss texts all the time.
I consider myself a “Swiftie,” but Taylor and I have had a rocky relationship. I’m the problem.
I hope Taylor forgives; I tell people I don’t like her.
Like many children, I idolized — and continue to worship — my older sister. She single handedly discovered Taylor Swift, monopolizing her CDs like Scooter Braun, blasting them from her Magnavox Toploading Boombox, benevolently permitting me to go through the CD pamphlets, explaining that the capitalized letters in the song lyrics spelled out secret messages. Taylor Swift was the first pop star we saw rise to fame. We were girls together. Her music timestamps every long car ride I sat through before the age of 14.
But I am weak.
When blind dates who “really want to know me” ask what music I listen to, I tell them Khruangbin, Kikagaku Moyo, and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, before I run to the bathroom to blot my sweat, pray they won’t steal my phone, guess my phone password — 1111; it’s about the illusion of security — and see “All Too Well— Sad Girl Autumn Version” paused on Spotify.
This worked until Spotify Wrapped — champion of truth — exposed to me and my peers that Taylor Swift was my second-most listened artist in 2022, surpassed only by — you guessed it — Phoebe Bridgers, the sourdough to Swift’s white bread. After all these years, I — like many young women — can’t help but listen to Taylor Swift. She articulates feelings I can’t. She knows me better than I know myself. She, a smart, likable woman, gets her heart broken, as evidenced by her recent split with Joe Alwyn. Taylor Swift is everywoman.
Until you look at her finances.
Parade estimates she’s worth more than $400 million. She relentlessly releases new music and relentlessly rakes in cash. This spring, she crashed Ticketmaster, and now, she’s flooding my Instagram feed with my friends’ concert photos from 1000+ feet above the ground, where she bounces around in the distance like an ant you’ve cornered on the playground.
Now, as last minute tickets are sold hours before concerts, fans flock to see Taylor Swift dance her heartbreak away and sing what we sing on the way home from a breakup. She gets press. We are reminded to buy tickets. A newly heartbroken Taylor Swift is worth more than a happy one.
I thought she was a pop star, but I was wrong. She’s a businesswoman. She monetizes our bizarre para-social relationship with her, baiting us to buy her tickets and guess her next album title. Our longstanding relationship, built on CD pamphlets, car rides and older sisters, is really just a game for her. She is “All Too Well-ing” Us.
But maybe I’m wrong. That’s why I don’t want her to see this. I hope she forgets to pick up a copy of the WKND paper this week. I love her. I don’t want her to think I hate women. Maybe our relationship is real. I should buy tickets before they sell out.