Who is Taylor Swift anyway? Ew.

It's me, hi! My name is syd. Welcome to Swiftology, my page dedicated to Taylor Swift. This is not going to be a fan page in the traditional sense. I do not want to idolize Taylor Swift any more than she already is—there are plenty of places for that already. I created this page because I wanted a space slightly removed from the fandom environment on social media where I could share writing about Taylor Swift's music, her reputation, her fandom, and my personal relationship with her work. I also want to use her career as a jumping off point for more general discussions about the nature of fame, fandom, and celebrity.

Taylor Swift is a complicated person with a complicated legacy. I have loved her music for pretty much as long as I can remember, but I'm also pretty critical of her, especially when it comes to social issues. I feel like whenever I try to discuss those complicated feelings on social media, I get hate for praising her from people who hate her, and I get hate for criticizing her from people who love her, with very little space for actual dialogue. I am hoping that by taking this conversation away from the volatile space of social media, I can develop my thoughts with research and nuance, and ideally, I will be able to integrate comments in a way that fosters healthy discusssion.

In pursuit of that, if you have any thoughts or constructive criticism you would like to share, feel free to email me at neoswiftology@gmail.com or send me an ask on Tumblr.

Who cares?

I have to admit that creating a page dedicated to serious analysis of Taylor Swift and her fandom feels kind of silly, especially when you consider that I am anti-capitalist and Taylor Swift is a multimillionaire girlboss. I am absolutely making this page in part because I love and am fascinated by Taylor Swift and want a place to analyze her work, but my feelings toward her are intimately intertwined with my attitudes toward celebrity more generally. I find celebrity a sticky, complicated subject. These people are highly visible, a position which often affords them some level of wealth and power, but also a position that is dehumanizing and exploitative, rendering them vulnerable to abuse and harassment. Celebrity culture is also unavoidable in modern society, and these people have a significant impact on our culture and ourselves, even if we want to ignore them as silly and frivolous.

With the growth of social media and influencer culture, fame is something no longer reserved for the rich and powerful; anyone can become a star overnight through social media. This process of democratizing fame impacts anyone who uses social media, not just influencers—I currently have just over a thousand Tumblr followers which does not constitute fame by any stretch of the imagination, but I still find myself feeling responsible for my small audience, feeling like I need to police my posts lest they "breach containment" and receive backlash. This democratization also means that the people subjected to the abusive nature of fame without any of the resources needed to keep them safe.

It might feel insignificant, especially if you are as disenchanted by celebrity culture as I am, but I only see this becoming more important as late capitalism marches us toward the slow and painful death of all privacy and creativity, where everything is content, everyone has a platform, nothing is yours to keep. Taylor Swift is just a case study in this larger conversation.

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