The Latest Taylor Swift “Controversy”

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.

tw

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.

sisko-facepalm1

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:
ts

…probably won’t say a darn thing about THIS:

nicki-minaj1

Tell me again, WHO’S “objectifying” Black women’s bodies?!?

Thought so.

  9 comments for “The Latest Taylor Swift “Controversy”

  1. August 23, 2014 at 4:29 AM

    Reblogged this on Benji's Music Blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. August 23, 2014 at 6:36 AM

    I honestly don’t see a problem with a bit of light appropriation. It’s what happens anytime two vibrant cultures brush up against each other and we try on each other’s clothes., find things we like, and incorporate them into our culture. The Japanese have done to it to the West, the African slaves did it to the Indians down in Louisiana (the Mardi Gras Indians), and so on. Jazz and Rock & Roll crossed the color barrier here in America. Basketball did as well the opposite way. I think it’s only a problem when the attitude afterwards is “you can go now” as we dismiss the other culture now that we’ve taken everything we think is of value.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. blackpantherfanstories
    August 23, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    I loved that she poked fun at the illuminati with the hand gestures

    Liked by 2 people

  4. August 23, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    It appears as though she recognizing all different genres of dance/hiphop/whatever else is out there. I think the song and the video is very fun and there is nothing racial about it. At lets be real, black women like to bounce ass. I ain’t gonna lie, I be trying to bounce my ass for my husband all the time, or course its always an epic fail. But what is wrong with Taylor Swift recognizing the genres I have no idea. People are causing these outrages when the majority of people are not really outraged. Love the blog btw.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. August 24, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Totally agree with you! The REAL outrage is that she is NOT country anymore! LOL!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. August 30, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    sigh…controversy sells and sex sells. Not sure what the “outrage” is over but all I saw was Taylor trying different dance moves (and failing rather miserably I might add). As for Nicki’s video…umm what is there to say? She has the “ass-ets” and she chooses to flaunt it. It is not like she is just some random video chick who is being paid to appear in a video by some male rapper to do the same thing. I mean this is her video, her song and she controls the image she wishes to portray. Or so it seems, until it comes out later that she felt pressured by her label to do such stunts in order to sell records. My head is hurting this is all too much…

    Liked by 1 person

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