The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer


Will Taylor Swift Ever Escape Criticism?

Despite her ongoing success, the singer-songwriter still faces unwarranted hatred and scrutiny
Taylor Swift’s success has been met with an unjustified amount of hate

In her song “Lavender Haze,” Taylor Swift sings, “Damned if I do give a damn what people say” in response to the persistent criticisms she has faced throughout her career. Despite being torn apart by the media for years, Swift has risen to the top of the music industry with an unparalleled peak in fame. Nevertheless, Swift continues to be the subject of ongoing criticisms when she should not be publicly scrutinized.

Often, appealing to strong emotions such as hatred is very effective, thus creating the negative environment often found on social media. Swift has been an easy target for these videos, which have been widely circulated on the internet, from Tiktok and Twitter to Instagram and even Snapchat.

Knowing what you’re criticizing is essential to forming a fair judgment. For instance, some people judge Swift by saying all her music sounds the same. This argument shows that the critics have not given Swift’s discography adequate time or attention, as she has released multiple albums in various genres such as country, pop and alternative. If you’re unfamiliar with an artist’s work, you should not attack it.

It is disheartening to see that even after her acts of kindness, Swift is subjected to slander.

Swift is well known for her songwriting skills, which are also heavily criticized. The artist is the sole writer for most of her songs, which touch on varying themes such as falling in or out of love, the pain of betrayal, dealing with sadness, the haunting of loneliness and self-doubt. 

Her music reflects the human experience and clearly speaks to many of her fans. Swift’s “The Eras Tour” became the first tour to surpass $1 billion in revenue, and its resulting movie became the highest-grossing concert film of all time. Swift has demonstrably formed a strong bond between herself, her art and her fans, as showcased by their unprecedented levels of support for her.

There is a common thread of videos criticizing Swift based on her assumed target audience. Her fans are often labeled as “basic white girls,” on social media, ignoring the diversity of her fanbase and projecting contempt onto a stereotype of the people who find joy in her music. Swift is then criticized on the grounds of her own fanbase, seen through claims that “not even a pebble could relate to” her music.  

The 2024 Grammy Awards spurred new critiques against Swift. During her acceptance speech, she revealed the release of her 11th studio album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” which will be released on April 19. Despite the excitement among her fans, Swift was labeled by Tiktokers as classless, self-centered and responsible for creating controversy at the Grammys, which are supposedly a platform to celebrate musicians’ achievements. 

The very fact that Swift won Album of the Year at the Grammys prompted more hate: One disgruntled TikToker responded to the award by saying “I don’t even listen to Lana Del Rey, and Lana should have won.” This spiteful comment, hoping a singer you don’t listen to should win because you hate another artist, is conduct that demonstrates pure disregard for Swift as a person.

The burning flames of hatred do not escape her personal life as seen through coverage of her attendance at football games to see her significant other, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. The more games she attends, the more cameras focus on her; because she is a celebrity present at a football game, she naturally draws attention. 

Her attendance at these games has angered football fans who claim they are tired of seeing Swift shown on the jumbo screen, according to the magazine “People.” Although people could argue she is a distraction to the game, the actions they have taken are too extreme for an inconvenience: fans of the National Football League began mocking her, burning her posters, tearing up her vinyl records and even yelling at her

This level of hatred is baseless, as Swift does nothing but benefit football as a sport. The NFL and ESPN began featuring her constantly on their online profiles, generating an additional $331.5 million in brand value for the Chiefs and the NFL. People who claim that “Swift is ruining football” are incorrect, as she made millions of dollars in revenue just by attending games.

If you’re unfamiliar with an artist’s work, you should not attack it.

These experiences can translate to fans of Taylor Swift as well. When watching the Super Bowl at Fordham University with my friend, I wore Swift’s merchandise from her tour. After the game ended, a stranger mocked us for supporting Swift and claimed that the game was fixed because of her since the Chiefs had won. Additionally, TikTok users accused the NFL of rigging the game for the Chief’s victory because of Swift since a Chiefs win would increase publicity for the NFL because of Swift’s association— even if the Chiefs had lost, you can be sure that it would have been Swift’s fault, as well.

Wearing a “Taylor Swift” shirt is equivalent to wearing a football jersey with another man’s name and hoping Swift wins a Grammy is equivalent to hoping your team wins the Super Bowl. Despite their similar identities, football fans see themselves as inherently better than “Swifties,” the name of Swift’s fan base.

Swift’s philanthropic activities have also come under scrutiny. She recently received backlash after donating $100,000 to assist the family of a victim of the Kansas City Chiefs parade shooting. On TikTok and Instagram comment sections, users claimed this was “too little money” and “too convenient for PR.” Nonetheless, philanthropy is a common practice for Swift. 

In 2023, the artist gave $100,000 bonuses to over 50 truck drivers from “The Eras Tour” and donated $1 million to Nashville tornado relief efforts. It is disheartening to see that even after her acts of kindness, Swift is subjected to slander. The question arises: Would people have responded differently if the same donation was made by someone else?

Despite holding numerous records and awards as well as making substantial charitable donations, Swift still lacks the respect she deserves as an artist and a human being. If Swift’s discography is not your cup of tea, just don’t listen to it. 

Spreading negativity and hatred on social media is utterly unproductive. Even if you don’t relate to someone, you don’t need to waste your life letting anger and the desire for someone’s downfall consume you. It would be wise to simply scroll past topics you don’t care for on social media — rest assured, everything will be alright.

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About the Contributor
ANDREA RIVAS, Staff Writer

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  • O

    OnahiraMar 19, 2024 at 11:41 am

    I loved this article! This argument is so truthful and well-researched!

  • L

    LuisaMar 19, 2024 at 10:24 am

    Great analysis !
    I completely agree how people comment and make judgements about things they don’t understand. Something very ignorant

  • R

    RickMar 18, 2024 at 1:41 pm

    I’ll go one step further. If Swift were a man how much criticism would she get?, especially at football games and award shows.