A trans­formed Tay­lor Swift opens up about old flames and cop­ing with fame

THE SINGER TALKS OLD FLAMES AND COP­ING WITH FAME

OK! (Australia) - - Contents -

Any­one who doubts Tay­lor Swift is in the mid­dle of a rein­ven­tion need look no fur­ther than the first track from her forth­com­ing al­bum Rep­u­ta­tion. ‘I’m sorry, the old Tay­lor can’t come to the phone right now,’ she sings in Look What You Made Me Do. ‘Why? Oh, ’cause she’s dead!’

So who is Tay­lor 2.0? Older and more ma­ture, these days she’s not against the odd racy lyric and is even known to rap – as we saw in her se­cond sin­gle Ready for It?. Step­ping fur­ther out of her com­fort zone, she played a sexy cy­borg in the mu­sic video for Gor­geous.

But there’s still a few Tay­lor trade­marks to be found, with some fans be­liev­ing they’ve found a few cryptic ref­er­ences to her neme­ses – look out, Kanye West and Katy Perry!

The 27-year-old songstress ad­mits she’s had to build a thick skin af­ter more than 10 years in the head­lines. ‘Ugh. I’ve had peo­ple say re­ally hurt­ful things about me,’ she con­fesses, adding, ‘There are a lot of re­ally easy ways to dis­pel ru­mours. If they say you are preg­nant, all you have to do is con­tinue to not be preg­nant and not have a baby.’

A se­cret baby was just one of the ru­mours that cir­cu­lated when Tay­lor stepped away from the spot­light for a year. But the truth is, she was sim­ply tak­ing a well-

de­served break fol­low­ing the world tour for her al­bum 1989 – which has bro­ken nu­mer­ous records and made Tay the only artist to have three al­bums sell one mil­lion copies in a sin­gle week. ‘I de­cided I was go­ing to live my life a lit­tle bit with­out the pres­sure on my­self to cre­ate some­thing,’ she says of her hia­tus.

Along the way, she’s found love (this is Tay­lor af­ter all!), but un­like past high-pro­file re­la­tion­ships, her one-year ro­mance with Bri­tish ac­tor Joe Al­wyn, 26, has been de­cid­edly low-key. Bet­ter yet, it sounds like Joe might be a keeper, ac­cord­ing to Tay’s bestie Ed Sheeran, who con­firms, ‘He’s re­ally nice. Re­ally, re­ally friendly, re­ally good dude.’

Not that Tay’s go­ing to have much time on her hands in the com­ing months. With Rep­u­ta­tion com­ing out on Novem­ber 10 and a new tour to boot, there’s cer­tainly go­ing to be lots more to talk about in the com­ing months. Watch this (blank) space! You are one of the most talked about artists in the world. Is it hard be­ing part of a nar­ra­tive you can’t al­ways con­trol? If you let your anx­i­ety get the bet­ter of you, like ev­ery­body’s wait­ing for you to re­ally mess up, then you’ll be done. A lot of the time I call my mum and talk for a re­ally long time, just to re­mind my­self of all the things that are great.

There have been times when you’ve been forced to re­claim credit for your achieve­ments. Is this a prob­lem you feel women en­counter? I guess what I wanted to call at­ten­tion to in my speech at the Gram­mys was how it’s go­ing to be dif­fi­cult if you’re a woman who wants to achieve some­thing in her life – no mat­ter what.

You’ve also spo­ken about slut-shaming. Did you find dif­fi­cult hard to deal with as a young up-and-com­ing star? You know, I went out on a nor­mal amount of dates in my early twen­ties, and I got ab­so­lutely slaugh­tered for it. And it took a lot of hard work and al­ter­ing my de­ci­sion­mak­ing. I didn’t date for two-and-a-half years. Should I have had to do that? No.

You had a unique way of deal­ing with bul­lies as a kid… When I was bul­lied in school, my mum used to take me to TJ Maxx af­ter school to look at the opal jew­ellery. I thought opals were beau­ti­ful, and some­how it made me feel bet­ter. We never bought them, just looked.

You’re known for your squad of fa­mous pals in­clud­ing Se­lena Gomez and Lena Dun­ham. Who’s the best at giv­ing ad­vice? Gigi [Ha­did] is one of the first peo­ple I go to for ad­vice. She has this in­cred­i­ble abil­ity to see all sides of a sit­u­a­tion and sim­plify it for you.

You’ve also been a brides­maid for two of your child­hood friends [Bri­tany Maack and Abi­gail An­der­son]. Was it weird see­ing peo­ple you’ve grown up with get mar­ried? It’s such a sur­real, emo­tional thing. When you’re a lit­tle kid, you’re rid­ing the same roads to school ev­ery sin­gle day, hun­dreds of times. When you come back, you snap into that strange nos­tal­gia.

For all the head­lines, you’ve man­aged to avoid any real scan­dal. Was that hard? It’s not about try­ing to be per­fect. Not to try and sound like the good witch in The Wizard of Oz, but I want to do good things with what I have. I don’t think my brain could cook up shock­ing things for the sake of [it].

You had a win this year when DJ David Mueller was found guilty of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing you. There seems to be all too many sto­ries of women be­ing vic­timised both in and out of show busi­ness… Misog­yny is in­grained in peo­ple from the time they are born. So to me, fem­i­nism is prob­a­bly the most im­por­tant move­ment that you could em­brace, be­cause it’s just ba­si­cally an­other word for equal­ity.

Would you de­scribe your­self as a com­mit­ted fem­i­nist? When I used to say, ‘Oh, fem­i­nism’s not re­ally on my radar,’ it was be­cause, when I was just seen as a kid, I wasn’t as threat­en­ing. I didn’t see my­self be­ing held back un­til I was a woman.

What do you still want to achieve? I re­ally want an hon­orary doc­tor­ate de­gree be­cause Ed Sheeran has one and I feel like he looks down on me now be­cause I don’t have one! [Laughs]

I went out on a nor­mal amount of dates and got slaugh­tered for it

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