I don’t care how many people Taylor Swift has dated. She’s young and she deserves to be in control of her own body and choose who she wants to go out with.
My problem with her is this…
This particular section is from her hit 2008 song, You Belong with Me.This entire song, she whines about how she’s somehow more deserving of another boy’s affection just because she doesn’t like skirts, makeup, doesn’t listen to a certain kind of music, and how this other girl is a bad person for being offended and sticking up for herself and “going off about something that you said”.
In 2010, she had a song Better than Revenge in which she clearly slut shames a girl just because she ended up with a boy she really wanted. Like who cares who someone else is sleeping with? How much sex you do or do not have should not make you any better or worse than anyone else.
On top of this, she had mocked her exes on multiple occasions in rather rude and childish ways.
Anyway, my BIG point is: her main demographic is girls from ages 12-18. And what she is telling these young girls through her behavior is that to be a successful woman, you have to be immature. You have to shame other women for being who they are and never, ever get over a breakup and/or a boy. It’s unhealthy behavior to reinforce and we should be telling our girls to support one another and that it’s healthy to move on if someone doesn’t like you or if things don’t work out.
She’s making money by making girls hate each other and themselves in a time when they’re most likely already insecure, and by doing that, she does not deserve my respect.
This line stuck out at me after all the talk after last episode where Charlie reminded Dean of his own name. Interpretations on how useful that advice was or not aside, I’m remembering one of the things from the pre-season PR they were saying about how Dean needed to learn to be a hero again.
The most striking thing about the amazing performance Dylan Everett put in was that he not only nailed acting as Dean, but he nailed acting as a Dean we haven’t seen for a while: normal, non-Marked Dean. Practically a folkloric hero himself in comparison to Dean still clawing himself out of the worst descent arc we’ve ever seen. Okay the bit with helping the lady with her dropped keys was excessive to show what a sweetie pie he was, but it drove home the point: I was getting a lot of early seasons Dean vibes off him as they returned to the house and he bravely went in alone to save the girl.
So of course from the halfway point in the episode where Dean shows his bare arm and he and Sam grudgingly admit that staying 14 is a hell of an alternative to having the Mark, I was having a quiet meltdown over what would have to happen to make Dean take it back. Further meltdowns ensued when they very clearly and loudly laid out that it would be 100% Dean’s choice to adult himself up again: emphasising the element of choice in the matter.
But in the end it was a non-choice for Dean. He had to save everyone, as Sam says in that bit I stole the title quote from, and Dean did. What I find fascinating is that to save everyone, he willingly and without hesitation made the choice to become an adult again - and to take the Mark back on with about as much thought as he gave the matter the first time around before he knew the terms and conditions for the Mark. Because it wasn’t just about needing the sheer strength that being an adult again brought. It was about needing that darkness and the viciousness to pull it off: de-aged Dean didn’t have it in himself to do what he did, beyond the lack of physical size.
I think basically as soon as we heard the words Hansel and Gretel we knew there was going to be an oven, and once we saw the oven like, come on. There’s one way only that goes. And the witch happily talked about devouring countless children, so it’s not like this was a hard decision. Still, the framing of Dean overwhelming her and shoving her in is a pure dark!Dean expression on par with the face he pulled while stabbing Gadreel, and the execution of the kill was massively violent and terrifying to watch - his rage face and the brutality of the action was overwhelming enough to know that all the traces of sweetness that hung around de-aged Dean were gone again.
In the end then it was about Dean tapping into and using that darkness - and making the choice that it would be the best thing to save everyone at a massive cost to himself - which saved the day. Him stuffing the hexbag in the witch’s mouth before he burned her was as much sealing himself into his own self as it was about trapping the other de-aged kid into her new life. (He really didn’t have to do that… But her accepting her fate and finding things to embrace in being young again mirrors Dean possibly accepting his own life and what that all means for him.)
Considering something else Charlie said at the end of last episode, I wonder if this is an example of Dean finding some sort of balance: understanding that the rage and murder that lives inside him is a tool he can and will utilise if it means helping others - that utilising it is a very Dean Winchester thing to do which, as a kid without the Mark, he wasn’t whole enough to pull off. This episode showed that there was still the capacity for Dean to be like he was when he was young - that pure hero kid still lurks somewhere inside him, not exactly like light!Charlie but still innocent in his own way - but I found it a weirdly positive use of the darkness that lives in Dean now. We still want to find our way back to a Dean more like young!Dean, but this is a facet of him which can’t be removed entirely as it neuters his ability to save people.
One more point on the tickbox of speculation that Dean is never truly going to get rid of the influence of the Mark, but that there’s a balance he can find… And that that is still somehow inherently Dean, all the bad bundled up together with it.