I’m about to blow all your minds—I love Taylor Swift. I know! I’m sorry if you’re one of those people that wish something graphically horrible would happen to her, but I’m a card-carrying member of the Taylor fan club (we don’t really have cards). Maybe it’s because “Tim McGraw” reminds me of a simpler time when my only responsibility was to make sure I ordered enough jalapeño poppers from Campus Corner for all the people crammed into a tiny dorm room. Or perhaps it’s because a guy I used to date told me that “Today was a Fairytale” reminded him of us. Sure, that ended with a $75 dollar red light traffic ticket and some lasting mental health issues, but I should have known better than date someone that lived on Staten Island! So yes, it could be my own nostalgia talking, but it also could be because Taylor is the queen of petty and brings it. Every. Single. Time. Her ability to hold a grudge is only rivaled by my stone-cold Italian grandmother.
Why am I confessing my deepest, darkest secrets you ask? Well, Taylor appears on the cover of Elle’s April issue, and she bribed them was allowed to write her own story titled “30 Things I Learned Before Turning 30.” Perhaps you’ve heard, Taylor was born in 1989. So 30 is upon her. Now, the only thing I learned before turning 30 was that you shouldn’t spend your rent money on wine and pizza, but sure, I’m willing to entertain the idea that a pop superstar with her own jet learned slightly more than a Jersey girl who likes to sh*t talk. And boy, am I glad I did. Because this essay is a master class in shade. These “lessons” are Taylor’s thinly veiled takedowns of her enemies, and I am here for it because that’s basically what I try to do with all my articles too! So, since Tay isn’t naming names, I’m here to break down who she’s not-so-subtly shading in this article. Author note: these are only guesses, please don’t sue me, Taylor!
In lesson sixteen, Taylor says, “Before you jump in headfirst, maybe, I don’t know…get to know someone! All that glitters isn’t gold, and first impressions actually aren’t everything. It’s impressive when someone can charm people instantly and own the room, but what I know now to be more valuable about a person is not their charming routine upon meeting them (I call it a “solid first 15”), but the layers of a person you discover in time.”
This is obviously referencing Taylor’s brief romance with Tom Hiddleston, who she met at the 2016 Met Gala. They had an incredibly cringey dance-off that made me wish the internet was never invented, then he was invited to #Taymerica where he was spotted donning a tank top that said “I Heart TS,” and I was officially dead of embarrassment by the time they broke up in October. It seems Taylor realized that perhaps just because a white dude that went to Cambridge is game to torture us with a dance routine to “Bring ‘Em Out,” does not mean you should go all in on that immediately. Plus, you know who else gave a solid first 15? Ted Bundy. Just saying.
Of all the friends in Taylor Swift’s 1989-era girl squad, Karlie Kloss was queen bee of them all. Taylor and Karlie even posed for a Vogue cover together, with the article titled “On the Road with Best Friends Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss.” If Vogue says you’re best friends, then you just are. And then Karlie just kind of disappeared from Taylor’s life. Psycho fans people even believed they were a couple that had a bad breakup. Seriously. Karlie recently got married, and Taylor wasn’t there. So what happened? I think we have our answer in lesson twenty:
“Learning the difference between lifelong friendships and situationships. Something about “we’re in our young twenties!” hurls people together into groups that can feel like your chosen family. And maybe they will be for the rest of your life. Or maybe they’ll just be your comrades for an important phase, but not forever.”
So clearly they were both really tall, really famous, really blonde girls that were the same age and so they became friends. I can obviously totally relate. And so they just eventually went their separate ways, with Karlie marrying into the Kushner family and Taylor busy tending to her grudges like little pets.
The good old days
If you come at the Queen you best not miss, and I think Taylor misses on this one. In lesson twenty-one she writes:
“Fashion is all about playful experimentation. If you don’t look back at pictures of some of your old looks and cringe, you’re doing it wrong. See: Bleachella.”
I’m so sorry that Anna insisted you make your look a little more edgy to be in her high fashion magazine, Taylor. God forbid you give up the burnt straw hair color you cling to like it’s your first born. Anna was right, and Bleachella was your best look. And I’m not just saying that because I myself spent one glorious year as a platinum blonde. Sure, my hair is falling out now, but that’s beside the point.
Oh, did you think Taylor was going to write an article and not call out public enemy #1? I’m sorry I couldn’t even say that with a straight face. Of course Taylor claims she would like to be excluded from this narrative, but that’s only when other people are talking about it, duh. She says in lesson twenty-seven:
I learned that disarming someone’s petty bullying can be as simple as learning to laugh. In my experience, I’ve come to see that bullies want to be feared and taken seriously. A few years ago, someone started an online hate campaign by calling me a snake on the internet. The fact that so many people jumped on board with it led me to feeling lower than I’ve ever felt in my life, but I can’t tell you how hard I had to keep from laughing every time my 63-foot inflatable cobra named Karyn appeared onstage in front of 60,000 screaming fans. It’s the Stadium Tour equivalent of responding to a troll’s hateful Instagram comment with “lol.”
KARYN!! She named the cobra KARYN! I’d like to know more about this choice. Why Karyn with a y and not an e? What an unconventional spelling. So many unanswered questions, I will be on the edge of my seat studying her secret IG clues until I get an answer for this one. Obviously Taylor is not over the whole Kimye feud, and that’s fine with me. Feuds are to me as unicorn blood is to Voldemort. They give me life. I hope Taylor takes this one to the grave, and that Karyn is etched on her tombstone.
My Cocktail Making Skills
Despite the entire thesis of my article, Taylor does talk about other things in her essay. Here’s lesson nine:
“I learned how to make some easy cocktails like Pimm’s cups, Aperol spritzes, Old-Fashioneds, and Mojitos because…2016.”
Lol, wait. I take it back, that’s some more shade at Kimye. If you’ll recall, 2016 was the year that the feud of all feuds went down, and Taylor clearly still hasn’t gotten over it. Anyways, in this lesson she’s also coming for my cocktail making skills. Who the f*ck knows how to make an Old-Fashioned? I’m still mastering the vodka soda. Except I don’t have club soda. Or ice. If you come to my apartment, you get a lukewarm vodka and you WILL LIKE IT.
And that’s all! Did I miss any other shade Taylor was throwing? Let me know!
Images: Giphy (1); hiddlove,karliekloss,voguemagazine/Instagram