Taylor Swift Ruined My Relationship With Pop Music

2024 is for pop stars, but not you T Swift

Arts & Culture

It hadn’t occurred to me that I disliked pop music until a die-hard Swiftie sat me down to explain all of Taylor Swift's Easter eggs, lore, and lustful prior relationships, and even justify why her carbon footprint is acceptable. Don't get me wrong; I have no reason to dislike Taylor Swift other than finding some of her lyrics shallow and her songs repetitive. The same could be said about some artists I enjoy. I'm not claiming to be “deeper” for preferring other artists over one of the world's most famous musicians. However, as more and more Swiftie facts are force-fed to me and everyone else, the rapidly growing bubble of her fame increasingly feels like it will burst, taking pop music with it.

After some investigation, I was validated in my belief that even The Tortured Poets Department album tested the limits of Swifties’ devotion to the pop-culture giant. In my opinion, this collective reaction was the best thing for pop music. That album's lukewarm reception allowed artists like Chappell Roan, Sabrina Carpenter, Charli XCX, and Troye Sivan to have their moment in the spotlight, giving pop lovers and even non pop lovers a chance to actually care. The Tortured Poets Department was boring musically, vocally and lyrically. Reddit users compared it to plain white bread - many saying that they love her music but this gave them nothing to defend Swift with when the haters came flooding in. I don't want to speak for all Swifties, but in my personal experience, the hesitation to embrace Swift's recent album made me reevaluate my relationship with pop music.

Not being a Swiftie made me question whether I was grappling with internalized misogyny (or maybe it was the Swifties telling me that was the case). But then Charli XCX’s song "Club Classics'' was released, and I thought, "Ah yes, this is good." Initially, I didn’t consider it a pop song because it reminded me of Jockstrap’s album "I Love You Jennifer B." It not only resembled Jockstrap but also echoed the influence of the Pop God herself, Lady Gaga. Slowly, the realization that pop music is good crept up on me. What the fuck was I thinking? Pop is IT! Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Avril Lavigne, and Miley Cyrus practically raised me— except during my vital depressed Tumblr era, which I owe to Lana Del Rey. 

Not liking Taylor Swift felt synonymous with not liking pop music. As I listen to "Please Please Please" by Sabrina Carpenter, I want to apologize to everyone I told I didn't enjoy pop music. However, to all the Swifties, I am not sorry for disliking her music.