• Mon, Sep 30 - 10:59 am ET

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

    Lourde………………………YOUR JUST JEALOUS OF WHAT SHE HAS.