Swoki: the pretence of legitimate romance

Twitter was made for these moments. When Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston happened yesterday, it was Twitter, not Instagram, not Snapchat, that gave life to a romance that just started breathing. It was Twitter that pointed out that we really do have Anna Wintour to thank for this wonderful thing:


I thanked Anna last month, after the MET Gala, after a nascent Swoki fontrummed the sh-t out of that dance floor. Because as I wrote then, how did we not realise until now that they are the celebrity mirrors of each other? She knows all the words to every song and sings along. He knows all the accents and imitations and drops a monologue on request. They’re equally eager. They’re equally earnest. And they both take “dance like no one’s watching” to a new level.

Or kiss on the rocks and play on the beach like no one’s watching. Maybe she told him:

I know places we won't be found
And they'll be chasing their tails tryin' to track us down
Cause I, I know places we can hide

Indeed she does. Taylor Swift can move stealthily when she wants to. So what does it mean when we know where she is? You think paps hang out in Rhode Island, waiting patiently for a pull on their fishing rods? Oh come on. These pictures? These are not low quality pictures. You’ve seen low quality, mega zoomed, a mile away pap shows. This is not that.


Whoever took these pictures wasn’t all that far away. You see the definition in those rocks in the water just beyond them? If we were dealing with a pap situation from a great distance, those would be way more blown out. And the fact that the waves are slightly out of focus while the couple is so sharply framed? Way harder to make that distinction when you’re 300 yards away working with a telescopic lens. But whatever. We don’t need to science the sh-t out of these shots. If you’re not a Taylor ulti-stan, I know you know reason. The reasoning is that she has bodyguards. And somehow someone was allowed to situate themselves close enough to Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston – but not too close – to give us this amazingness: Swoki.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not real. It doesn’t mean that these two aren’t into each other. All it means is that they’re ready to tell you that they’re into each other. That they want the conversation to be that they’re into each other. Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds set up pap shots in a small town in Utah at a bed and breakfast, didn’t mean their relationship was fake. Just meant that we were meant to see them.

Both of them?

Taylor is playing the sh-t out of this game. But is Tom playing along with her? She gets to punk off Calvin Adam and show you how quickly she can trade in his four names with a Marvel upgrade. And what does he get?

He gets this headline on PEOPLE today:

SO good, right? Let me know when you’re done laughing.

This speaks directly to Sarah’s point about the Cumberbatches and the Hiddlestons of the world: they’re internet famous. Which is not the same as real famous-famous. Hiddleston fans might feel like he’s already famous-famous because they’ve bubbled themselves in a world where they’re surrounded by same-voices, but outside of that cocoon, a lot of people were like, “oh yeah that guy who played Loki” yesterday when these pictures came out.

How, then, does Tom Hiddleston deal with being listicled now that he’s one half of Swoki? Does he embrace it and start reading her lyrics in his Shakespeare voice? Or will he be more like Jake Gyllenhaal, get spooked and, weakly, cut and run?

Oh I think Loki loves having his moments, don’t you?

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