Taylor Swift's full The Guardian interview came out today, and Swift addressed nearly every question people have had about her over the past three years to the fullest extent she's willing.
She discussed her politics and regrets not endorsing Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. She talked about her private, emotional fallout after her public takedown in summer 2016 (when Kim Kardashian released those Snapchats). And she tactfully addressed her three-year relationship with Joe Alwyn for the first time, along with public criticism that Swift continually plays the victim during any of her public feuds or mishaps.
Swift's Alwyn comments were not so much about him as much as they were about why she has chosen not to talk about him in interviews. “I’ve learned that if I do, people think it’s up for discussion, and our relationship isn’t up for discussion,” she said with a laugh. “If you and I were having a glass of wine right now, we’d be talking about it—but it’s just that it goes out into the world. That’s where the boundary is, and that’s where my life has become manageable. I really want to keep it feeling manageable.”
She addressed the reason she didn't speak out and defend herself when people were criticizing her in 2016 and 2017. “Here’s why," she started. "Because when people are in a hate frenzy and they find something to mutually hate together, it bonds them. And anything you say is in an echo chamber of mockery.”
And she carefully responded to criticism that she has leaned into a white victim narrative throughout her career. Swift said she came to understand “a lot about how my privilege allowed me to not have to learn about white privilege. I didn’t know about it as a kid, and that is privilege itself, you know? And that’s something that I’m still trying to educate myself on every day. How can I see where people are coming from, and understand the pain that comes with the history of our world?”
Swift admitted she is partly responsible for her overexposure and for some of the tabloid drama in 2016. She used the example of the squad birthday posts she always did and how if she didn't post something for a friend, people would think that they weren't friends anymore. "I realized I had done that. I created an expectation that everything in my life that happened, people would see [on my Instagram].”
Swift said she felt like she really couldn't win. “I’m kinda used to being gaslit by now," she started. "And I think it happens to women so often that, as we get older and see how the world works, we’re able to see through what is gaslighting. So I’m able to look at 1989 [that era in my public life] and go...oh my God, they were mad at me for smiling a lot and quote-unquote acting fake. And then they were mad at me that I was upset and bitter and kicking back.”
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