Taylor Swift- “Picture to Burn”
In one of Swift’s past works, she sings about an ex-boyfriend who according to the music video is now going out with someone else. Within her lyrics, she describes how she is planning her revenge. I argue that Swift is creating a female revenge fantasy in which she doesn’t wish to fight him physically as a man typically would, but she wants to burn his pictures and have her family and friends dislike him.
The Female Revenge
Swift is clearly upset with the break up in her lyrics, but by the end, her sadness turns in anger as she states, “you’re just another picture to burn.” While men want to get into actual fistfights, Swift says she wants to burn his pictures, convince her friends he is gay, and make him regret everything. She says, “There’s no time for tears, I’m just sitting here planning my revenge.” In her song, she has created a form of revenge known by many other country stars, such as when Carrie Underwood describes how she destroys her boyfriend’s car in her song “Before He Cheats.” Females plan out their revenge and most of the time it doesn’t involve physical harm, but as in Swift’s song, the revenge involves matches and rumors causing the guy to feel more humiliated than anything else. Now who know whether Swift actually did any of the actions, but that is the fantasy of her song. She is planning and dreaming of everything she would do to the guy.
Taylor Swift- New Romantics
In her latest song “New Romantics,” Taylor Swift has created a national anthem for our generation’s relationship woes. It is known that Swift has had a few problems with relationships in the past herself, but in “New Romantics,” she takes the approach of criticizing our idea of a relationship. I argue that Swift is using a form of irony to poke fun at the new idea of romance.
The Scarlet Letter
In a line of Swift’s song, she refers to people wearing scarlet letters and declares, “mine is better.” A scarlet letter, however, is “a scarlet A worn as a punitive mark of adultery,” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. The letter made famous by the book The Scarlet Letter is not considered an item to be proud of. Instead, one was warn with shame and punishment for the person’s adulterous ways. Taylor Swift is taking this idea and turning it into something good by saying that we all wear one and hers is better. She is poking fun at the idea of adopting the hook-up culture and not pursuing serious relationship. She adds to this idea of poking fun by saying “Heart break is the national anthem We sing it proudly.” Heartbreak is not something that people are proud of. It also alludes to the idea that we embrace heartbreak as a nation; however, we shouldn’t accept a nation where heartbreak and a scarlet letter is the norm. We should be singing anthems of wholeness and healthy relationships.
Swift has had enough experience to realize that everything she is singing is true; however, there shouldn’t be acceptance with these new ideas of romance our nation has created. She sings about them in all seriousness, but I don’t think she truly believes that this is the way our relationships should be. She is using irony to express her true feelings on this “new romance.”
The Plus-Size Debate
The Plus-Size market has seen an increase in talk as more plus-size models are being put into mainstream media such as the cover of Sports Illustrated and American Apparel’s search for a plus-size model. There has also been talk about the clothing lines for plus-size women and whether or not all stores should be required to carry sizes for plus-size women. I would argue that stores should not be required to have clothing in sizes 12-36.
Plus-size clothing is expensive not make. Most designers only make their clothing in sample sizes of 2 or 4, and then stores can make them in a few sizes bigger; however, stretching these clothes to sizes 12 or higher can be difficult and costly. Most of the time these clothes become shapeless and not appealing to the plus-size audience, which means that these designers wouldn’t make their money back because according to New York Business plus-size clothes cost 10% more to make. Designers don’t want to spend the money on creating clothes that would not flatter their client and shouldn’t be forced into doing so if their specialty is focused on smaller sizes.
Choice in Stores
Just as people with lower sizes have their own stores, people with sizes higher than that have their own plus-size stores, such as Lane Bryant. These stores whether online or not offer people who fit the plus-size category a wide variety of clothing options that provide them with flattering outfits. No store should be forced to carry certain sizes because we are a free commerce society based on capitalism in which people can choose what product to sell based on which product would produce a higher profit. Just as there are only men’s stores or only women’s stores, there shouldn’t be a requirement for all stores to carry bigger sizes.
“Love the Way You Lie”- The Toxic Curse
In Rihanna’s “Love the Way You Lie,” her lyrics exhibit a toxic yet addicting relationship. The lyrics allude to domestic abuse and lying, yet both people in the relationship keep going back to each other. They keep going back for more even though they just get burned every time. I would argue that “Love the Way You Lie” is presenting a case that toxic relationships are addictive.
The Broken Record
In one of the lines, Rihanna says “Sound like broken records playing over but you promised her Next time you show restraint.” In these lines, she is describing the guy who keeps telling his girlfriend that he can stop that he won’t hurt her anymore, yet the idea of a broken record player demonstrates that tis promise never holds true. He just keeps repeating the same thing every time hoping that she will stay and hoping she will continue to believe the lies that are repeatedly going into her head, and it is clear that this works. The girl obviously stays if the guy keeps repeating this to her. The song continues on to say, “we fall back into the same patterns, same routine.” They can’t escape the addictive routine of their toxicity.
Watch Me Burn
With this addictive notion being played out, the girl, as sung by Rihanna, says that “I love the way you lie” repeatedly and also states that she likes to feel the pain and the hurt. I would say that people become addicted to toxicity because it means they are feeling something. Even though that feeling is pain and hurt, they still are feeling an emotion other than the numbness of losing someone that has been in their life for so long. The toxic relationship becomes a comfort because it is a habit. The relationship is something that they are relying on because they know at least that will always be there for them.
Politics in Comedies
In season 4, episode 20 of the hit sitcom New Girl, a tone different from the rest of the laughs and iconic Schmidt and Nick moments was found within this episode. In “Par 5,” Winston, part of LAPD and black, falls for a political activist who is also black but protests against police brutality. Winston is at a loss and decides to lie to the girl because he didn’t want her to find out his true career. By the end of the show, Winston is talking to Nick about how all throughout his childhood he learned to be afraid of the police and would run from them. New Girl brought the elephant in the room to the forefront, which led to a very awkward episode. I argue that shows should stick to their genre and not try to incorporate political messages if they aren’t political pieces.
Power of TV
Television shows capture audiences’ attentions and can promote a wide variety of messages, which isn’t a bad thing; however, when a show is mainly known for its comedic relief, a political reference sticks out like a sore thumb when mentioned. TV shows today have been incorporating more and more political messages into their episodes; however, these messages detract from the purpose of the show and can make the viewer uncomfortable when they are poorly timed. I would also say that a show like New Girl should be very careful when presenting political arguments because it is known for its comedy. When Winston began to discuss his childhood and the police, the show tried to become more serious, but it just made for an awkward five minutes of viewing.
Comedy is Comedy
In conclusion, television shows shouldn’t go away from their main purpose. Although they have the power to speak out on issues of today, they should be extremely careful when presenting those issues into a context that isn’t normally known for its political activism. New Girl should have stayed away from the political realm and not crossed into the muddy territory of bringing up controversial issues.
Nostalgia for Childhood
In Twenty One Pilots’ music video and lyrics of “Stressed Out,” they sing about their childhood and refer to it as the “good ole days.” The first scene depicts them riding up on three wheelers with a backpack on and riding around in a neighborhood like children would do. I argue that “Stressed Out” is representative of someone’s nostalgia for their childhood.
Oh to be a Kid Again
The video demonstrates child like qualities such as previously before stated the three wheelers, backpacks, and suburban neighborhood. Other qualities are the best friend handshake, capri suns, and performing parts of the song in childhood homes and their old rooms. What takes him back to his childhood in the song is the smell that reminds him of his brother and where he grew up. He talks about how great it was and how there were no responsibilities when he was a child, but adulthood has brought him a new reality. He wants to be able to dream anything he wants like “building a rocket ship;” however, that childlike reality is no more as people want him to make money and focus on things other than tree houses and other child fantasies.
Longing for the Past
In the song, he longs for his past memories and talks about his childhood so fondly, but the people surrounding him in his life today telling him to forget his childhood. He won’t let go of his nostalgia though because, for him, childhood was a utopia. He could play make believe and not worry about what the rest of the world was thinking. He didn’t have any responsibilities or hardships, that were remembered, and “Stressed Out” is representative of all of those feelings.
“As the first woman to win Album of the Year at the Grammys twice, I wanna say to all the young women out there: There are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success, or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame, but if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you’re going, you’ll look around and you’ll know that it was you and the people who love you that put you there, and that will be the greatest feeling in the world,” said Swift.
Power Struggle at the Grammys
Last night at the Grammys, Taylor Swift and Kanye West faced another battle. His comments towards Swift about him making her as popular as she is now were unwarranted. Swift addressed these comments in her acceptance speech of the Album of the Year Grammy award. I don’t really see this bickering between the two as a right or wrong thing; however, I would argue that Swift is on a constant power struggle, which is exemplified in her acceptance speech.
As seen in “Bad Blood,” it is clear that Swift is a powerful person in the music industry and even in all of pop culture today. She has the power to get together some of the most famous women today and have them appear in a music video for her. Additionally, the video demonstrates how Swift will get her revenge for those who wronged her. In addition to the “Bad Blood” video, Swift’s 1989 concert tour revealed her power amongst artists, as she was able to convince Mick Jagger, Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, Imagine Dragons, and Leona Lewis to name a few. In an interview, she said that she was actually able to text Mick Jagger the night before her concert, and he still agreed to make an appearance. Swift has power. She has most of the A list celebrities in her grasp, and she isn’t afraid to fight back against anyone who might come close to wronging her.
Revenge is Sweet
When Kanye tested Swift’s power with his comments about her fame, Taylor decided to fight back. The power struggle didn’t last too long as she continued her feminist movement power by talking about being the first women to win Album of the Year at the Grammys twice. From that point on, she had grasped the attention of the nation. People began to side with her against Kanye once more, and the power struggle was no more. Swift had found the right words to enact her revenge, and these words pulled the feminist card. Swift’s power is constantly being challenged, but as long as she has feminism and celebrities on her side, she will win the battle every time.