It’s a story that has unfolded a million times. Born and raised in the country, a cute blonde girl is lured by the glitz and glamour of the bright lights of the big city… and off she goes.
The country mouse goes off to be the city mouse.
It wasn’t so long ago that Taylor Swift was country music’s darling. We loved her and protected her until 2014 when she left the world of country for the big city of pop music. Ever since then, she’s done well and blossomed even more.
Life has been grand, but then again, it hasn’t.
In the two years since Taylor traded in Music Row for New York, she’s faced what some might consider a much tougher life. While her music and tours remain as successful as ever, the same cannot be said for her public image.
Lord knows she has always rifled through boyfriends at a rat-a-tat-tat pace since she first dated Joe Jonas when she was 19 years old. Through those early relationships, the fans and the media have always taken her side. Her roster of boyfriends (and there were a lot of them) have always been high-profile guys like John Mayer, Taylor Lautner, Jake Gyllenhaal and even a Kennedy. When the breakup came, there was never any backlash from them or the media. Not even when she turned those guys and those failed relationships into songs.
These days, it’s a different story.
Her most recent love interest/breakup, Calvin Harris, a DJ and pop star himself, is striking back at Taylor. When Taylor went public with her part in writing Calvin’s latest hit (she had initially asked to be credited under a pseudonym so as to not steal any thunder from her then-beau) Calvin didn’t play the part of her lovers before her.
In a first for Taylor, Calvin swung back.
He took to Twitter to defend himself and in another first, the fans started lining up against her. So much so that the hashtag #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty became a trending topic.
Kanye West is another. When Kanye bum rushed her at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards to snatch the microphone from her hands in order to declare his opinion that Beyoncé deserved the award Taylor was just handed, country music and the rest of the world came to Taylor’s defense.
Yet, now that she’s a pop star, Taylor has become a TMZ target and seems to be under siege at every turn. Even with Kanye slandering her directly by name in song with the lyrics “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex. Why? I made that b***h famous,” she’s experiencing what being on the wrong side of the Kardashian clan can do.
Of course there are more. Her ongoing feud with Katy Perry dates back to when the two seemingly went back and forth pilfering a trio of backup dancers from each other but continues to this day. Recently, Katy has publicly taken to Calvin Harris’ side in the Twitter war.
While it may sound childish to some older fans when you hear the terms “Twitter war” or read that TMZ reported something, the fact is that’s where the pop culture world lives these days. A Twitter war can truly make or break an artist as they have the ability to mobilize millions of fans at any given moment. Sadly, it doesn’t even just mean fans will say mean things or not listen to her music any more. It has gone so far that recently a local artist painted a mural of Taylor in Australia with text that says, “In loving memory of Taylor Smith 1989 – 2016” that many see as a veiled death threat. He even went so far as to tag it with “No tags please. Respect the dead.”
Having left the tight-knit country community behind her, Taylor still has her friends but nowhere near the army of radio listeners, media sites and fans she once had. Instead, she’s left to fight these battles on her own and don’t be mistaken, these are battles of enormous magnitude.
To be clear, none of this is to indicate even slightly that Taylor made the wrong choice in leaving country music, nor is she or her career suffering in the slightest. She’s proven a thousand times that she’s a big girl, a smart girl, and can take anything that comes her way.