A Critical Review Of Taylor Swift's New Video 'Shake It Off'

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A Critical Review Of Taylor Swift's New Video 'Shake It Off'

By Emily Chambers | Celebrities Are Better than You | August 19, 2014 | Comments ()



Fine. If you insist on having actual, reasoned criticism of the new video, I’ll allow former and occasional Pajiba contributor Angelina Burnett, who posted this to her Facebook page, do it for me:

Try to imagine the surface evidence of your cultural identity - your clothes, your physical vernacular, your slang, your music - all things that are in no way indicative of what’s in your heart, despite having been used by those in power frequently and repeatedly, for centuries, to justify your harassment and murder…

Imagine those things being co-opted by a rich, powerful, pop princess on a day when the national guard has been called in to your small, working class suburb to restrict your right to protest that centuries old injustice. Try, just for a second, to imagine how that might make you feel — the double standard shoved so baldly and brazenly in your face. The very same things that get you called a thug or a ho, gets her called “adorable” and “staying true to herself”. Then times that feeling by infinity because it NEVER STOPS.

Cultural gatekeepers make billions of dollars co-opting black culture and then use that same culture against black men and women to prove they’re thugs who deserve to die.

Yep. Because Taylor doesn’t have dancers in varying styles to show her appreciation of their talents, and to help promote their careers. She uses them to contrast her “endearing” lack of talents. They’re displaying years of hard work to perfect a craft. She’s just being Taylor.

I won’t get into the symbolic importance of the end of her video where she and a troop of equally untalented dancers let loose with their terrible moves. Or the fact that the seemingly professionally trained dancers drop their own dancing style in order to perform Taylor’s “shake.” And we will never, ever speak of this:


But I will say this. Taylor, if you don’t want people to think that you’re being culturally insensitive and inept, maybe next time don’t make all of your ballerinas white.

Taylor Ballerinas.jpg

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Avril

    Unbelievable how you turned a MV about being yourself no matter what others say about you into a racist thing. There are white twerkers in the video and there are black people in the cheerleading thin. If you don't like Taylor, just say it, don't look for excuses to hate her.

  • Maddy

    I'm sure people are sick of discussing this but I thought this was interesting http://www.wonderingsound.com/...

  • nobcarajo100

    How dare she! Is anything not racist these days?

  • BobbFrapples

    I watched with the sound off. Intentionally dorky. Outrageous? Only if you have nothing better to be outraged with. Now that that's settled, let's go pay attention to better things such as does my coworker have chocolate and will she share.

  • Maddy

    Oh look here's a video where there are no faceless twerking women you see all of them including their faces and it isn't a mockery http://youtu.be/LDZX4ooRsWs

  • gunsandrockets

    Call out the PC police squad! I'm having a serious flashback to the whole absurd 'controversy' over the music video of "hello kitty" by Avril Lavigne.

    Because as I am sure we are all aware, Taylor Swift (just like Avril Lavigne) is famous for her work as a music video choreographer, right?


  • Maydays

    I'm not going to waste my time being outraged about a stupid pop video, and instead am going to cross all my toes and fingers and hope that this is not the direction of the whole new album. I have a 9yo that LOVES Taylor and I have been delighted that she's chosen this inoffensive, generally decent young woman as her Favorite Pop Star as opposed to Miley or Bieber or whatever the hell else the pop station plays on endless loop. Telling a 9yo to just have fun and forget about trying to be something she's not is OK with me. I'm going to have to listen to it a billion times, so let's hope the next single is a little less grating.

  • Maddy

    I mean it's weird as this whole direction seems to be taking her out of that thing that actually was what her fans liked her for? Not surprising though I guess

  • Amanda Waller

    I basically said the same thing as Emily in the Taylor post on Celebitchy: Of course she's terrible at these dances, she's never dedicated her life to be a dancer of any type. As you pointed out these dancers had years of training and that's a major factor in why they have skills.

    And the twerking dancers do annoy me as a black woman but not quite for the reason you might think. I'm annoyed that she took the Lily Allen route: Use twerking black women to sell sex without being sexual yourself. If you pay close attention to the video you'd realize that she does very little twerking in those scenes. She benefits greatly from this because she(and her fans) can continue to pretend she's the Prim and Proper Pop Princess and that she's still superior to those Slutty Pop Singers who twerk and sing explicitly about sex.

    I'm annoyed by this because it's a copout. If you're gonna have twerking then I would like to see you full on twerk Miss Swift. At least Miley's willing to shake her own ass and use her own body to sell sex along with the black dancers even though she's bad at twerking. Taylor Swift is still selling sex, she's just doing it in a roundabout way.

  • Sassy Rouge

    Did we have this conversation around Gwen Stefani and Harajuku Girls?

  • Maddy

    I think you'll find that people did actually

  • Sassy Rouge

    They did, and Stefani managed to maintain her career. It is a mediocre video, for a mediocre song, and Taylor will continue to make buckets of money. We will forget this video until it shows up on Pop Up Video.
    Is Pop Up Video still around? Man, I loved that show.

  • Maddy

    Which is why people acting like criticising this video is akin to bullying an innocent victim is ridiculous, this will not affect her career at all. She will ride this out.

  • Enrique del Castillo

    I had never read the phrase "cultural gatekeepers" before and I'll be glad to never read it again.

    It's a stupid video for a bad song from a terrible pop star.

    The quoted article reminded me of a teacher in my Law School that once took pictures of ads in English, as proof of discrimination and "a way to exclude Peruvian and Latin American people to create a whites only environment"...in Cusco, a city that lives on tourists that may not speak Spanish, but most certainly know some basic English.

    There are very important racial issues, but once you start seeing them everywhere, you end up looking paranoid.

  • HelloLongBeach

    Promoting a song about shaking off criticisms by inviting criticism with a culturally appropriative video, par for the course. Promoting a song about shaking off criticisms by inviting criticism with a BORING and OBVIOUS play to bother people with a VAGUELY culturally appropriative video, so very Taylor Swift's promotional executives. Lame.

  • Sean

    I think you are all thinking way too hard about Taylor Swift. NOTHING she does is deep or meaningful. There is literally NOTHING there. Don't waste your time thinking about her.

  • Tommy Marx

    I call bullshit. If the video was solely Taylor Swift "co-opting" black culture, I still wouldn't buy it. Nothing is exclusive to any one person, race, orientation, or anything. Once it's out there, everyone who admires it will "co-opt" it, and who is anyone to say that's not right? That's the stupidest grievance I've ever heard. But as for this video specifically, Taylor spends the entire video demonstrating how clumsy she is at everything from twerking to cheerleading to ballet. She's not making fun of anyone's culture, she's making fun of her own lack of grace. Is there anything popular that people DON'T get offended by anymore?

  • Bell Swerve

    Taylor Swift does not lack grace though - she is known now for being well put together, demure and ladylike even. If she genuinely sees herself as clumsy and unable to dance then she is trapped in her teenage years.

  • _Alexander_

    I thought that her inability to dance is well known ?

  • Bell Swerve

    Just because she goes on about it all the time doesn't mean it's true. She regularly goes to dance classes, she's a better dancer than the one she pretends to be at the end of the video. In several of the segments she acts like she can't even get beginner-level moves - come on, how can that be the real Taylor Swift?

  • Maddy

    This 'aw shucks' routine is getting old

  • joe s.

    No,sir. I don't think there is:)

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    Voluntarily listen to a Taylor Swift song?
    Nice try.

  • Yossarian

    Cultural appropriation is a problem and cultural criticism is valid and important. Anyone who thinks this is a non-issue or that there is nothing wrong with how commercialized pop culture exploits minority culture and perpetuates inequality really needs to grow up and take a look around. (hint: it's pretty much the same mechanisms used to preserve wealth, power, and anything else with system-wide influence in mass society)

    Having said that, I cringe whenever we single out one specific artist to make an example of (and it tends to be young privileged white women with mainstream success in a demographic we don't belong to) because it inevitably starts to veer into bullying (and sexism).

    Her video is one footnote in a much larger conversation. Using that conversation as an excuse to get out the pitchforks and take this prissy rich girl down a few pegs while getting some sanctimonious likes and page views along the way isn't doing anyone any good. It preaches to the choir (and encourages the really unseemly types who love to see those pretty starlets who think their such hot shit called out for being selfish little bitches) while pushing away the people who might be sympathetic to a more thoughtful, less absolute type of criticism.

    But beyond just asking you to pity the poor privileged white girls, I have a problem with any efforts to make black & white rules (pardon the pun) restricting how artists make art. Cultural criticism is important but it breaks down when it starts being applied as dogma and purity test on everything we consume (or, just everything we don't consume, like mainstream pop songs made for tweens).

    Art involves taking diverse inspiration and experiences and creating something new from them. That means a white girl who listened to Run DMC as a kid (a group that achieved commercial success in large part by appealing to white kids) might one day make a music video that draws on twenty-something nostalgia for the music that first introduced her to hip hop beats. You can criticize the cultural forces at play but when you start telling artists that certain things are completely off limits due to sensitivity issues and getting into arbitrary power struggles on the internet you start to lose me.

    I think cultural criticism should be used to criticize the culture, the audience, not just the artists. If you, the audience, are buying a bunch of recycled commercialized representations of other culture you're probably missing out on the better source-art. And if you, the critic, want to add something to the conversation that might actually make a positive impact you should try seeking out and championing good art from minorities and non-mainstream sources.

    But that's a different article altogether, and one that will probably get a lot fewer hits for Pajiba than an easy take-down of t-swift being obtuse. And that's the real insidiousness of cultural appropriation. It's reinforced by the entire culture, even us. Taylor Swift appropriating black culture is more interesting and accessible and visible and easy to consume than black culture itself. Overcoming that takes effort. Criticism is easy, but change is hard.

    (and then we have to reconcile the fact that the more exposure and mainstream popularity you gain for black culture, the more it is going to be appropriated and recycled by white artists and producers for their own enrichment, but I've already rambled long enough)

  • Maddy

    I mean I don't think anyone calling her out for this video is bullying her though

  • laylaness

    Let me know when she starts wearing stoned-bear unitards.

  • Matt C.

    There is a right way to make this video, and it's already been done:


  • Maddy

    Thank you so much for this it was great.

  • Bell Swerve

    What a lovely video! She really showcased different forms of music - unlike Taylor who clutzed about wiggling uselessly to keep the attention firmly on herself.

  • JenVegas

    wow. i've managed to avoid listening to this song in its entirety until just now and it's not as bad as i thought it would be (mostly just annoying in the commercials.)

  • Evolve Today

    "Don't appropriate black/hip-hop culture". "Put black dancers in the ballet section." How is one different from the other? Music and the culture it comes with is for everyone.

  • Bell Swerve

    This clearly isn't your genre of dance, and that's fine. But as someone who loves hip-hop dance I found she presented it incredibly poorly (particularly compared to ballet). We couldn't even see the women's faces, just their butts.

    I won't call her racist but I will say that I found her choice of outfits also in poor taste.

  • Maddy

    It's when you use women's bodies (and their butts) as backdrops that it becomes kind of tone deaf. It's not what you do but how you present it

  • Bell Swerve

    Exactly. I could see what she was going for but it went wrong.

  • Siege

    I have no thoughts on cultural appropriation because no one wants my culture, so it's not something I have experience with.

    What I do have is a great big NO for this song and this video and Taylor Swift. I'm sure there are people out there who like it. And we should find them and try to help them before it's too late.

  • Maddy

    I love you

  • Stephen Nein

    OMG, it's "Let It Go" for Taylor.

    As the dad of a 10 year-old daughter I can only weep silently inside, because she's going to eat this up like Coldstone Germanchökolätekäke.

  • Pentadactyl

    Mmmmm coconut

  • katiessh

    I do not understand why this is offensive!

    There is basically no message to this- be a shitty dancer and don't worry about what other people say. That is basically the most inoffensive message in the world. How is putting herself against clearly skilled people and making fun of herself disrespecting them or their work?
    What, because there was like one black girl tweaking and no black girls doing ballet? There was a black girl doing whatever that other ballet - contemporary dance with the ribbon or whatever, and there were white girls twerking. What was she meant to do- make all the ballerinas black and all the twerking girls white? Call me naive, but I really don't think she put that much thought into who danced behind her.

    If you think it's stupid then fine, but I really don't understand how she's being culturally or racially insensitive. I don't think she's making any statement at all- she's Taylor, not Miley. Her aim so far hasn't been to shock, it's been to make silly songs that either make fun of her ex or make fun of herself

  • Dr. Hiram Temple

    In my opinion, the big issue here isn't Taylor Swift herself, but the way mainstream media will react it. They won't have a problem with a little white girl doing a little hip-hop stuff on the side. On the other hand, mainstream media continues to proclaim the dangers of rap music:


    Granted, that specific segment is a year out, but I think that's recent enough to consider it a continuing opinion of certain media outlets, and highly doubt that they'll be shaming Taylor Swift for her little foray when they inevitably rattle the stick again.

  • katiessh

    Eh, I mean mainstream media is generally pretty stupid; what do you expect?

  • Bell Swerve

    Oh she mocks Miley as much as everything else.

    However, this is Taylor Swift - I cannot imagine her genuinely admiring hip-hop culture, dress and dance. Her personal style is the absolute opposite. She certainly doesn't present that form of dance in the same way she presents ballet or even street dance (compare the break dancers to the twerkers). We don't even see the women's faces, and her attempts at 'twerking' are exactly what white people do to mock it. For example - http://i.imgur.com/0xwptmq.gif
    And all the time she's acting astonished that these moves exist. Taylor makes a point of saying she is in control of her career so I'm not letting her off by blaming this video's tackiness on the director.

    Just because she put a few black people in other dances (recognising that not all black people subscribe to what others call black culture) doesn't give her a pass for how those women in the hip-hop scenes were presented. Badly done, Taylor. Badly done.

  • katiessh

    I really think you're ascribing her unfair motives. I don't know if Taylor Swift cares about hip hop but it's unfair to assume just because she's a pop singer who dresses in prints she doesn't. In her defense she has collaborated with hip hop artists before and I would point out that twerking is not the only 'hip hop' move she shows in the video. She also shows amazement and confusion at the pop n locking, break dancing and whatever that was with the boom box. I don't think she treats the twerking girls any differently than the other dancers. The only reason we don't see their faces at that exact moment (we do actually see them at other points) is because it's a dance move that's shaking your assistance!

    And when did it become that twerking was automatically offensive if white girls do it? She's not mocking it any more than she's mocking the pop locking, but I don't hear people getting upset about that part, or when she can't cheerlead. She just picked a whole bunch of dance moves and considering that twerking is one if the biggest ones out there right now she included that!

    Maybe it's because I'm not American, and the break dancers I know are almost 100% Asian, but I think it's unfair to suggest that purely including twerking is automatically offensive

  • Bell Swerve

    That's not even proper twerking though. And it's impossible to judge how good the women are at those moves from just one angle. The reason twerking is in the news lately is because people like Miley Cyrus have parodied it to the extent that the mainstream (usually white) now mess around shaking their asses and slapping them like Taylor does. That's not respecting this genre of dance or the culture of people who spend time learning to do it. The camera zooming into the shaking butts could have come from any 90s rap video - can't we move on from that? If the camera zoomed up the cheerleaders' skirts there would be an outpouring of criticism from Fox News.

    You're not part of this population nor do you live alongside it. I don't either. Angela Burnett, however, does - she's in a position to criticize how Taylor Swift presents people in this section of the video. We shouldn't dismiss it out of hand on the belief that Taylor Swift is a lovely girl who couldn't possibly be offensive.

  • Maddy

    Can I just tell you that I applaud you for your patience and you are a better person than I will ever be.

  • Bell Swerve

    Haha thanks. Probably a few years ago I wouldn't have got it either but when you do it just becomes astonishingly clear that this video was misjudged.

  • katiessh

    I'm not dismissing it out of turn, or suggesting that taylor swift is the second coming. I'm simply suggesting that maybe she thinks twerking is one of many dance moves she thinks looks good but that she can't imitate- just like she does with all the other dance moves she incorporates. I don't think that because she included twerking, whether it's real or not means she automatically hates african americans.

    You said you think taylor swift doesn't care about hip hop because of how she dresses, which I think is an unfair judgement to make. Just like I think that you're ignoring the fact that twerking is all about the butt, and thus they zoomed in on the butt. When they were doing pop-locking they zoomed in on the hands, but we're not talking about that. Like it or not twerking is a move that's pretty widespread now, so it's not surprising, or wrong that she'd choose to incorporate it. My point about not being american is that the criticism seems to be just by showing her, and other people doing twerking is wrong because twerking is an african american thing. As I am not american, I don't read it that way. That doesn't mean my position isn't valid.

    Also, your comment about Fox News kind of points out the silliness of this whole thing, because when Fox News complains about something you know that NOBODY CARES.

  • Maddy

    I'm going to go ahead and say the motives and intent don't matter as much as the impact and how it was presented. I think it's pretty bad to include white girl Taylor looking all wide eyed and shocked while we have a close up of people's butts because lol they're not human they're just there for the backdrop.

  • katiessh

    why?! Does everything have to be taken so seriously all the time? She's not making them less than human any more than any other artist has treated any backup dancer ever. That's why they're backup dancers and not performing their own concert; they're not meant to be the focus. She doesn't treat the twerking dancers any differently than the dancers from any of the other genres.
    You read into this because you want to read something into this

  • Maddy

    Oh I see. Racism only exists when people point it out and when they 'read into something that isn't there'. I've never heard this astoundingly original argument before.

  • katiessh

    Ugh could you please get off your high horse and listen to anything I have to say EXCEPT the last sentence?

    You're the worst kind of commenter- you ignore every rational thought someone else might have and then blow it to extremes. Because clearly what I think is that racism NEVER exists unless you, maddy, saviour of all minorities, points it out. By trying to make everyone else sound irrational you come across as someone who is incapable of listening, or understanding any other idea but their own. You completely ignored all the things I mentioned to support my statement that you're looking for racism because you have no actual response to what i've brought up

    We must look so small from way up there on your moral high ground.

  • Maddy

    I mean I actually am not saying anything that those 'minorities' haven't said themselves and much more succinctly than I have and I don't pretend to speak for them or 'save' them but you go with that

  • katiessh

    I'm going to stop here with you because we're no longer having a reasonable conversation. This descended into ridiculous internet sniping a while back, which I have a feeling you enjoy

  • Maddy

    Yes I get off on having arguments in the internet you got me

  • Bell Swerve

    She does address your points though.

    You say Taylor treats the 'twerking' dancers no differently than the other dancers and that people who don't see it like that are only doing so because they want to.

    I judge that she treats those dancers differently than the ballerinas, break dancers, cheerleaders. The camera zooms into their bottoms, their faces are rarely shown. They aren't even allowed to do more than one type of move. They are props, all the while Taylor gets to look adorable in the foreground. Her clothing in that section is pretty much a caricature, whereas for some people that's what they like to wear to fit in with the people around them.

  • katiessh

    Yeah, she made a point above, she didn't make a point where she basically accused me of racism because I happen to disagree with her characterisation.

    Look, I don't know much about twerking tbh, I know probably as much as taylor swift knows. So, I can't address the extra moves or the caricaturedness of the costumes. To me there IS very little difference between how she treats the dancers in that part and all the other parts- with a mixture of confusion and admiration. I think the only reason it's different is because the move is basically girl shaking their arses. I don't think she uses them any more like props than the other dancers. We disagree on that, and that's fine. Could the visual be better? probably, but I don't actually think there's anything offensive here.

    What I object to is being judged so harshly because I think that a) this a pretty inoffensive video and b) big picture, she's a stupid pop star with a stupid song with a stupid video.

  • Bell Swerve

    "I don't know much about twerking"

    You could have stopped there several comments ago. The criticism of this video is not so much about treatment of people with different skin colors - it's about treatment of different cultures. Twerking is not all about shaking a butt, hip-hop is not all about twerking, and that's not even proper twerking. Taylor might admire hip-hop and black culture but she doesn't seem to understand it or respect it, much like most of the people in positions of influence. People get portrayed as thugs for wearing the jewellery Taylor does in that section.

    I don't know how you could have read the article above and not get that there are valid reasons for people to be upset and disappointed that one of the hugest pop stars with tens of millions of followers has done this. It's ok to not play devil's advocate all the time. None of this criticism is even going to harm her, she'll just 'shake off the hate' like a teenager.

  • katiessh

    I'm not playing devil's advocate. I genuinely don't think this is offensive, and I don't think thinking that makes me a horrible person.

    I know as much about twerking as I'm betting the average person does (or at least in australia). It doesn't mean I don't respect or appreciate hip hop as a genre of music or dance as a whole. Neither does she- twerking is not the only element of "hip hop" she uses in the video- no where does it imply that she thinks that's what hip hop is. I mean, it's literally described in wikipedia (I know) as dancing in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low squatting stance, which is exactly what she does. But that's not ALL she does. She's simply doing a move that is very current right now.

    If you have a problem with it, your problem should be with mainstream media and pop artists coopting this move in general. It shouldn't be with taylor happening to use this as an example of a current dance she isn't good at.

    And just saying, I wouldn't judge her for shaking off criticism or any thoughts really from anonymous internet commenters.

  • Bell Swerve

    I'm not saying you're a horrible person, I'm not saying you are a racist. I'm saying that your wholehearted support for this video is misjudged, and as you admit not well informed. This is a very important issue for black people, especially right now with what is going on in Ferguson - don't dismiss their concerns, learn from them.

    Taylor Swift considers her work (music and videos) art and as such she must take criticism for the content of that work. That includes how women are presented in her lyrics and videos. Her calling it hate... come on, how immature is that. You don't see Adele - who is a similar age - saying 'h8ers gon h8'. It's not just random internet commentators - it's Time magazine, Spin, Jezebel, Pajiba. How is she ever going to progress if she won't accept feedback? (And lyrically she has barely progressed over 4 albums.)

    I have a problem with the mainstream media doing this - Taylor Swift is mainstream media. She has probably become the most mainstream of all female artists out there, but I criticize other people who do this as well. If she's going to feature twerking or hip-hop in her videos I don't think it's too much to ask that she or her video director presents it respectfully. And if they can't do that then leave it out - no one was begging Taylor to slap her butt like a drunk college girl while looking amazed that these moves exist.

  • katiessh

    Just to say as this whole thing is getting pretty hostile- I actually appreciate getting your opinion and seeing it from another point of view. I just don't think we're going to ever agree or convince each other we're right, although I do feel like you're getting a little preachy.

    If you want me to take you seriously don't use jezebel as an example of actual backlash because that may be one of the most click-baity websites I've ever seen, basically created to generate outrage. Adele doesn't write about haters because she has none. Which is great for her, but I actually don't think there's anything wrong with someone saying to young girls (which is her market by the way, which is why she doesn't change it up a whole lot) don't worry about people criticising you, don't take yourself to seriously, be confident in who you are. Which is what this song's message (and I use that term charitably because even that's stretching it) really is.

    Finally, and this is all I'm going to say on this because I'm getting exhausted fighting- twerking is right now a mainstream dance move, kind of like moonwalking. Everyone is doing it, and they're doing it mainly because it's fun, not because they want to make fun of black culture. Maybe they don't really understand it, whatever, that's a problem with our society in general. But that's a much bigger argument, and I really don't think that yelling at taylor swift for twerking badly is going to help anyone, or do anything constructive. I don't think she's making fun of anyone except herself, and I don't think she's offensive.

    It's your opinion that I've misjudged it, but I don't believe that just because a bunch of websites says something means it's right. If I did I'd also stop listening to lorde who is also apparently racist.

    If you really want to continue this we can discuss it on the other thread that we had which is basically the same thing as I think I expressed myself a little more clearly there.

  • Bell Swerve

    1) Look at the majority of articles on Adele and you will see comments about her appearance, that her songs are boring, all sorts of sexist shit. And yet you don't see her complaining and writing lyrics full of bitterness and pettiness.

    2) Taylor Swift takes herself incredibly seriously. I don't get how she manages to fool so many people - which included me for a long time. She's not a victim, she is a pretty, rich, educated woman who has been enjoying great success for nearly 10 years now. She's not some plucky newcomer - she should be held to account for the impact of the material she puts out. That's what she gets the most 'hate' for, no one's saying she's ugly and should go live in a cave.

    3) It's not just a bunch of websites - it's many, many black people saying, 'Actually this is not ok and we are fed up of this'. You cannot pretend that this is an equal world and people in the majority do not use stereotypes to mock minority groups and dismiss their opinions. Time magazine has called her out. Time magazine.

  • katiessh

    What do you want from me?! You're not convince me that this is a) a big deal, or b) that taylor swift is the devil incarnate. I guess fine-

    1) Adele appeals to a different audience, she hasn't released an album in ages and it's weird to compare singers from completely different genres

    2) Who cares whether taylor swift takes her seriously or not? If girls get good messages from this stupid song inwhich the lyrics are players gonna play and haters gonna hate then does it matter what she's personally like?

    3) I don't pretend that, and sorry that I don't treat Time Magazine as the bible. Seriously, legitimately asking, I just watched the video again because I was forgetting what was even in it. What is the difference between her dressing up as a fake b boy and imitating their break dancing or popping and locking, than twerking except for an unfortunate visual? Both the aforementioned dances do the same thing, they have the similar roots and yet you don't care that she 'mocks' these dance styles.

    You think she's making fun of black women twerking. I think she acted out about 7 different styles of dance practised by different people all over the globe and twerking happened to be one of them. She's making fun of herself not being able to do the dance well. She's not making any kind of a statement, she's not mocking anyone who actually does the dances. She's just dancing like a huge nerd. Dancing is not separated by race- once it infiltrates the mainstream it's a free for all. It doesn't mean that any white person who twerks is trying to mock or culturally appropriate 'black culture'.

    I really don't know what else to say. From your comments through out this page you clearly dislike Taylor Swift in general so you've already made up your mind. I don't really care about Taylor Swift, but honestly I think this is at worst pretty harmless and at best a song I will likely never get out of my head. Can we PLEASE just agree to disagree on this?

  • Bell Swerve

    Agree to disagree. I will never accept the idea that when something has entered the mainstream it becomes a free for all. Twerking was taken from african americans by dipshits like Miley Cyrus trying to be cool.

    I don't hate Taylor Swift, I hate the lyrics in some of her songs and the parts of this video. They're not good messages for teenage girls. I believe she presents herself inauthentically. This single is a fun bop but I hope the rest of the album is more mature because she's long since left school and she has the talent to make songs about more interesting things than minor heartbreak and 'hate'.

  • Maddy

    Please tell me where you live in Australia so I can make sure I never go to that place

  • katiessh

    Are you just trying to bait me now? What is your problem? Don't you have anything better to do?

  • kdm

    "...one black girl tweaking and no black girls doing ballet?" is an AMAZING typo, especially in this thread.

  • katiessh

    That did actually occur to me and then I decided I dbf changing it. Although now that you've picked it up I probably should

  • _Alexander_

    It's easy. Bashing a slightly childish and annoying but otherwise perfectly nice and harmless girl make you look like a douche. But if you pretend that you are offended and that she is culturally or racially(which is the jackpot) insensitive and it's a green light for a huge bash fest and not only will you get thousands of people who support you but on top of that you will feel smug in your false sense of justification and self righteousness

    It's a sad internet truth. People are massively hijacking important issues as an excuse to bash other people under the banner of so called social justice, cultural sensitivity or whatever else you want to call it

  • Bell Swerve

    Perfectly nice and harmless? Yeah except for shaming other women regularly, particularly teenage girls who actually don't want to wait for marriage thank you very much. Not to mention all the bitching she does about her ex-boyfriends. Taylor Swift is not some goofy, innocent, sweethearted country gal (spoiler: she never was).

  • _Alexander_

    Ok.....if you say. I can't say I have really followed her career so I don't know how true this is but if it is by all mean criticise her for this instead of pulling stuff out of your ass

  • Maddy

    Nah she's just a nice girl not like those slutty cheerleader types who steal people's boyfriends.

  • Bell Swerve

    Look what a pretty cheerleader she made in her new video though?!

    For years Taylor Swift has acted the victim of mean girls, whereas in real life she could be mistaken for one.

  • DoctorKillpatient

    I bet you're FAT.

  • Maddy

    I just can't with her at all. This isn't cute anymore and it never was.

  • Maddy

    Oh poor thing. She's a 24 year old woman who is a massively financially and critically successful artist. I think she'll weather this storm. Just a hunch though.

  • _Alexander_

    So by your logic if someone is succesful and rich you can be an asshole to them? Wow. You really fit the sjw stereotype perfectly. Did you get lost and can't find your way back to tumblr ?

  • Maddy

    I'm saying it's ridiculous to act like criticising her for a blatantly offensive music video is somehow the same as kicking a puppy.

  • _Alexander_

    Well except for the fact that it's not a blatantly or even close to being offensive to any rational human being on this planet(well except to people who are offended by crappy pop maybe but they are not exactly rational)....and the so called "offense" is just a cheap excused used to try and bash a sucesful woman sure. It's not kicking a puppy. More like cursing out a puppy

  • Maddy

    I've been waiting for this video as an excuse to bash Taylor. I've been waiting for it. You've found me out

  • _Alexander_

    You did? Well I have underestimated you. I would have thought you were more the look for literally any excuse to bitch about people I don't like type instead of someone who can actually make a coherent plant. Good job ;)

  • Maddy

    Oh no. It's almost like 'nice girls' can do things that are insensitive and dumb. Who would have thought.

  • _Alexander_

    Oh it's almost like people are trying desperately to find things to be outraged about no matter how much they have to stretch the situation

  • Maddy

    Believe it or not I don't go looking for offensive things. But yet they keep finding me WHY DO THEY ALWAYS FIND ME WHY

  • _Alexander_

    Because you are actually looking for them even if it's not consciously. Becoming part of the "offended" culture can be like a virus. First you enter because there are many many truly horrible things in our society that are worth adressing but then depending on what crowd you hand around you start getting offended at pettier and pettier things until one day you look at Toy Я Us and you are suddenly offended on behalf on Slavic Cultures on how this heartless corporations has appropriated a letter from their alphabet (and yes this exactly as silly as getting offended by this video)

  • Maddy

    Thank you so much I wasn't sure I was infected but you've opened my eyes that I might be carrying symptoms? What is this virus called? Spread the word this is a public health crisis

  • _Alexander_

    No problem. It is a serious issue. The virus is officially called the Social Justice Syndrome but on the street it is known as the Butthurt Disease. Depending on the different strain you can have a variety of symptoms but the most common ones are a strong sense of outrage, self righteousness and smugness. There is usually a paranoid obsession with specific issues, chronic complaints and vivid hallucinations

  • katiessh

    Seriously, sometimes internet outrage exhausts me

  • Maddy

    Seriously sometimes people force you to click on articles that you disagree with. Oh wait.

  • katiessh

    So because I disagree with it I can't have an opinion? I can't click on a link showing taylor swift's new video and question why everyone gets so upset over what seems like nothing?
    That's the argument people use about articles that say 'women are bad at math!' If you disagree, don't read the article! Oh wait...

  • Maddy


  • katiessh

    Thanks for the caps lock, they really drive your point home and don't make you look like an irrational internet outrager at all.

    Once again, completely missing my point in favour for an emotive response

  • Maddy

    I should put 'irrational internet outrager' on my cv so thanks for that

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Bonding by internet outrage.

  • Stephen Nein

    So she's the Ronald Reagan of pop music?

    So much makes sense now . . .

  • katiessh

    Well I wouldn't say Ronald Reagan is inoffensive...

  • Stephen Nein

    Oh, katiessh, Reagan was the master of offensively looking innocent and inoffensive while saying some of the shittiest things.

  • katiessh

    I don't know, Iran Contra was pretty openly offensive and wrong

  • Stephen Nein

    Proved my point right there. "I don't remember," my ass.

  • TK

    I'm gonna go ahead and make a fuckin' ruling here:

    Comment of the week, no question.

  • Maddy

    Seconded (don't know if we get to vote but anyway)

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