Taylor Swift, what did I make you do?

Raise your hand if personally victimized by Taylor Swift’s new singles

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Dear Taylor, 

Growing up in suburban, middle class America was a struggle, but you helped me through it, and for that, I want to thank you. 

I’ve followed your career since 2006, when I was nine-years-old and right on the precipice of hating life and everyone in it. But then your self-titled first album, a boppy southern playlist of basically the same song 11 times, was released. I was amazed that someone actually understood me. You could almost say I’d found “A Place in this World?” 

Each song taught me something new about life, from exactly how to avenge yourself against a cheater in “Picture to Burn” (see: tell your friends he’s gay) to the use of extended similes in “Cold as You.” While this album obviously contributed to my becoming an English major, and in no way caused my persisting distrust of men, I also credit it with teaching me about self-love, something I value to this day. 

Two years later, your sophomore album “Joe Jonas I Hate You” — I mean “Fearless” was released. When I wasn’t busy listening to “Love Story” on my Walkman, I was in class daydreaming about my crush while picturing myself as the protagonist in the “You Belong with Me” music video. I mean we were basically the same! Except that you were tall, blonde and gorgeous and your Coke-bottle glasses were fake. I couldn’t wait till high school so I could listen to “Fifteen” and find my own token redheaded best friend to take to the Grammy’s. 

Another two years passed, and by this time you were everywhere. I had blossomed into a pudgy tween, and was putting a pound of product in my hair each day to get your bouncy ringlets, only ending up with a crunchy wet head that smelled vaguely of your perfume line, Wonderstruck. “Speak Now” had just come out, and leaving the country scene, you burst into the pop scene with a new sound and world tour. 

This was a turning point in our relationship. I watched you musically confront literally everyone you’d ever interacted with, calling out cheaters, haters and people who were just “mean, and liars, and pathetic, and alone in life (and mean).” And it was awesome. Years later, after a crushing breakup, I would go back to this album and relate each of your songs with how sucky my own life was, and “Dear John” became my mantra. All seven minutes of it. 

By the time your highly underrated fourth album, “Red”, came around another two years later, your hair had gone straight, you’d claimed the red lip as your signature and then faded into the shadows. But when “1989” dropped in 2014, the world shook as you trademarked every other chorus line and — gasp — took your albums off Spotify. Your music wasn’t nearly as relatable, and I could no longer apply it to my own love life with a change of the male name in the title. The noticeable drop in lyrical quality and rise in auto tune also bothered me, a true supporter of the OT — Old Taylor — but I was here for the sick beat, and even supported your Starbucks lovers for an embarrassingly long time. And Taylor, I’ve waited a decade to be in my 20s, finally comfortable with my body, and ready to jam to TS6. 

Which brings me to now. I was on your side through it all — Camilla, Kanye, Katy, Kanye, Calvin, Tom and Kimye. Every time stuff hit the proverbial fan, your army of Swifties and I were armed and ready with electronic words of encouragement. 

So I feel like I deserve to know what exactly I made you do? Because it looks like what you’re doing is sacrificing your career — and Old Taylor, apparently — to make a point. And let me tell you, I did not march around middle school with your face on my pencil case for this to happen. And while I’ve only heard two songs off “Reputation,” it’s not looking good. But, whatever Taylor. You do you. Imma let you finish. 

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