We’re totally guilty of giving Taylor Swift a hard time on occasion. She makes a lot of money by opening her overwrought romantic anguish up for public criticism, so we figure that the occasional laugh at her expense is merited. In her songs, the woman portrays her love live like it’s a terrible season of a CW teen drama (only, to be fair, Taylor’s life has better writers), and that’s our specialty, naturally.
But maybe it’s time to give her a break.
We expect the Tumblr crowd — who we imagine to be mostly 13-year-old girls on their smartphones during geometry class and 40-somethings who still live with their parents — to hate on Taylor. After all, she’s stolen all their men! If it weren’t for Taylor, Harry Styles would definitely be popping into their 8th-grade classrooms and/or messaging them on ChristianMingle.com to sweep them off their feet or whatever.
We get it.
But when Conan O’Brien made fun of Taylor on his show recently, we suddenly grew defensive of her. Maybe it’s because he’s a grown man and she’s the emotional equivalent of a 12-year-old who has seen too many episodes of “Party of Five.” Maybe it’s because she’s been very classy since breaking up with Harry on a Caribbean vacation. Maybe it’s because she once dated John Mayer and we think that’s punishment enough for a lifetime.
Or maybe it’s because for all its meanness, Conan’s sketch just wasn’t even funny. Conan did a play on the (extremely tired) Taylor-writes-breakup-songs joke. For the record, the joke is tired because everyone on Twitter has already made it, weeks ago, and it’s also tired because she’s laughing all the way to the bank. Conan is a professional comedian. He can do better.
Here’s the thing — Taylor is (just barely) 23 years old. Of course she’s going to have boyfriends. Of course they’re not going to last. Why does the general public act as though she should have settled down with one guy by now? She’s a 23-year-old woman who hasn’t found her soul mate yet. God forbid.
Plus, she hasn’t dated that many guys. In her adult life, she’s dated Taylor Lautner, Jake Gyllenhaal, John Mayer, Conor Kennedy, and Harry Styles. She very briefly saw Cory Monteith, and of course there was Joe Jonas, but that was the celebrity equivalent of a high school crush, so we can’t fault her for that one. Other rumored boyfriends, like Patrick Schwarzenegger and Zac Efron, were just that. Rumors.
“Has she ever stopped to think that maybe she’s the problem?” cries every single person on Twitter, thinking they’re having an original thought. We’ll set aside the fact that yes, she has considered that — most of her break-up songs do include verses where she admits to having obsessive tendencies, or asking too much, or even being “psycho.”
But dating a lot of people (and we’re using the term “a lot” relative to, say, your average person perusing Match.com profiles in her cubicle during her lunch break) before you find your epic life partner is not actually a problem.
If you’re going to hate Taylor, there are plenty of reasons to do it. Hate her I’m-so-shocked-I-won-this-award face! Hate her for sounding more like Avril Lavigne every day! Hate her because you’re super jealous and you’d rather hate her than hate yourself!
But don’t hate her because she’s had six boyfriends (none of whom were married, criminals, or Tony Romo). That’s just lazy. And, like Conan O’Brien, you can do better.
P.S. This week, Taylor reached out to a fan with brain cancer, picked her up on her tour bus, and took her to lunch in Nashville, TN. She also donated 2,000 books to a hospital library in Reading, PA. What have you done with your free time and extra cash in the last seven days?