Lorde Needs to Take Lessons From Her Bestie

Two weeks ago, on her 28th birthday, Taylor Swift posted a picture to Instagram that her guitarist took during a recent show at an arena in London.

The photo shows Swift centre stage, spotlight shining down as she plays her new music in front of thousands of fans.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better year, all thanks to you,” Swift wrote in the caption.

A fairly innocuous post – but not if it’s 2017, one of the most tumultuous years in modern US history, and not if it’s written by Swift.

The headlines started rolling in. Nylon: “Of Course Taylor Swift is the Only Person Who Enjoyed 2017.” HelloGiggles: “Taylor Swift ‘couldn’t have asked for a better year’ while we’re all living in Hell.” Cosmopolitan: “Taylor Swift Says She ‘Couldn’t Have Asked for a Better Year’ and The Internet Is Mad.” (Naturally, her fan base took issue with this internet anger.)

With Social Media, you can’t do or say anything without offending at least someone. If Taylor Swift ever posted a pic of some Granola she had for breakfast within a nano second at least one person will post a reply about starvation in Africa.

[…] Swift, however, also encountered backlash for glossing over current events during a gruelling, divisive year in which it has been impossible to avoid politics in pop culture. Even chatter in her new app, the Swift Life, reportedly quickly devolved into a political debate with President Donald Trump supporters on the platform.

[…] Many were disappointed that she simply tweeted about the Women’s March in January instead of attending, despite using feminism to fuel her brand over the years. The American Civil Liberties Union sent her a harsh letter after her legal team threatened to sue a blogger who wrote a convoluted post about Swift not publicly denouncing the white supremacists who continue to support her.

So Swift’s “tone-deaf” Instagram was apparently the tipping point for some. The caption could have just been a few quick sentences that she fired off on her birthday – but Swift is nothing if not strategic.

Although she has hit some road bumps in her image management, thanks to some well-publicised feuds with the likes of Calvin Harris and Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West, Swift has typically been very deliberate about what she says and how she says it.

She is clearly aware that the public wants her to open up about some of these issues. She’s the type of star who knows what people say about her; the entire music video for Look What You Made Me Do tackles every bit of mockery lobbed her way. Yet Swift won’t address anything controversial, and she also won’t put herself in a situation where she could be asked.

[…] It appears, however, that Swift has no plans to address anything. As her Instagram post emphasised, in a photo where she’s performing hit songs to packed arena, it doesn’t seem to matter.

“My reputation’s never been worse, so you must like me for me,” she sings to a crush on Delicate, the fifth track on her new album. It’s true in real life, too – Swift may be weathering the most significant criticism of her career, but as long as the albums and tour tickets keep selling, there’s no reason to think that in 2018 she’ll change anything about this successful strategy.

Yep. Keep making good bubble-gum pop music and stay away from controversial topics. I bet if Taylor Swift ever decided to play in Tel Aviv she’d stay away from the politics and just go ahead and play. Lorde needs to take note.