Taylor’s burn book

Lainey Posted by Lainey at July 21, 2016 15:10:49 July 21, 2016 15:10:49

Before we get to that, let’s talk about this mural. An artist called Lushsux created a mural in Melbourne. In loving memory of…

Taylor Smith.

Also – No Tags, Please Respect The Dead.

It’s SO mean. And, yeah, it’s funny because we are all f-cking assholes. Taylor’s lawyers are on it though:

From a non-superstitious point of view, it’s kinda like…Taylor, let it go. This will pass. From a superstitious point of view though, and I am very, very superstitious, I see why she wants it gone. This is creepy. This is bad luck. An omen. Why would anyone want something like that to exist? You don’t know the darkness that that kind of image can invite. I have an old, old photo of my house that my friend Lorella found for me in the city archives. My house was built at least 90 years ago. We have that picture in a 4x6 frame on one of our walls. I wanted to blow it up to be bigger on a different wall and my mother nearly threw herself out the door, threatening that she would never come to see me again if I did that. Because the bigger the likeness, the more likely the spirits of those who used to live there would get confused and want to come back. Isn’t that terrifying???

Anyway, whatever. The mural has been defaced now. And we have other sh-t to get to. Like…what next?

Taylor’s been deep underground since Gossip Christmas happened. Amazing how good she is at concealing herself when she wants to, non? So. You know. When you look back at those shots of her with Tom Hiddleston kissing on those rocks on a beach in Rhode Island, put that into perspective, Jennifer Aniston.


In the days since Mrs West released the receipts, some people have defended Taylor Swift. But many in the media have analysed her a lot more thoroughly, examining her calculated approach to her image and the control she’s wielded over her brand. It reminds me of an article I read and linked to a few months ago that has even more relevance now.

Eve Barlow is a music critic who went to a Taylor Swift show a few years ago and enjoyed it so much she joy-tweeted her feels to her followers. Those tweets made it to Taylor who screencapped them and decided to invite Eve to come see her before she officially kicked off the1989 Tour. Eve ended up posting a review of Taylor’s performance at the Rock in Rio festival in Vegas. Eve found it underwhelming and wrote as much. She was then immediately iced out of Taylor’s approved media circle. And, further, the people around her were actually worried about her and how she might affect their own relationships with Taylor.

Eve shared this story in The Sunday Times in February. Her personal experience illuminated how the media – at that time – was behaving towards Taylor. Taylor – at that time – was so powerful that no one wanted to risk being shut out, no one wanted to risk access. No one wanted to bear the consequence that Eve was living. You can read the full text of her piece here.

This, obviously, is no different from how most celebrities behave. I’ve written many times about the junket experience. How you are warned what you can and can’t ask. How you are threatened with credentials revoked if you violate the instructions. How amazing it is when the same celebrities then turn around and crusade for free speech. But Taylor Swift is a superstar. Take all that and magnify to the highest degree of dictatorial control. That was then. 


This week more and more entertainment outlets have been given a pass to write less enthusiastically about Taylor Swift. So many, in fact, that if she’s keeping a list – OF COURSE SHE’S KEEPING A LIST, like a burn book – and it’s probably pretty long. How will that look when it’s time for her to release new music? How will those people be punished? Will they be punished?

It depends on whether or not she decides to dig in and desperately continue with the image she’s crafted or pivot into a new stage of her career, using this scandal to break down the small wholesome box that can no longer contain her and shapeshift into something else. Either way, I wonder if what’s next starts with an exclusive essay published in Lenny about this “ordeal”. Maybe she’ll try to recreate the Jennifer Lawrence Lenny moment from last year.


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