No news here: Kanye West hijacked Taylor Switft’s acceptance of her award at the MTV Video Music Awards last weekend and proclaimed Beyonce’ the true winner.
As I watched the clip on the Internets, I focused – as I am sure most everybody else did, as well – on Taylor Swift’s stricken face. She was nakedly hurt and shocked and vulnerable and it was all there for anyone to see.
Here’s what infuriates me. Taylor Swift is 19. Say what you will about her music (and, in all honestly, I’m not really a fan), but at a very (very!) young age she’s reached a level of success most of us will never see in our lifetime.
But in that moment – perpetuated over and over again by the media – it was snatched away from her. Instead of being the representation of successful and powerful budding womanhood, she was relegated to a role as the latest in a series of media-manufactured female “victims” for America to feel sorry for. Move over, Kate Gosselin. Breathe a sigh of relief, Serena Williams, because the harsh glare of the media spotlight is off you just in time. It’s Taylor’s turn.
Just to be clear, I don’t blame the media and instead put the responsibility squarely where it belongs: On the man succinctly labeled a “jackass” by our Prez. But what made this story so compelling? Why are we so comfortable – so willing to embrace – victim stories? Because truth is, even though America loved Taylor as a star, we love her even more as a victim.
And that pisses me off.
Taylor Swift, keep going and achieving and making people remember why they voted for you in the first place. There are always pigs out there who will put you down for being blonde and pretty and successful and talented. For being a woman of achievement. (Oh, yeah, for reading romance novels, too.) Take it back, Taylor.