Does Taylor Swift Bully Her Exes With Her Songs?
Taylor Swift definitely knows how to write songs that connect with listeners. In her early days, it was her sweet innocence and fairy-tale lyrics that won us over with tracks like “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me.” Then, she got into the Hollywood dating scene and all of that began to change. Suddenly, she was passive-aggressively taking aim at the men who she felt wronged her in some way.
One of the earliest examples is her song “Forever and Always” which was from her album, Fearless. It was pretty obvious that it was about Disney star, Joe Jonas, with whom she had recently broken up. Among the snarky lyrics is: "Was I out of line? / Did I say something way too honest? / That made you run and hide like a scared little boy?"
Isn’t that something that a bully would say? If it was a male artist calling his ex-girlfriend “a pathetic little girl” wouldn’t we all be a little more outraged?
Next there was “Back to December” from her Speak Now album which was meant to be an apology to Taylor Lautner who, she says, was “perfect” to her in their relationship even though she was “really careless” with him. Lyrics include: “This is me swallowing my pride / Standing in front of you saying I'm sorry for that night / And I go back to December all the time / It turns out freedom ain't nothing but missing you / Wishing I'd realized what I had when you were mine / I go back to December, turn around and make it all right.”
At least that time she was admitting that she had been the guilty party but what if Lautner didn’t want his personal business out there? What if he didn’t want people feeling pity for him every time they heard this song? Is it right that he doesn’t have a choice in the matter?
Then, of course, there was the more controversial “Dear John” song (which was also from Speak Now) which included the words: “Dear John, I see it all, now it was wrong / Don’t you think 19 is too young to be played by your dark twisted games, when I loved you so?”
Naturally, everyone, including John Mayer, assumed that the track was about him, a much older man who was rumored to have had some sort of romantic relationship with Swift. Mayer recently said that the song made him “feel terrible because [he] didn’t deserve it.” He added: “I’m pretty good at taking accountability now, and I never did anything to deserve that. It was a really lousy thing for her to do.” The singer also explains that he was caught off guard and “humiliated” because he was already in a low place and had never even received an email or a phone call from Swift explaining how she was feeling.
He seemed to sum up the situation by adding: “I will say as a songwriter that I think it’s kind of cheap songwriting. I know she’s the biggest thing in the world, and I’m not trying to sink anybody’s ship, but I think it’s abusing your talent to rub your hands together and go, ‘Wait till he gets a load of this!’ That’s bull—-.”
In response to that, Swift was very recently asked about the situation. The interviewer mentioned that Mayer assumed that the song was about him to which the young country star replied: "How presumptuous! I never disclose who my songs are about." Well… the song is called “Dear John” so it’s not that far-fetched, is it?
That’s where the interview, which was with ABC’s Cynthia McFadden, took an interesting turn. McFadden, speaking for Mayer, began with: "He said he felt …" Swift wouldn’t even let the woman finish and interrupted by saying: "No! I don't want to know, I don't want to know. I know it wasn't good, so I don't want to know. I put a high priority on staying happy, and I know what I can't handle."
Being a responsible reporter, McFadden asked if hearing his words would be too much for the young artist to hear. Her response? "It's not that I'm this egomaniac and I don't want to hear anything negative, because I do keep myself in check. But I've never developed that thick a skin. So I just kind of live a life, and I let all the gossip live somewhere else.”
What if John Mayer or Joe Jonas or Taylor Lautner have also never developed that “thick skin” she spoke about? What if they don’t want to be gossiped about in a song that the entire world knows the words to?
It hasn’t stopped, though. Her latest hit, “We Are Never Getting Back Together” is said to be about Jake Gyllenhaal. The song basically makes the ex-boyfriend sound like a game-playing, manipulative stalker and, again, you’ve got to wonder if any of this is fair.
Is it right to write about the demise of a relationship with another famous person in such an obvious way? Aren’t celebrities already too deprived of privacy? Isn’t it a bit like bullying to have us all laughing about what a jerk so-and-so was to sweet little Taylor Swift? Does John Mayer have it right? Is this an abuse of her talent and fame?