Two nights ago, I was in bed at 11:25pm when Jonathan Cheban’s Instagram so generously encouraged me to watch Kim Kardashian’s Snapstory – a habit I, coincidentally, had recently dropped. You know when you’re watching a video of something terrible, and it takes you a solid four seconds to realize what you’re watching, and then you freak out? Well, that was me in my un-air conditioned apartment, sweating for reasons more than one.
As “jack,” someone with a cool Tumblr, has put it, this is “the wildest pop culture beef this decade… (and it all happened in the space of a few hours !).” Kim released the videos; Taylor made an Instagram statement; Selena tried to get involved, and epically failed; Katy Perry giggled from the sidelines; Chloe Grace Moretz, in an awfully public attempt to earn her spot in the #squad, takes Taylor’s side; and Justin Bieber, who is really fucking stoned I think, tries to put peace back into the world.
There are certain “facts” that draw us to justifiable conclusions like “let’s all hate Taylor Swift”: In Taylor’s Instagram statement this morning, she claimed her issue was that Kanye never made it clear she would be referred to as a “bitch; yet in her Grammy speech, she explicitly stated she was upset by the fact that someone else took responsibility for her fame. Further: Taylor called this “character assassination,” which raises questions of whether we have, or curate, characters for that we must maintain. And what about the fact that Taylor has racked up an extra few million for all the times we listened to “Dear John” on repeat, ceaselessly hoping to discover new evidence that the song was, in fact, about John Mayer? She assassinated many characters. You might know some of them. Harry Styles, Jake Gyllenhaal, Taylor Lautner (#tbt).
Emily Nussbaum said it brilliantly on Twitter: “She didn’t explain what actually happened & her speech feels very different now.”
The closest thing we’ve ever seen to this is the last third of Mean Girls, where Cady Heron tells Janice Ian for the millionth time that Regina George, sans hair, would look like a British man. Then, lover boy Aaron Samuels turns on her and she’s basically uninvited to the spring fling. For some reason, I am consistently and oddly satisfied with the new tornado that becomes Cady’s life, over and over again.
Taylor Swift is Cady Heron, and Kanye West is Regina George in a back brace.
I have never met Taylor Swift, and I have no reason to feel threatened by her. I think it’s safe to say we will never date. Furthermore, though I am neither tall, beautiful, nor famous enough to be in her #squad, I am potentially white and average enough to have been the “red-headed Abigail” she croons about in “Fifteen.” If anything, young white women like me are the closest thing Taylor might ever have to an ally.
But I hate her. And maybe I hate her because she is wrong, and maybe that is enough. The thing, though, is that because of social media, we will never know if she isactually wrong. At this point, there are probably more conspiracy theories involving Taylor Swift than there are regarding JFK or, like, the Illuminati. We will never know what real conversations Taylor and Kim and Kanye are having – unless Kim Snapstories them, of course. We will never know what bombs are carefully planned and scheduled to drop and which ones arrive in Taylor Swift’s inbox just as shockingly as they do in ours.
It scares me that we don’t know the motive or the end goal; that we don’t really know or understand what Taylor wants from us. We’re all dying to uncover the truths of Taylor Swift more than we are the truths of the military coup in Turkey, and isn’t that kind of crazy?
The ripple effects of this event are multifold; it is the beginning of the end of Taylor Swift. Maybe it isn’t quite Taylor’s Sinéad O’Conor pope-ripping moment, but it’s the closest she’s come. It’s sensory overload. It’s Kim Kardashian, who is famous for being a person, affecting the way I view her often-misogynistic musical genius of a husband in a relatively good way. It’s holding all celebrities more accountable for speaking out – Selena Gomez, over Twitter, encouraged the media to focus on more important things, when neither she nor Swift are yet to comment about the horrific murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
So, as a feminist, as a die-hard Kanye fan, as someone who knows how to play a handful of Taylor Swift songs on acoustic guitar, and as someone very much glued to the holy trinity of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, what am I supposed to think? I think I hate hating Taylor Swift, because I wish I didn’t care at all.
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are not only an entity: they are a superpower. They are the inspiration behind “Bound 2,” they are the parents of a cardinal direction (making Kim nothing other than Mother Nature). I would venture so far as to say that they are the voice of our generation, but neither of them are “hipster” or “offbeat” enough. Neither of them exploit their naked breasts and bodies for the sake of art enough to be that voice, either. Oh, wait. Just kidding, Kimmy.
Kanye West pursued Kim Kardashian after Kris Jenner decided that Kanye was the ideal “one”: he is the non-relative whose name starts with a K that grosses the most annual revenue. And we all know that Kim likes her men dark and handsome.
Some people are anti-Kanye because they don’t like his attitude and they think he’s out of his mind. It’s definitely valid to debate whether he actually is as psychotic as he makes himself seem or if it’s all an act; a split persona, if you will. Regardless, I don’t really care. I think that it’s genius. He’s the most ridiculous person I know (using the term “know” very lightly) and you’ve just gotta learn how to LOLZ along with him. I don’t know whether I really love Kim or not, as Khloe is everybody’s fav Kardashian (she gets the big beautiful woman points, if ya know what I mean), but I stalk her enough to be her BFF. Once, I saw Jonathan Cheban in East Hampton. It was the richest I’ve ever felt.
Kimye made news headlines this week for the greatest marriage proposal of all time. I was so pleasantly surprised to learn that for once, Kanye did something that wasn’t even remotely about him. For those of you that are unaware: he got the whole Kardashian Klan (what khaos that must have been) into the stadium where the San Fran Giants play. Then, brought Kim out to a screen that read “PLEEEASE MARRY MEEE!!!” Clearly, Kanye is unaware that we all stopped typing like that when AIM went out of style in the seventh grade. Anyway, he gave her a rock the size of my face. And to top it all off, he had a full-blown orchestra playing Lana del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful,” the theme song to my life. If you haven’t listened to the orchestra version of the Gatsby theme yet, then go do it now. It makes you feel like you’re being whisked away in a whirlwind with a bunch of leaves and flowers and some glowing light at the climax of a romantic film set in London.
Kanye, ya done well. Snaps for you.