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INSIDE TAYLOR’S ‘AWOKENING’
OVER THE LAST two years, Taylor Swift has been branded everything from a white supremacist to a faux feminist, a snake and the designated face of the alt-right. (It was also, apparently, her fault that Trump got into office: she has never denied that she voted for him.)
Amid it all, the singer has remained steadfastly quiet about her politics. Some have theorised that she doesn’t want to alienate her loyal country fanbase, many of whom may have voted for Trump. Others
believe Taylor doesn’t want to tarnish her pop persona by speaking out, and some fear she really is just a white supremacist. But her silence has finally been broken.
Writing on Instagram in support of last week’s March For Our Lives protest for gun control, Taylor said, ‘No one should have to go to school in fear of gun violence. Or to a nightclub. Or to a concert. Or to a movie theatre. Or to their place of worship. I’ve made a donation to show my support for the students, for the March for Our Lives campaign, for everyone affected by the tragedies, and to support gun reform.
‘I’m so moved by the Parkland High School students, faculty, and by all families and friends of victims who have spoken out, trying to prevent this from happening again.’
Cue hundreds of tweets about Taylor’s ‘awokening’, as well as headlines praising her for finally ‘taking a stand’ on a political issue. But according to one insider, this is only the beginning.
‘ Taylor is well aware that she’s been criticised in the past for not being vocal enough about political issues,’ said the source. ‘She has always wanted her music to be more personal than political, and coming from a country music background, it was drummed into her from the outset to steer clear of making any controversial statements.
‘But March For Our Lives was something she felt she couldn’t not get behind. It’s small steps, but it’s the sign of a significant change from her brand and she’s making changes to the way she goes about her career from now on.’
Last week, word reached Grazia that Taylor had also laid down her own rules for her upcoming Reputation tour, including that men and women must be paid equally, and has sought out more women to work with. Earlier this month, Taylor announced that Charli XCX and Camilla Cabello will be the opening acts for every night of her Reputation tour, which starts in May.
‘As well as lending her voice to the #Metoo movement last year, Taylor has decided to really focus on gender pay disparity when it comes to her world tour,’ said a second source. ‘She wants to ensure that female employees are paid the same as men and has been championing and encouraging more women to join the tour.’
The move comes after Taylor was hailed as a ‘Silence Breaker’ by Time magazine last year, who had ‘inspired women to speak out about harassment’. Last August, the singer sued radio DJ David Mueller, who groped her, for a symbolic $1. She won and later said, ‘I figured that if he would be brazen enough to assault me… imagine what he might do to a vulnerable, young artist if given the chance.’
The source continued, ‘People slammed her Reputation album for being so apolitical, but she made references to her court case in the video for Look What You Made Me Do and called out a lot of the misogyny she’s experienced. It might seem small, but to Taylor this was a lot bigger.’
According to the first insider, ‘Deleting all of her social media before she released Reputation was all about moving forward as an artist and letting go of some of the things she used to worry about. She’s less nervous about alienating some of her old, country fan base now for speaking up about the things she believes in.
‘It’ll be hard for people to be convinced, but there will be more to come. This is just the beginning of Taylor’s new brand.’
SHE’S BEEN CRITICISED FOR NOT BEING VOCAL ABOUT POLITICAL ISSUES
Above: Taylor’s public support for the March For Our Lives campaign