Lorde Calls Taylor Swift Out On Being A Bad Role Model For Girls, So Commence The Slow Clap Now

Lorde We Crave a different kind of buzz

If you’re looking for a new person to worship this week, let me point you in the direction of the 16-year-old Lorde. The up-and-coming singer just threw some major shade in Taylor Swift’s direction and we can’t help but cheer her on. Partially because we have what one commenter deemed “a pathological hatred of the singer,” and partially because Lorde points out one of the biggest problems with Taylor Swift’s public persona — it’s bad for girls.

In an interview with Metro Arts Auckland, she talks about her image and what it means for her impressionable fans.

She’s also conscious of the influence she has on other young women. “Taylor Swift is so flawless, and so unattainable, and I don’t think it’s breeding anything good in young girls. ‘I’m never going to be like Taylor Swift, why can’t I be as pretty as Lorde?’ That’s fucking bullshit,” she says, straining forward for emphasis.

While one of my more minor problems with Taylor Swift is the fact that she’s a mediocre pop star with far more success than her voice merits, my bigger problem is — and always has been — her image. Despite knowing that she’s a role model for young women, she’s constantly playing the role of the flawless and blameless victim. Her message in her music always seems to be “look what he did to me!” There’s rarely a moment where she takes responsibility for the situations she’s in — and that applies to her failed relationships as well as her career achievements.

Things just happen to Taylor Swift, she doesn’t make things happen. At least on the surface. Any rational person knows that it takes a lot of work to make all these thing happen. Relationships don’t just start, songs don’t just write themselves and careers don’t just take off. Becoming a pop star’s hard work — but you’d never know that based on Taylor Swift’s public image. By portraying herself as a perfect person who just got lucky, she sets a dangerous precedent for her fans that they can never live up to. What kind of message does this send to young girls? If you’re good enough and pure enough, you too can be popular and rich and famous and desired? And if you don’t become popular and rich and famous and desired then you’re not good enough? Is that what we want teen girls to grow up believing? That if only they hadn’t made that one mistake, they’d be the next Taylor Swift? I think not. In fact I think that we’d like to aspire to raise a generation of young women who go after what they want and take responsibility either way.

Never have I ever seen a fellow singer call her out on this ridiculousness before. Sure she’s gotten teased for her “oh golly gee I won” faces at award shows, but no one’s ever delved into this part of her image before. And maybe, I’m reading too much into and maybe that’s not what Lorde meant. But either way, her other quote in the interview turned me into her newest fan.

She also sings of men’s centrality to her life: “I will love you till the end of time/ I will wait a million years”. A lyric Ella quotes with disgust. She’s a feminist.

“Absolutely. Wholeheartedly,” she says. “I think women who say, ‘No, I’m not a feminist — I love men,’ I think that is just… You don’t know what it means. You think it means that, ‘I don’t shave under my arms, I burn my bras. Fuck men!’ How could you be so uneducated, and so unwilling to learn about something which is so important to you?”

Even if this isn’t referencing Swift (who’s made it clear that she’s not a feminist), it’s referencing the amazing phenomenon that happens so often in celebrity interviews. Pop stars always hesitate to call themselves feminists out of some kind of weird fear that being pro-women will alienate fans — even if a lot of those fans are women. It’s beyond refreshing to see a 16-year-old speaking out for women before she even really is one. It gives me hope that we might have a pop star on the horizon who doesn’t make us embarrassed to listen to her music. Fingers crossed!

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    • i hate garbage websites

      what kind of woman hating piece of garbage would do this victim card bullcrap. you are not pro woman you are a self centered jerk that reads mountains into thin air!!!! you brainless airhead!!!!

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    • Rather Not

      I live in Nashville and Swifts father paid the record label 1 million to take her and make her a star. Where most of us think she can’t carry a tune, she did take what the record label did for her by promoting her and ran with it to make herself and them a lot of money. And secondly Taylor Swift does not write all her own songs. That’s just a lie. I don’t know why. I know songwriters who have written her songs for her.

    • eejm

      Ummm.. this is completely off! Taylor MAY write songs about being hurt but that’s not all she does! There are MANY songs not about that like Back To December, I Knew You Were Trouble, Mean, Tim McGraw, and theres like tons more. I think people need to back off, she can write whatever she wants to write about, because she has the right to. Just like this Lorde…

    • frank ford

      Jenni Maier is a moron! Get a life slut!

    • BreezeJC

      “Things just happen to Taylor Swift, she doesn’t make things happen.” — I laughed at this tho, it’s like trying to beat that star athlete or valedictorian who doesn’t even F*cking try!

      I’m pretty indifferent to Taylor Swift, but you have to admire her humbleness. We’re never satisfied, first we undercut celebs who seem “full of them selves” (a la Beyonce) now we’re criticizing a humble girl? It’s obvious it’s an “image” she’s selling, but you can tell she’s down to earth so I think complaining about her image being unattainable is moot. If a young girl presents herself in a relatively unslutty way, she’ll be on Taylor Swift’s level in no time.

    • Gio Taylor

      I’m late to the party, but Taylor Swift can sing about whatever she wants. If you’re modeling yourself after her, then you’ve got a TON of problems.

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    • Shannon

      What I want to know is why does everyone hate Anne Hathaway yet most stil basically fucking worship Taylo Swift! She always plays victim and acts innocent her persona is so fake. Yet people say the same thing about Anne having a fake persona. Open your eyes, come to realization please! Taylor Swift is fake, and don’t try to justify her by saying “…Oh well, at least she’s not as fake as most celebrites or singers or even actors” STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR THIS DAMN GIRL. I am getting sick of them and way to go Lorde! I hate when people say you are mean you are just telling it how it is! Which is amazingly awesome.

    • Godpaysmybills

      I always find it interesting when people disagree. It makes for the best reading. I wonder how many readers that comment about how hard she works, or how great she is, know her on a personal level? Probably none. And, like them, I don’t know her either. However, I can honestly say that her image is not helping young women. Equality isn’t something that people really want. It is a word used to cause arguments.

      It means something different to everyone. You can’t have sexual harassment in an equal world. No one gets away with a speeding ticket or gets a free ride because they are prettier/smarter/faster/stronger. Because we are all equal. What people really want is to not be treated differently in certain situations.

      Taylor wants to be beautiful, smart, sexy on her own terms. She doesn’t want to be controlled by the people that control pop stars. She is successful because people market her brand. She is the most successful breakup artist around currently. Alanis Morissette wrote some powerful stuff as a teenager too. Let’s not forget Alicia Keys wrote some powerful songs as a teen.

      Taylor is good at writing songs in the moment. Which, in many cases, makes her look like she is always playing the victim. Don’t we all feel like the victim in a breakup? Even men/women who abuse their spouse play the victim. One of the biggest things they say, “why do you make me do this to you?” Like it isn’t their fault. Taylor isn’t abusing anyone to my knowledge, but she is abusing her responsibility to her fans by always writing songs that convey the message that it isn’t ever her fault.

      Eminem writes crazy lyrics. His songs are about a wide gamut of topics. Taylor writes about how she has been hurt or wronged. The only tool in her shed is a hammer. Write a song about something other than a guy, especially a guy that broke your heart. I get this article, I get Lorde, and I totally understand why you all want to defend the girl who makes millions of dollars off of you while you cry in a corner after your significant other dumps listening to a Taylor Swift song.

      Feminism is a term sort of like Liberal/Socialist/Communist. I find it fascinating that a musician inspires so much defense but people don’t get this excited about the government taking away civil liberties… “Lorde said something mean about Taylor!!! Kill that bitch!!!” I bet you don’t even know that we live in a republic and not a democracy. Good luck on raising your children in a world so concerned with image and not worried about the global impact of central banking.

      The article is well written, regardless of the content, and I am glad to see it incite such a response. Well done author, you did your job well.

    • Cloudy

      Lets all be nice and happy here. I am a Taylor fan you are a Lorde fan, does it matter? We like who we like and don’t care what other people think. And besides, by now Taylor and Lorde are already friends (i think) and lets just stop bashing other people. Lets all be nice and happy. I hope i didn’t offend anyone. ^^

    • Monster Fortynine

      She looked really anorexic at a recent award show.. don’t think it’s a good role model for kids

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    • Ellie H.

      “She also sings of men’s centrality to her life: ‘I will love you till
      the end of time/ I will wait a million years.’ A lyric Ella quotes with
      disgust. She’s a feminist.”
      Those two things are NOT mutually exclusive.

    • Georgia

      Your kidding me Lourde? Taylor has inspired so many girls! Its not her fault that everyone she dates is stupid. Why would you say that! In back to December, she clearly stated she was sorry, I sing that song every day so I know! Lourde i dropped my respect for you by a lot. Taylor is my favourite singer. To the person who wrote this article….mind chopping out when somebody swears?

    • Georgia


    • PainFanatic

      So far she has been a “teenage girl” phenom on, (most) teenage girls
      only care about boys, unfortunately, which is not her fault. That’s why
      she has been successful. Where she goes from here, now that’s she and her
      fans have grown up, depends on if she stops focusing on love and starts
      focusing on other aspects to life. Which is hard because as a famous
      person it’s pretty much the only part to life she has to experience.
      Just thank God she isn’t focusing on drugs, alcohol and sex yet. For her
      age and time she is a pretty good role model.

      Also if she doesn’t stop focusing on love, you can bet her fans will, and she will fade to nothingness like most young stars do.

      used to love Taylor Swift, but now that I have actually been in a few
      stable relationships and am a young woman focusing on other parts to
      life: I hate songs about love and relationships now, when a couple years
      ago they met the world to me. I hope she and the other pop stars move
      on but it really isn’t her fault if she doesn’t. A couple of them will
      and they will be the true stars of our generation. If somehow she does
      stay famous with same old song and dance… well it’s not her fault,
      it’s our generations :(

    • Molly

      Songs where Taylor Swift takes (at least part of) the blame for the breakup/getting her heart broken:
      - Back To December: This entire song is her blaming herself for her failed relationship
      - All Too Well: ”Maybe we got lost in translation, – did I ask for too much?)”
      - The Other Side of the Door: In this song she confesses that she wants she and her boyfriend to make up, but her pride is getting in the way – ”Me and my stupid pride, sitting here alone
      - Forever and Always: ”Was I out of line? Did I say something way too honest?”
      - White Horse: ”Baby I was naïve, got lost in your eyes and never really had a chance.”
      - Fifteen: She doesn’t really blame anyone in this song, but she obviously regrets how she rushed into things and got caught up with boys
      - Dear John: ”I’ll look back in regret how I ignored when they said, Run as fast as you can!” ”Maybe it’s me, and my blind optimism to blame.”
      – I Knew You Were Trouble: ”I knew you were trouble when you walked in, so shame on me” She isn’t blaming the guy for being a troublemaker or a heartbreaker, she’s blaming herself because she knew it all along and still went along with him.
      - The Last Time: We actually hear from the boy in this song, and it’s clear that both people in the relationship were to blame, as they both feel neglected by the other – ”This is the last time I’m asking you this, put my name at the top of your list”
      - Come Back, Be Here: ”And now that I can’t put this down, if I had known what I know now, I never would have played so nonchalant.” (Though this isn’t really a break-up song, it’s about a long-distance fling she had)
      There are probably other unreleased songs, but I don’t have the time to go through them all.
      There are actually very few songs where she completely blames the boy: Picture to Burn (which I am certain isn’t meant to be taken completely seriously) and Should Have Said No are the only real examples I can think of …
      Most of her break-up songs are more about how sad she feels about the relationship ending, more than anything else.

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