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

By Emily Cutler | Celebrity | August 19, 2014 |

By Emily Cutler | Celebrity | August 19, 2014 |


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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