Grazia (UK) - - 10 Hot Stories -

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.’



Above: Tay­lor’s pub­lic sup­port for the March For Our Lives cam­paign

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