Look what you made [her] do. When a minimalistic, black furry coated Taylor Swift stands above a mound of her old personas, kicking them in the face as they try to reach her, it is clear that the old Taylor is dead, and the new one is here to stay. Critics can say what they want about Swift’s comeback, but this article will have nothing to do with the endless criticizing and nitpicking of Ms. Swift. As a loyal Taylor Swift fan, I pledged my allegiance to the star a long time ago; therefore, my tolerance for fake fans is slim to none.
My relationship to Taylor is like that of a proud parent, watching his child walk into her first day of school … entering into the big wide world, full of critics and bullies ready to pounce. And sure enough, the cynics attacked. For those who don’t like her first single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” I encourage them to “check the scoreboard.” Taylor’s song, according to Entertainment Weekly, had the biggest debut of a song on Spotify and was the most-played song in a single day, with a staggering 10.1 million streams. Not only that, but the music video shattered the Vevo record of first-day views with approximately 43 million streams in 24 hours, a record previously held by Adele’s “Hello” (with 27.7 million views). Taylor doesn’t need me to defend her against the nay-sayers; the statistics defend her on their own.
The dawn of the “Reputation” era has introduced us to a redefined, rebirthed Taylor Swift, and I am here for it all: the black and white, newsprint album cover, the urban “REP” sweaters and golden snake rings (available on her website) and the vague social media posts that frenzy us fans. But whether you love or hate her, you can’t deny that her comeback has been epic and her marketing strategy is quite genius. She punches Andy Samberg through a wall in her latest AT&T commercial, her new song “…Ready For It?” is the ABC college football anthem, and her face will soon be plastered on every UPS truck in the nation as promotion for her upcoming album, dropping Nov. 10.
It has been a long time coming for Ms. Swift’s bountiful career. Ever since her debut single, “Tim McGraw,” was released back in 2006, her career has only gained more momentum. Sure, there have been some bumps along the road: her feud with Kanye, bad blood with Katy Perry and media criticism of her personal life, but Swift will always get the last word, and this time she isn’t here to play. So, start saying goodbye to all of your preconceptions of Taylor Swift. The dialogue at the end of her “Look What You Made Me Do” music video makes it clear that Tay is ready to pick apart her good girl reputation and explore her dark side—her real side.