One Moment In Time 1989 Grammy Awards Best Live Performance Ever

A Swiftie response to an open letter to Taylor from the 17 article.

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An Open Letter to Taylor Swift From a Disillusioned Fan

​I love you Tay, but what’s going on with you?

BY ASHLEY DEVINE AS TOLD TO NOELLE DEVOE  JUL 28, 2016

Dear Taylor,

You once said, “People haven’t always been there for me, but music has.” That quote has always been true for me when it comes to you and your music.

From listening to “Cold As You” through my first heartbreak to dancing around my room to “Shake It Off’ after a bad day, I could always turn to one of your songs when there was no one else to talk to.

It doesn’t stop with listening to your albums, either. I’m a full-time Swiftie. I’ve gone to three of your tours when you came to my state, Massachusetts. I even traveled to Florida all by myself to see the 1989 tour. I stood outside in the freezing cold for ten hours in New York to see you perform on New Year’s Eve. And then I watched the 1989 World Tour movie about 1,000 times because it reminded me of how it felt standing in the crowd and taking in your amazing performance live. I have waaaaay more of your merchandise than one person needs.

Basically, for ten years, you’ve been my idol. You were someone I could turn to at my lowest moments. In my eyes, you could do no wrong.

I’ve always wanted the best for you, so when you started dating Calvin Harris, I was totally on-board. I loved you two together and watched your relationship unfold for 15 months. I saw the romantic things you did for each other and how supportive you were. I remember your speech at the iHeartMusic Radio awards after you won Best Tour for 1989. You gave Calvin the most heartfelt shout-out.

"I had the most amazing person to come home to when the spotlight went out and when the crowds were all gone," you said. "I want to thank my boyfriend Adam for that.” It was so #RelationshipGoals, I memorized it.

After watching you go through so many relationships and getting your heart broken over and over again, Calvin was like a breath of fresh air. I actually became a huge fan of him thanks to you. So when the news of your split first started to leak, I didn’t believe it. When Calvin tweeted that it was true, I was devastated.

But the one consolation in your breakup was that it seemed like you would continue on as friends:Calvin tweeted that despite the split, what remained between you was a huge amount of love and respect. You retweeted it. So even though you wouldn’t be Tayvin anymore romantically, I was comforted knowing you’d still continue on as friends.

Sadly, that didn’t happen.

In the past, whenever you broke up with a boyfriend or wrote a song about an ex, I was the first to defend you against haters calling you a “serial dater” or saying your songs calling out your exes were unfair. You were just like me — someone looking to find love and stumbling, getting your heart broken along the way. Why weren’t you allowed to date, explore, and write about it without people bashing you? I would too if I was a lyrical genius.

But since your split from Calvin, I’ve been losing sight of the Taylor I’ve grown to know, admire, and defend at all costs.

After the news about your breakup was confirmed, I was surprised to see pictures of you making out with Tom Hiddleston on a Rhode Island beach splashed across every celebrity news website a little over a week later. It wasn’t that you were moving on that was so shocking. It was the way you were doing it that felt different.

There were pictures of you with Tom in a handful of major cities in the span of just a few weeks. I couldn’t understand how the girl who wrote and performed “I Know Places,” a song highlighting the fact that you could hide your relationship from the public if you wanted to, was all of a sudden being photographed in intimate situations more frequently than ever before.

I couldn’t help thinking that if you still respected and loved Calvin like you indicated on Twitter, then you would have been a little more discreet. If you knew places, you must have forgotten where they were.

This wasn’t the behavior I was used to seeing from you, and watching my idol act in a way I didn’t recognize felt as real as losing a friend. And it only got worse.

When rumors first spread that you co-wrote Calvin’s hit song “This is What You Came For,” I wondered if your own team had planted the story — a suspicion that felt confirmed when your PR team released a statement that you had been involved. The move felt shady: If you and Calvin had, in fact, agreed to keep your collaboration under wraps, it didn’t seem right for your team to A) suddenly take credit without warning Calvin; and B) not refute the claims that his denial of it was the reason you split.

It felt like you were purposely trying to humiliate Calvin, someone you said you “respected,” and using the press to do it. For the first time, I felt like you were being unfair to an ex.

But the nail in the coffin came when you insisted you didn’t approve Kanye West’s “Famous” lyrics.

When the song came out, I thought the lyrics were totally disrespectful. I cheered your brother Austin on when he threw his Yeezys in the trash on Instagram. I loved your Grammys speech calling Kanye out.

Then Kim leaked the tape and it proved you DID approve the lyrics. You pointed out in your response that Kanye left out “that b****” in the call, but that feels like a cop out. You approved the more offensive lyrics that he was being dragged for in the press and you didn’t say a word.

I was flabbergasted. My literal reaction was: YIKES. What did you do, Taylor? Why did you lie? As much as I hated admitting it, that’s what you did. You lied. This was more than a misunderstanding — this was you intentionally staying quiet when you could have spoken up. For the first time, I couldn’t defend you.

It makes me cringe to say it, but I see why people I would have called haters six months ago said you were playing the victim. And that realization makes me so, I don’t know… uncomfortable.

It makes me unsure about things I was so sure of before. Like, why were you so silent on social media accounts all the sudden? During your 1989 tour, you posted all the time, interacting with your fans. You even liked some of my posts on Tumblr (a Tayvin one, at that). Once your tour ended, you weren’t nearly as engaging with your fans.

I don’t know what to think anymore. Part of me wants to call you up (in my dreams, I have your phone number) and yell, “Dump your movie star boyfriend and start being you again!” But then I remember I want you to be happy, and if that’s with Tom Hiddleston, then fine.

But still.

I want you to apologize for throwing Calvin under the bus in the press and trying to make him look bad. It wasn’t cool. But you’re an adult and you can take credit for whatever song you want without answering to me, I guess.

I wish you would own up and apologize for lying about approving those Kanye lyrics. It stings, because you know how it feels to be dragged through the press constantly. I never would have thought you’d let someone else go through it unjustly. But you did, and it seems like your image is more important to you than the truth sometimes. You make mistakes. Mistakes that I can’t defend like I used to.

I know not all Swifties share my opinion, but as you said, “you don’t get to control someone’s emotional response” to watching their hero fall in front of their eyes.

I’m always going to love you, but you’re not the relatable girl I used to know. We’re growing apart, and that hurts.

With all that said, I still have your music. Like “Last Kiss,” your song about having your last kiss with a boy you loved. It helped me through the tragic loss of the boy that I loved.

You may be changing, but you were just like me at one point. I know I can still turn to those songs you wrote when you were going through the good, the bad, and the ugly. That’s the one thing that got me through this.

Love you Tay… but get it together.

Your fan,

Ashley

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There is a great deal about this that I disagree with vehemently, so I will try to put my thoughts and on this matter in perspective without the usual snark and bullshit push back that I reserve for the media attacks on Taylor.

I too am a full time Swiftie in fact I consider myself a Super-Fan check it ts1989fanatic, but I am far older than most Swiftie’s in this fandom and not naive. I know that Taylor Swift is not perfect the last perfect person to walk the Earth could also walk on water, she is however someone who I believe strives to live up to ideals that come pretty close to perfection.

Yes Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris appeared to be as you put it #relationshipgoals, but as someone who has been married to the love of my life for 34 years, I can tell you from experience and a very long life (57 Years Long sue me) that relationships take two people and a hell of a lot of work from both those two people.

We as fans tend to invest in those celebrities that we follow be that in music movies TV or whatever the medium, but we only see what those celebrities allow us to see or the bullshit that the media tend to make up. We have know idea what caused the Tayvin breakup and probably never will know.

So yes when they split a lot of us were surprised or even shocked by it, but like you many of us felt that at least they were parting on good terms. Where I strongly disagree with you is that Taylor threw Calvin under the bus, NOT TRUE when the rumors first started to come out TMZ approached Taylor’s people for comment and according to the initial article published they received a no comment.

The first confirmations came from Calvin himself with a couple of very nice Tweets, this however soon turned rather nasty as Calvin took to Twitter and went on a childish rant against Taylor, and if anyone was getting thrown under the bus it was Taylor not Calvin.

Since then Calvin has continued with very petulant and immature behavior while Taylor Swift has said bupkiss on the subject.

So onto the Tom Hiddleston drama that you reference so disparagingly, people move on sometimes quickly sometimes slowly, were you perhaps expecting Taylor to mope around for months eating ice cream  by the tub full writing sad breakup or revenge songs (she’s not a teen anymore she has grown up certain other parties from the relationship need to do the same.)

I find the double standard faced by Taylor Swift both amusing and sad at the same time, Calvin Harris moved on with Taylor two weeks after he broke up with his ex nobody said boo, yet when Taylor does the same thing omfg the World was out to lynch her including members of this fandom.

As for the public displays of affection that Tom and Taylor have displayed at the start of their relationship, have you considered that Tayvin was not this open because one half of the relationship was not a big fan of public displays of affection and was also very media shy. Tom on the other hand is very much like Taylor loves the interaction he gets from his fans is a very big SM junkie as is Taylor, he is also not afraid to make fun of laugh at himself or be laughed at for things like awkward dancing in front of the camera’s.

Does this mean that Tom and Taylor will last 15 months or longer like Tayvin, who knows maybe yes and maybe no. The way I see this just as a Taylor fan all I care about is her happiness, when Taylor and Calvin became an item there was a lot of talk about Calvin’s past behavior and I ignored it as it wast his past behavior and they looked happy together that’s all that mattered to me.

As for the girl who wrote I Know Places and Taylor hiding her relationship from the public, why should she have to hide at all if Taylor and Tom are comfortable enough with their relationship to show it off to the entire WORLD why should they not.

Just because you love and respect someone does not mean you have to live your life like a hermit to protect an exe’s feelings, Calvin is a 32 year old man not a 10 year old child as he has been acting recently. Taylor moved on Calvin should do the same and he should stop throwing tantrums and shade.

The way you addressed this entire issue lay’s all the blame for this entire situation on Taylor and frankly I think you are way off base, it takes to to tango just as it takes two to have a relationship and as I said earlier we have no idea what, when  or even why they split.

As for responding to the regurgitated garbage you quote about the KARTRASHIAN video, well you claim to be a Swiftie but you would take Kartrashian’s highly edited piece of crap tape of 3.5 minutes of an hour long phone call that was a setup from beginning to end over that of Taylor that I find disappointing.

Finally let me finish my response by stating for the record in my eyes and most of this fandom Taylor has nothing to apologize for, not to Calvin or Mr. Kartrashian in fact she is the one who should receive an apology from certain parties.

I doubt that you will read this and should you do so you may think my response to your letter was out of line and not my business, as a Swiftie we differ in that opinion.

Taylor Swift: ‘Sexy? Not on my radar'

She’s gone from ringletted country artist to feminist role model and the world’s most charming pop star. As she returns with her catchiest material yet, she talks awards-ceremony etiquette, autobiographical lyrics and why she puts nice before naughty

In Manhattan’s chi-chi Sant Ambroeus restaurant, the pair of smartly dressed women at the next table are making not-so-surreptitious “eek” faces at each other, having clocked that their neighbour for lunch isTaylor Swift. And that’s nothing compared to the commotion gathering outside: wherever Taylor Swift dines, a swarm of fans and paparazzi soon forms on the pavement.

This is normal life for the biggest force in pop right now, a global superstar whose songs soundtrack lives, whose tours sell out stadiums in seconds, and whose every facial expression generates a million tweets. Taylor Swift in 2014 is an extraordinary phenomenon. She began as a ringletted country singer, teenage sweetheart of the American heartland, but between 2006’s eponymous first album and now she’s become the kind of culturally titanic figure adored as much by gnarly rock critics as teenage girls, feminist intellectuals and, well, pretty much all of emotionally sentient humankind. Unlike Beyoncé with her indomitable run-the-world warrior-queen stylings, or Nicki Minaj, with her cartoonified, amplified self and pantheon of alter egos, there is very little image-making going on with Taylor Swift, pop star. Instead, it’s her “realness” that’s made her; as well as, of course, some clever choices and heavy doses of charisma and songwriting talent. She is, as her friend the teenage media magnate Tavi Gevinson put it, nothing less than “BFF to planet Earth”. Which, for one thing, entails talking to planet Earth at a moderate volume.

“When I’m doing a concert, it’s not like, ‘WHAT’S UP LONDONNNNN!’ I pretty much just speak at this level,” she says. As a result, her stadium shows have the confessional good feeling of mass sleepovers and she communicates with her vast audiences “as if I’m talking to them across the dinner table”.

Swift releases an album every two years without fail, which means it’s time for a follow-up to 2012’s Red. We meet in the week before she announces new album 1989 and its lead single, Shake It Off, a breezy, uptempo number about ignoring the haters. She explains: “In the last couple of years I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that anyone can say anything about me and call TMZ or Radar Online or something, and it will be an international headline. You can either go crazy and let it make you bitter and make you not trust people, and become really secluded or rebellious against the whole system. Or you can just shake it off and figure that as long as you’re having more fun than anyone else, what does it matter what anyone else thinks? Because I’ve wanted this life since I was a kid.”

Her cheery, stoical take on celebrity and tabloid intrusion has served her well. “I am not gonna let them make me miserable when I could be enjoying my life,” she says. “That’s why you see these artists become a tabloid regular and then become artistically and musically irrelevant, because they let [gossipy websites] stifle them. It’s not going to happen here.”

For the Shake It Off video, she enlisted 100 fans as well as a load of professional dancers: “Ballet dancers, breakdancers, modern dance, twerkers – and me, trying to keep up with them, sucking.” She adds: “I feel like dancing is sort of a metaphor for the way you live your life. You know how you’re at a house party and there’s a group of people over there just talking and rolling their eyes at everyone dancing? And you know which group is having more fun.”

Dancing enthusiastically amid hauteur has become a Swift trademark; specifically, letting loose at awards ceremonies while everyone else remains seated and stiff. She’s been attending these shows since she was a teenager and, after “eight years of these very stressful and competitive scenarios, sitting in the front row trying to figure out how you’re supposed to act”, she eventually realised that “I can process this as a huge pressure cooker or I can just look at it like I have a front-row seat to the coolest concert right now.” Dancing to Justin Timberlake with Selena Gomez at last year’s VMAs was a particularly fine example of the latter.

But her most famous awards-show moment remains Kanye West’s interruption at the 2009 MTV Awards. Such is Swift’s global standing that the President himself called West “a jackass” and, five years on, the moment still hasn’t quite died in the collective imagination. Or indeed, Swift’s own. When West and Kim Kardashian became parents last year, she tweeted: “@KimKardashian @kanyewest Yo I’m happy for you and imma let you finish but Beyoncé had one of the best labors of all time.”

In short, the interruption only magnified good feeling towards her. Less fortunate was her Grammys appearance the following year in which she wobbled her way through a duet with Stevie Nicks and subsequently suffered an online shellacking. At this year’s ceremony, she seemed determined to eclipse that with a rendition of the bruised All Too Well, a song allegedly inspired by her relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal. Her performance was fierce and focused. When she finished, she turned from the piano and faced the audience with an intent gaze of defiance and held it for several seconds. The message was clear: no more the victim. It’s this song, incidentally, that contains one of the lyrics she’s most proud of: “‘You call me up again just to break me like a promise/ So casually cruel in the name of being honest’”. She pauses, pleased. “I was like, I’ll stand by that one.”

All Too Well was taken from 2012’s Red, an album defined by widescreen, wind-machined renderings of heartache, which confirmed that “country” could finally be dropped from her tag of “country-pop” singer. But 1989, as she explains, is shorter on the “jilted, sad, pining”. Instead, “it’s the phase after that, when you go out into the world and make changes in your life on your own terms, make friends on your own terms, without [literally] saying ‘C’mon girls, we can do it on our own!’”

Those words will kindle the hopes of those who’ve suspected Swift has experienced some sort of feminist awakening over the last few months. Recently, she was spotted browsing the feminist section of a Manhattan book shop. Even more heartening has been the array of BFFs filling her Instagram feed, Lorde and Lena Dunham among them. This seems to be one of the many fun things about being Taylor Swift: that pretty much any smart and interesting young woman in the public eye is yours for the friending. She loved Lorde’s debut album Pure Heroine, so sent flowers to congratulate her on its release. Lorde, in turn, got Swift’s number from Gevinson (whom Swift recently counselled through her first heartache) and sent her a long message apologising for once calling her “too flawless to be a role model”. Unsurprisingly, Swift forgave her. The first time they hung out, she says, “We took a walk and sat in the park and ate Shake Shack burgers.”

Her friendship with Dunham began even more simply. Swift had tweeted in praised of Girls, and the moment she followed Dunham on Twitter, Dunham responded with a direct message which said, “something like, ‘Can we be friends please?’ And then that was that.”

Has female friendship become more important to her than romance? “Without a doubt. Because the other alternative” – as in having a boyfriend – “isn’t really possible right now. It just doesn’t seem like a possibility in the near future. It doesn’t ever work. What works is having incredible girlfriends who I can trust and tell anything.”

As for the endless “is Taylor Swift a feminist?” pieces – well, they can die now. “As a teenager, I didn’t understand that saying you’re a feminist is just saying that you hope women and men will have equal rights and equal opportunities. What it seemed to me, the way it was phrased in culture, society, was that you hate men. And now, I think a lot of girls have had a feminist awakening because they understand what the word means. For so long it’s been made to seem like something where you’d picket against the opposite sex, whereas it’s not about that at all. Becoming friends with Lena – without her preaching to me, but just seeing why she believes what she believes, why she says what she says, why she stands for what she stands for – has made me realise that I’ve been taking a feminist stance without actually saying so.”

I ask if tabloid scrutiny over her lyrics (and the string of famous exes they allude to), has dissuaded her from pursuing what rock critic Robert Christgau calls her “diaristic realism”, or the clues she famously leaves in her liner notes. No, she says, because it’s that sense of reading a journal that “has always connected me to my fans in this very intense way”. Nonetheless, she concedes that “it’s an interesting tightrope walk to write autobiographical songs in an age where mystery is completely out the window”.

The way she sees it, there’s a gender element to such scrutiny. “I really resent the idea that if a woman writes about her feelings, she has too many feelings,” she says. “And I really resent the ‘Be careful, buddy, she’s going to write a song about you’ angle, because it trivialises what I do. It makes it seem like creating art is something you do as a cheap weapon rather than an artistic process. They can say whatever they want about my personal life because I know what my personal life is, and it involves a lot of TV and cats and girlfriends. But I don’t like it when they start to make cheap shots at my songwriting. Because there’s no joke to be made there.”

True: Swift has always been a deft lyricist. Our Song, for example – a perky early hit written when she was 16 – indicates her precocious skill when it reveals itself as the “our song” of the title: in the last verse she sings, “I grabbed a pen/ And an old napkin/ And I wrote down our song”.

The hysteria and scrutiny came later, with songs like 2010’s Better Than Revenge. Fired at the woman who took her man, rather than the man himself, it includes the snide, “no amount of vintage dresses gives you dignity” and a chorus that’s distinctly unsisterly: “She’s an actress, whoa/ But she’s better known for the things that she does/ On the mattress, whoa”.

For a moment, Swift seemed in danger of typecasting herself as a victimised prude. “I was 17 when I wrote that,” she reminds me. “That’s the age you are when you think someone can actually take your boyfriend. Then you grow up and realise no one take someone from you if they don’t want to leave.”

We’re meant to assume that anyone making this much money (at Forbes’s estimate, she’ll have raked in $64m this year) or anyone this astronomically successful (seven Grammys, a Country Music Association lifetime achievement award when she was 23, and so on) must be a cold-blooded and ruthless operator. But Swift’s reputation for niceness is unrivalled – and, as I discover a few minutes later, completely deserved.

“It’s always been important to me, that’s always been a priority,” she says. “Every artist has their set of priorities. Being looked at as sexy? Not really on my radar. But nice? I really hope that that is the impression.” She agrees that “nice” is often used pejoratively. “Totally! But I don’t care if that’s not cool, to seem nice or not. I’m not that focused on being cool and I never have been.”

Outside, a sea of big black cameras and upraised iPhones are aimed at the door that she’s about to walk through. After a glance through the windows she wraps her arms around me in a very deliberate hug goodbye. Then she looks me in the eye and says, in a low voice: “Are you ready for a photoshoot? Take my hand.”

Shake It Off is out now; 1989 is out in October

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