Taylor Swift is a snake eating its own tail

Written by Phoebe Loomes on 11th May, 2018
Taylor Swift is a snake eating its own tail

For Taylor Swift, the snake, life isn’t easy. She used the first night of her tour to talk about how hard her life is again.


Taylor Swift used the opening night of her tour to rehash some of the bad things that have happened to her.

A couple of years ago, someone called me a snake on social media and it caught on. And then a lot of people called me a lot of things on social media. And I went through some really low times for a while because of it. I went through some times when I didn’t know if I was gonna get to do this anymore.

And I guess the snakes, I wanted to send a message to you guys that if someone uses name-calling to bully you on social media and even if a lot of people jump on board with it, that doesn’t have to defeat you. It can strengthen you instead.

Ouroboros

A SNAKE EATING ITS OWN TAIL


Have your heard of the myth of the Ouroboros? It’s a mythical and magical image of a snake eating its own tail. The image, initially fearsome, represents many things, many of them relevant to what it is to be a creative being. The constant cycle of construction, creation, destruction and rebirth. But it also represents the eternal, self-consuming cycle of narcissistic introspection that it is to be a creative. Taylor Swift is a snake, endlessly eating her own tail. Or tale.


It goes like this: ‘This happened to me. This happened to me. This happened to me.’ Its repetitive, like a mantra. Every time Taylor speaks from the heart she is so unwaveringly on message. ‘I am a victim and everybody who crosses me is evil.’ Dissident feminist Camille Paglia has labelled her girl-posse mentality as out of step with contemporary female independence and instead promoted a “silly, regressive public image”.

Girl-posse

‘NAZI BARBIE’


Paglia also called her a ‘Nazi Barbie routine of wheeling out friends and celebrities as performance props.’ These are her words, not mine. But one thing I do know about nazis is that they love propaganda.

On and on she goes, in circles, part snake, part parrot, entirely false and tired, eating her own tail. Under her fringe she seethes with reptilian rage and resentment. I have known people sad about their circumstance, trauma victims – often strange in their mannerisms. Speaking weirdly, out of turn, too loudly. They sometimes have a lot of nervous energy. Trauma victims do not look like this. They never strike you as being snake-y.

TAYLOR SWIFT IS COMMODIFYING TRAUMA


The trauma narrative is in it’s Golden Age. And I am not one to criticise. I rebirthed my writing career some years ago by writing about trauma. I cycled off this narrative myself for many years. Victimhood is the perfect selling point for white creative females. Our traumas are real, but relatable and marketable. ‘I was sexually assaulted,’ (I am downgrading the severity of the incident here, for brevity) was mine. Sexual assault is something that happens to one in five women, maybe. Maybe a lot more is something I would posit, but I digress. I found writing about it to be this: an emancipation. I would imagine talking about being bullied to be a somewhat similar experience.

I suppose if I was a pop star, I would have written songs about it. Maybe I would have spoken to the press. I am a writer, so I wrote about it. And wrote about it. And wrote about it. And wrote about it moreThere was a whole chapter about me in a book. I did some TV stuff. It went on and on. I truly became an expert on trauma, my own and others. This thing Taylor speaks of, ‘It can make you stronger’? That is a real thing.

A large study from 2014 found that exposure to traumatic events (death, divorce, rape) beyond the acute suffering period experienced an ‘elevated capacity’ for enjoying life’ and a more ‘transient focus on current traumas’.

CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE


Taylor Bathing

I have no doubt that being publicly dragged by some other famous people is, ya know, traumatic. But also, no. I am sick of writing, ‘Check your privilege,’ to other white women because it is a ridiculous thing for me to do as a white woman. But my god.

In the same week that Childish Gambino released ‘This is America,’ women and girls are force fed a news feed of high-school-psychodrama-ouroboros-human-centipede why-won’t-this shit-just-die-already?

IS AN OUROBOROS A ROLE MODEL?


The trauma narrative is tied with survival and rebirth, and while Taylor talks the talk, her endless dragging and rehashing of every fight with every enemy is in direct inverse proportion to the upwards path of a person moving forward.

One thing I learned from traumatic experiences is the value of compassion. Suffering deeply is so difficult at the time, but it imbues in you a sense of understanding for other people that becomes a gift. Before I went through difficult times, I was selfish and unfocused. I struggled to engage with others, I was frustrated by people who didn’t service me. It sounds bad but it’s a pretty common way of being; it’s millennial.

Taylor Swift has for sure encountered people that have not served her. Kanye, John Mayer, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Demi Lovato, Lorde, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Calvin Harris, Ed Droste (from Grizzly Bear). Its okay. Its millennial. But also that list is kind of, ahem, psycho.

REPTILES DON’T HAVE LOVE


Taylor Swift's Fringe

Kim Kardashian did call Taylor Swift a snake, yes. It’s not ideal if you are Taylor Swift. But let’s be real. Kim Kardashian did not put cigarette butts out on Taylor Swift’s arm, or steal jewellery from her. She did not cut her hair while she was sleeping. Kim Kardashian did not rob Taylor Swift at gunpoint.

Remember how Kim Kardashian, who, yes, called you a snake, was that same year violently robbed at gunpoint? That her wrists were zipped tied and she was gagged, the attackers held a gun to her head, screamed at her in another language, intimidated her; that she was in tears, that she was certain she was going to be raped?

I wonder so very much where the space for Taylor’s love and compassion is when it’s not on brand? I wonder if the snake could take its tail out of it’s mouth for one moment when one of her feuding partners had a gun to her head?

And I guess the snakes, I wanted to send a message to you guys that if someone uses name-calling to bully you on social media and even if a lot of people jump on board with it, that doesn’t have to defeat you. It can strengthen you instead.

Mmm. Delicious Tail.

The article was originally published on Brag Magazine

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