Taylor Swift has a long list of publicized feuds. Some have been resolved over time, while others still await a satisfying conclusion.
In these conflicts, I’d be the first to admit that she’s not always right. But love her or hate her, it’s hard to deny that when people come for Taylor out of nowhere, she does tend to come out on top — singing karma is her boyfriend, a god, a breeze in her hair on the weekend, and so on.
Here are 5 clear examples of why every tongue that rises against Taylor Swift shall fall… sooner or later.
Exhibit A: The New York Giants
For those of you who might’ve been living under a rock, Taylor Swift is currently dating Travis Kelce, an NFL player from the Kansas City Chiefs.
I’m not going to pretend I know much about football, but it seems that they’re doing well so far in the season — as is the league itself. The vague possibility of a Taylor sighting at a Chiefs game has sent NFL ticket prices skyrocketing, with Swifties across the globe noticing the sport likely for the first time and teaching each other the rules.
The league has been leaning heavily into this new development, but not everybody is happy.
At a game between the New York Giants and the Seattle Seahawks at the MetLife Stadium, a Giants fan had taped a rather haphazardly made “Not a Swiftie” sign, and attendees booed a Taylor Swift ad.
It’s interesting to note that there were little to no chances that Taylor would actually be at this game. But by putting in the effort to be angry haters, Giants fans ended up making the game all about her.
In the end, their team lost with a pitiful 24-3 score — not even managing a single point after the audience booed Taylor on screen.
Notice also that in this picture of a now infamous — and kind of pathetic, sorry — poster, the football fan is sandwiched by the (un)lucky number 13.
In contrast, the Seahawks assistant coach Carl Smith was spotted wearing a Taylor Swift Eras shirt on the day of the game — and looking very proud of himself, to boot.
Exhibit B: Diplo
Back in 2014, DJ and producer Thomas Wesley Pentz, professionally known as Diplo, infamously tweeted: “Someone should make a Kickstarter to get Taylor Swift a booty,” before promptly linking to a fundraiser created for just that.
I wouldn’t exactly call this case a feud, because Taylor never bothered to respond to him. Lorde, however, did.
On top of the cringy body-shaming, Diplo only made it worse by calling Swifties “the worst people in the world.”
A year later, Diplo and Taylor Swift attended the same Grammy’s after-party, and he was quick to post a selfie to prove it.
At that point, everything seemed to have been swept under a rug. In a 2015 interview with GQ Magazine, Diplo revealed that his main takeaway from the whole debacle wasn’t that body-shaming was wrong and misogynistic. It’s that Taylor Swift’s fans scared him.
“All I know is, don’t ever get into a feud with Taylor Swift. She has like fifty million people that will die for her. It’s like an army that’s worse than North Korea,” he said. “One of the biggest mistakes of my career was definitely fucking with her.”
The lesson didn’t stick.
Or, at least, Diplo decided the publicity he could get from insulting Taylor Swift was worth angering fans. In 2017, he once again took aim at Taylor — this time to diss her song, “Look What You Made Me Do,” off her Reputation album. Fans were angry, but the coming of a fresh news cycle buried the whole thing (and him) in internet history.
In 2022, the producer parroted his 2015 lesson, describing his tweets as “the worst decision of my career.”
In an interview with the Evening Standard, he went on to say a lot of words that weren’t apologies, nor admissions to being wrong for body-shaming: “I’m a weird, humorous person, but my sense of humour wasn’t taken well,’ is how he puts it today. ‘Then I thought, do I want to be known as the a**hole?’ I wasn’t an a**hole, in my opinion, but I did use social media like it was a joke.”
All of this has led me to the conclusion that while Diplo hasn’t fallen as spectacularly as the New York Giants did, it is kind of sad that he only ever becomes news when he messes with Taylor Swift. And frankly, that’s a different kind of pathetic.
Exhibit C: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian
I’m sure most of us have heard — and might already be tired of hearing — about Taylor Swift’s history with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. But here’s a quick recap:
- In 2009, Kanye interrupted Taylor Swift at the stage of the VMAs as she was accepting the Best Video by a Female Artist award for “You Belong With Me,” in a totally out of line effort to praise Beyoncé (whose presence, I might add, he is not worthy to be in; and whose name he shouldn’t be allowed to utter).
- Beyoncé later gave up her own acceptance speech to let Swift have her moment, and Kanye apologized for the incident. Both he and Taylor went out of their way to publicly appear friendly in the years that followed, but the pop culture narrative of Kanye as the villain and Swift as the innocent victim endures to this day.
- In 2016, Kanye dropped “Famous,” in which he called Taylor Swift a “bitch,” and that he made her famous. The video included a nude wax figure of her.
- Naturally, Taylor calls foul. But in comes Kim Kardashian, who was married to Kanye at the time, with “Snapchatgate” — a video of a call implying that Taylor consented to the lyrics and the video.
- It was a rough time for Taylor, who had to turn off her Instagram comments and take a step back from public view for around a year. She came back with a vengeance in 2017’s Reputation.
- But it wasn’t until 2020 that the full version of the phone call was leaked, and we learned that Taylor actually didn’t consent to being called a bitch. She didn’t consent to having her likeness used in a nude wax figure in the video, either.
So, where are Kanye and Kim now?
In a bizarre turn of events in a career already full of controversies, Kanye has since embraced Donald Trump and Trumpism – going from saying, “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people,” to fully wearing a MAGA hat. He’s anti-abortion, anti-welfare, and pro-guns. Oh, and he’s also gone full Nazi.
After a sad presidential campaign in 2020 (in which he missed the ballot access deadline in a majority of states), he says he’s running again in 2024. It’s not clear who’s helping him this time though, as even his old buddy Trump has discouraged him from running (describing him as “decimated in his business and virtually everything else”) and far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos has left his team.
It’s just a mess all around. As for his music, I’m not going to comment on the quality of the actual songs, since we all have our own tastes.
However, you can’t deny that his bestselling album is Graduation, which was released back in 2007. Taylor’s, in contrast, is 2022’s Midnights. He’s sold over 160 million records, and she’s sold over 200 million. Yes, he has twice as many Grammy Awards as she does, but then again, he did have more than a few years’ head start and Taylor has three Album of the Year Awards to his zero.
She’s also in the midst of a record-breaking tour, in which she gets the last laugh about the 2009 VMAs incident.
As for Kim, she still maintains that Taylor was the liar and not her. She does, however, enjoy listening to Taylor’s music.
Every Tongue That Rises Against Taylor Swift Shall Fall… But Why Do They Rise Anyway?
Achieving a certain level of fame always means you’ll get some critics.
Not everyone likes Taylor’s music, and that’s fine. Plus, there are also plenty of valid criticisms against her, like her problematic white feminism and her plane’s carbon emissions.
But then there are the people above, who come for Taylor unprovoked. Though we can’t know for sure what their individual motivations are, I have to say that it smells a lot like misogyny — regular and internalized — and a transparent desire to get a piece of the spotlight.