This is the music video for Taylor Swift’s latest single, “Shake It Off”, from her upcoming album 1989. This is her first official POP album. It’s an interesting career move for her, as this could go horribly wrong. She’s sold approximately a bajillion records as a Country artist, and Country music fans are intensely loyal. However I do know some Country music purists who don’t consider her a “real” Country artist due to her Pop-flavored sound, which has helped her crossover. I personally am not a much of a Country fan, but I have liked some of Swift’s songs. THE STORY OF US, MEAN, 22, and NEVER GETTING BACK TOGETHER all spring to mind. But now that she’s going full-POP, what if she’s not as successful? And then what if she tries to go back to Country but they reject her now for “leaving” them before? That is a question that many in the Country Music industry are asking.
However, that’s not the controversy that I’m really talking about here. There’s another issue I saw popping up in my Facebook feed earlier this week. Taylor Swift is being accused of “cultural appropriation,” specifically of mimicking or mocking “Black culture” in this video.
Yep, here we go again. It’s time for our weekly dose of internet-outrage.
Some fellow named Earl Sweatshirt (no, I never heard of him either, so don’t ask me) wrote on Twitter:
haven’t watched the taylor swift video and I don’t need to watch it to tell you that it’s inherently offensive and ultimately harmful. perpetuating black stereotypes to the same demographic of white girls who hide their prejudice by proclaiming their love of the culture. for instance, those of you who are afraid of black people but love that in 2014 it’s ok for you to be trill or twerk or say nigga.
Y’all caught the relevant part in that rant, right? He’s complaining about a video THAT HE HASN’T EVEN WATCHED.
But his tweets got retweeted and favorited over 9,700 times and the story spread across the net, with her now being accused of racism, and objectifying Black women. To which I say GIMME A BREAK! Speaking as someone who actually did watch the video before commenting on it, I don’t see any racism or cultural appropriation in it. If anything the video is more self-deprecating. As you see in each of these segments Swift trying to dance with the other dancers, be it the ballerinas, or break-dancers, or cheerleaders, and each time she sucks. That’s the funny part, get it? She can’t dance, but she’s still doing it anyway, because she doesn’t care. Haters gonna hate. Shake it off! It’s a totally harmless little video for a catchy little Pop song. THAT’S ALL. Trying to make this into some major racial issue is just stupid in my opinion. As we see there are indeed real racial problems in America right now, and Social Media can be a useful tool for shedding light on that. But don’t get side-tracked with dumb stuff. If you just go looking for something to be offended by, then you become like The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Remember that story? When he was finally telling the truth, no one believed him…
And the supreme irony to all of this is that the folks who are complaining so much about this:
…probably won’t say a darn thing about THIS: