Taylor Swift is serving the world Ouroboros realness.
ALERT: AS I WAS UPLOADING THIS, TAYLOR HAS ANNOUNCED HER NEW ALBUM, “REPUTATION” OUT NOV. 10 AND THE FIRST SINGLE WILL BE OUT ON FRIDAY. THIS IS CRAZY.
If you DID have friends in middle school and DID NOT take up reading Greek mythology because you were gay, un-athletic and (for some reason) deeply embarrassed to talk to girls, then you might be unaware of the Ouroboros.
Originating in Egyptian mythology before being adapted and adopted into antiquity lore, the Ouroboros is an image of a snake eating its own tail (ourá = “tail,” bóros = “devouring”). It’s meant to symbolize introspection, infinite rebirth, or (in blunter terms) constant cycles of destruction and life.
After deleting all of her social media and unfollowing everyone, Taylor has been releasing one video per day of what appears to be a snake. And today, its head was posted and confirmed that, yes, it is one of those mega-worms, those legless lizards. Allegedly, Taylor is releasing new music (possibly just a single but potentially a whole new album) on Friday and a new music video on Sunday, the day of the VMAs.
Taylor Swift kind of dropped off the radar after a tumultuous 2016. In July, it was claimed that Taylor was a secret songwriter on the Calvin Harris track, “This is What You Came For,” with Rihanna. Harris went to Twitter to allege that Taylor was trying to tear him down because he had previously called her a little “boring.” This was definitely snakey behavior.
Then a few days after, Kim Kardashian West took to Snapchat to clear her husband’s name. Kanye had a song, “Famous,” with the following lines: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ Why? I made that bitch famous.” Earlier in the year, Swift condemned the lyrics as misogynistic and hinted at the 2016 Grammys that Kanye was trying to undercut her fame. All the while, Kanye was claiming that Taylor had approved the lyrics and they had talked about it. Taylor denied this.
So Snapchatgate: in 10-second clips, Kim released the videotape of Kanye and Taylor talking about the lyrics (in particular: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex”). Kanye has personal documentarians whenever he’s in the process of making an album. The clips show Taylor completely agreeing with the lyrics, thanking Kanye for his calling her, and saying that she would support him when the song came out. And while Kim had been defending her husband’s claim, Taylor’s camp released a statement that Kim was, perhaps, confused.
After the Snapchats came out, Taylor released a statement via the Notes app on her iPhone (Alexander Graham Bell would be so proud, and Johannes Gutenberg is shook) saying that she took specific issue with Kanye calling her a “bitch” and asked to be excluded from a narrative that she “never asked to be part of.”
After this, Taylor went Zero-Dark-Thirty and there were a lot of think-pieces about her using the trope of the “angry black man” to paint herself in a more flattering light. I don’t know if Taylor Swift used this racially-tinged trope purposefully, but I think she knew what happens in the mainstream media when a black man is pitted against a white woman.
So Taylor Swift was (in my eyes) rightfully exposed as a snake. WHICH IS FINE. I genuinely don’t find anything wrong with being a little snakey, being a little petty, being a little rude. You’re celebrities, give us something to work with. The problem was that Taylor was a snake in Free Sheeple’s clothing. The problem was the faux innocence when you’re a 27-year-old woman worth millions of dollars. Like, own up.
Be a snake, Taylor. Own it. We would love it. I would love some honesty and some snakiness, like “Yeah, I didn’t campaign against Trump because I didn’t want to jeopardize my money.” Or “I took my music off Spotify because I got a better deal somewhere else.” And “I lied about Kanye because that’s what looked best at the time.”
Taylor Swift creates some of the year’s most energizing and catchy bops. We would relish a snakey little single.
So that brings us back to the Ouroboros situation. With three grainy, glitchy Instagrams, Taylor is bringing her image back to life and it is slithery as hell. She knows what we think of her, she knows that another “Young In Love” album would ring false. So she’s Sheryl Sandberg-style Leaning Into her Slytherin robes.
And so, in conclusion, as the moral of this story, why don’t we call her “Scale-or Swift?” That seems like a better rhyme. But whatever, I don’t make the rules, I just report them.