Here’s the deal–the haters are gonna hate hate hate hate hate, but Taylor’s just gonna shake shake shake shake shake it all off, because this is her life and she grows and changes just like we all do.
No one likes to look back at old photos of themselves with the blue lipstick and black liner or the awful bangs and the green braces (Why would anyone ever think that was a good idea?), and they’re certainly not going to hold themselves to the person they said they were ten years ago. Just because her phases and self-branding have been extremely public since she was a teenager, doesn’t mean that Taylor has to stay the musician she was when her self-titled album debuted (This is what I’m telling myself as I use deep breathing techniques).
So while I don’t love her new single, I’m not a hater. I love the way she tells stories through her lyrics. I love her old music. Fearless will forever be one of my favorite albums. And I’m curious who made Taylor do what, because it seems to me she’s changing her image all by her big girl self (plus or minus one heck of a PR team).
On another note, I don’t pretend to know her life and what she really means by the title of her new single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” (Kim, Kanye, Katy, or Calvin–does it really matter?) but I do know that regardless, taking responsibility is crucial to succeeding in life–vocationally, relationally–all the ‘-ally’s.
Growing up, I’ve heard my seven and twelve year-old siblings say these exact words, “Look what you made me do.” And my parents and I have always taught them that no one MADE them do anything, but that ultimately, they are responsible for their own actions, and that while we may do or say things in response to other people’s infuriating actions, all of OUR actions are in fact, our own. A person reaps what he or she sows–we bear the responsibility of our words and actions–or as Tay puts it–karma.
I long ago stopped paying much attention to Taylor’s personal life and do not intend to judge her where I have no right to judge. Instead, here’s a friendly reminder to take responsibility for your life and your actions, to be gracious in your social media presence, and to focus on the music that makes you happy (whether or not the artist of said favorite music is trying to break up with you by saying that the old her is dead).
A verse for the road:
“Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. Be very sure now, you who have been trained to a self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous common life with those who have trained you, sharing all the good things that you have and experience. Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others – ignoring God! – harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit.” –Galatians 6:5-9 (MSG)