No, really. You don’t know me, and I don’t really know you. But I’m sorry nonetheless.
I’m sorry that despite the success you have obtained over the years — for your music, songwriting, and who you are as a person — people will still turn you and your relationships into punchlines. How after every headline announcing that you have parted ways with someone you cared about, people will make attempts at being clever and post tweets joking about how your next album is around the corner.
I’m sorry that in this day and age, we still live in a culture where slut-shaming is the norm: where we will listen to a man write/sing songs about their relationships and celebrate it, but hear a woman do the same and turn her into a running joke.
While still buying her music, of course.
I’m sorry that when things like this happen the immediate response, from both your diehard fans and others, is usually an overwhelming, “Can’t wait to hear your new music!” It’s the equivalent of saying “I’m so glad you ended this relationship because I need you to produce more music, and obviously you only put out great music if it’s about a breakup!” I’m sorry that even your well-meaning group of Swifties can sometimes have tunnel vision and only see what could come of this news, rather than taking a step back and seeing the reality:
That you just got out of a relationship and you’re probably hurting an incredible amount right now.
I will be the first to stand up and say it: I love your music. Every album, from your country self titled to the full pop 1989, I have eagerly and unashamedly bought and listened to repeatedly. I’ve cried on the floor listening to “All Too Well” and plotted revenge to “Picture to Burn.” I’ve pined after unrequited crushes to “You Belong with Me” and forgotten the haters, fakers, and heartbreakers to “Shake It Off.” All of your albums have perfectly resonated with me in different phases of my life, and it has helped me more than I could ever express. Your honesty in your music has partially been my inspiration to be as open and honest as I am in my own writing-because women like you do so unashamedly.
Yet I’m sorry that people, myself included, forget that you’re an actual…person.
Breakups, regardless of who ended things with who and the reasons behind it, are devastating. They can leave you broken and vulnerable. So even when someone seemingly can have it all together in front of people, we know that internally they are hurting inside, just like any of us would. We all understand the pain of breaking up by now and if it were ourselves, our best friend, or our sister we would be comforting them and be understanding when they don’t want to talk about it; When they are healing after they’ve been ripped open emotionally. Yet if it’s a celebrity-if it’s Taylor Swift-we use our 140 characters to roast and poke fun or flood the comment sections on social media with how psyched we are to hear the next album now that she has separated from a relationship.
At the end of the day, you’ll heal from this and you’ll do it in whatever way you decide. Maybe you will write songs about it, maybe you won’t. If you do, maybe you’ll decide to keep those to yourself, because you have a right to keep things personal as anyone else does, despite that you’re in the spotlight. Maybe you’ll cope in an entirely different way that you haven’t previously done before, and you know what? That’s okay. As long as you do what you have to do to heal.
At the end of the day, I’m sorry we’ve forgotten that despite everything you’ve accomplished and everything you’re known for, you are a human being just like the rest of us.
I’m sorry we haven’t opened our eyes. Here is hoping that today, we will start.