Explaining Taylor Swift And Matty Healy’s Breakup To My 65-Year-Old Mom

Are you worried you may be spending too much time online? Are you getting a little too invested in the lives of the rich and famous? There’s no better litmus test for determining whether you need to “touch grass” than trying to explain any internet trend or celebrity gossip to your rapidly aging parents.

When news broke about the Taylor Swift and Matty Healy breakup, I couldn’t wait to tell my 65-year-old mother. She has no idea what an Ice Spice is, her social media presence is limited mostly to Facebook (and Nextdoor), and to her, 1975 is simply “the year she went to junior prom.”

Without further ado, I present to you a transcript of her piping hot takes on Hollywood’s most controversial (ex) couple.

ME: Mom, you’re not gonna believe this. Taylor Swift and Matty Healy already broke up.

MOM: Taylor Swift and who?

ME: Matty Healy, the guy from the 1975.

MOM: The what?

ME: Remember that song I showed you where the guy is yelling, “We’re fucking in a car, shooting heroin?”

MOM: Jules! Language, please.

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ME: His words, not mine! Do you remember him? Here’s a picture of him.

MOM: Oh no. [long pause, for a second I thought she hung up] He looks like Jack Sparrow.

ME: Okay, I don’t really see it but I like where your head’s at.

MOM: Taylor Swift dated this guy?

ME: Yeah, for at least a month. Rumor has it they may have also briefly dated back in like 2013. But the Swifties have been absolutely off their rockers about it. People were not happy.

MOM: Do I even want to know?

ME: Doesn’t matter, I’m going to tell you. So let’s start from the beginning. She and Joe Alwyn broke up sometime this spring, we think, after six years.

MOM: Six years and they never got married?

ME: Leave them alone.

taylor swift joe alyn

MOM: By the way, did you see my email about the Netflix family plan? I think they’re going to make me kick you guys off.

ME: Focus, Mom. So Taylor and Joe break up, and pretty immediately the news breaks that she’s dating Matty Healy. Which unfortunately means that millions of Swifities are about to find out who Matty Healy is.

MOM: Heroin guy?

ME: Exactly. But we don’t even care about that. What we mainly care about is that Matty Healy is what we would call an “edgelord.” Do you know what that is?

MOM: I don’t think so, sweetie. Hang on one second, my phone is doing that thing again. Can you still hear me? Am I on speaker? I think it’s connecting me to Bluetooth or something. 

ME: Basically, Matty Healy makes sort of off-color jokes that are no big deal in certain circles of irony-poisoned, terminally online “fascist leftists.”

MOM: Jules, you know I don’t know what that means.

ME: Here’s a big example. He went on this podcast by one of the Cum Town guys and laughed along while they made a bunch of weird, racist comments about the rapper Ice Spice.

MOM: One of the what-town guys?!

ME: We don’t have time to get into that, actually. Do you know who Ice Spice is?

MOM: The “Ice Ice Baby” guy?

ME: Vanilla Ice? No, Mom, Jesus. She’s a new Gen Z rapper, here’s a picture of her.

MOM: Did you text it?? I don’t see. Oh wait, Okay, I got it now. 

ME: So anyway, he laughed at their problematic jokes, and said some other weird shit. He semi-apologized but he’s also got a kind of long and storied history of saying kind of douchey stuff about women in his music and otherwise —

MOM: [loud typing noises] 

ME: Mom, are you listening?!

MOM: I’m trying to order a new thing for the SodaStream.

taylor swift ice spice

ME: I promise I’m almost done. He’s basically had this “somewhat loveable dirtbag” persona up until now. But as you can imagine, no dirtbag is loveable to a Swiftie. To them, it’s like, “Our hero and god is having sex with a guy who is an asshole at best and a racist at worst.”

MOM: Can we talk about something else? 

ME: Wait, wait, it gets better. Then, Taylor put out a new version of her song “Karma” featuring a guest verse from… guess.

MOM: Is Billie Eyelash still big right now? 

ME: Billie Eilish? Not quite, guess again.

MOM: Jules, I don’t know. Baby Spice?

ME: If you mean Ice Spice, yes, bingo. How do you feel about this?

MOM: Didn’t that just make everything worse???

ME: Oh boy, did it. People were saying she was aligning herself with a racist and then profiting off the same artist he was racist toward. The whole thing ended up looking like a weird PR stunt gone awry!

MOM: So her PR people made them break up?

ME: That’s one of the rumors going around, which is funny because by all accounts the majority of the damage has already been done.

MOM: How could that be worth it?

ME: That’s the question on all of our minds, isn’t it.

taylor swift singing

MOM: Well, hang on. These kids are calling it dating after just a month??

ME: Mom, she’s fully 33 years old. Sources commented that they were dating, but now sources are saying it was casual.

MOM: So he was like a rebound? Taylor Swift rebounded from her boyfriend with the car-heroin guy and now all her fans are pissed off?

ME: You’ve pretty much got it, honestly. Do you have any advice?

MOM: For who, you? Don’t date guys who shoot heroin.

ME: Noted, but I meant more for Taylor Swift.

MOM: [long pause] Give it time. Don’t jump into something new right away, let yourself heal. And then maybe next she can pick someone nice, like that cute boy from Spider-Man

ME: Tom Holland??? I don’t have time to explain who Zendaya is to you. What about Matty Healy — do you have any advice for him?

MOM: Haircut.

All photos courtesy of Getty Images.

Jules Zucker
Jules Zucker
Jules is a music supervisor and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She’s probably losing a game of pool as we speak.