According to most of my cool kid friends it’s not OK to admit that you appreciate the musical genius of Taylor Swift. So, basically I am committing social suicide by admitting that Taylor Swift’s 1989 album was what got me through an epic break-up, where I spent days driving around Cape Town with tears streaming down my face while blasting ‘Shake it Off’ on a rude boy sound system. At some point, I felt that every single song on that album was written about my life (a lot of the tracks are about girls who wear pretty dresses and fall in love with bad boys).
But I am not here to convince you to go buy her music. Taylor Swift doesn’t really need any more fans. She is probably more successful than those more socially acceptable artists anyway. I do however wish people would stop hating on her so much and be grateful that she (like yours truly in these blog posts) uses her real life experiences to enhance the quality of her songs. Love her or hate her, she really is putting herself out there to do a service to humanity by letting all those brokenhearted teenage girls and 20-somethings (I’m not quite 30 yet;)) know that they are not alone in their tumultuous journey in search of true love.
Anyway the real reason I am blogging about Taylor Swift is I think her case provides a good insight into the dangers of dating an artist who’ll prioritise their craft over a fleeting ‘love’ affair. Taylor has become famous for using her experiences with past boyfriends as inspiration for her music (The John in ‘Dear John’ is said to be about John Mayer and ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back’ together was supposedly about Jake Gyllenhaal). It’s even rumoured that her latest beau Calvin Harris has made her sign some non-disclosure agreement stating that she won’t refer to their relationship in a future song.
Haters may hate on this approach as immature (even on the verge of sinking (relation) ship type behaviour) but I believe that there really is some credibility that comes with drawing on personal experiences in your work. From the outset, when my esteemed colleague #zlotybaby and I started this blog we made it clear that we would be sharing real-life dating stories (without explicitly revealing the identities of the men/boys we’d dated). Furthermore I’ve never hidden the fact this blog exists from any of my Tinder boys (it’s part of a clever marketing strategy to get more followers). Yet on more than one occasion I’ve faced a backlash from these poor rejected souls, with the most recent saying (and I quote): ‘you are ugly, presumptuous and no one will EVER marry you’. Cheers dude, you just gave me more excellent blog matter. Love it.
To conclude, there are risks when it comes to dating any sort of artist. The way in which an ‘artist’ expresses themselves might be the very thing that draws you to them in the first place but you need to understand that you may simply end up as part of their story. If you want to date safe, go find yourself a doctor (although they may have access to some drugs that could be used to kill you) or a rocket scientist (might blow you up or something). Appreciate an artist’s honesty, understand love is a dangerous game and that there are risks associated with everything/everyone we do. And if you find that you provide some inspiration for a song/blog post be happy and use it to boost your fragile ego instead of crying like a mama’s boy.
Over to you now Rinsers… Give us your thoughts on the Taylor Swift approach. Is it unethical to share one’s personal experiences of love/dating in the public domain? Or is it fine as long as you are open with the other party from the get go? Answers in the comments below.