It's hard to be a pop star today. Really, I'm not being facetious. No sooner does Taylor Swift release a new video than she is slammed on Twitter by rapper Earl Sweatshirt and countless others for "perpetuating black stereotypes."
"Aww, cute!!! Taylor Swift made a mockery of black culture and black womanhood in her new music video! What a sweet, absolutely racist phase." — nez (@nezariel)
Taylor Swift? Racist? Offensive? To find out, I had to break my hitherto unbroken promise and sit through an entire video, courtesy of USA Today.
The song (ironically about shaking off the haters) is so bubblegum it hurts. And the video, which is full of ballerinas and the requisite twerkers, has the innocent feel of a girl playing dress up. Except it isn't innocent because the ballerinas all happen to be white, and the ones booty-shaking are—surprise, surprise—black.
So Swift is keeping with the times and drawing on current pop motifs, except it feels so wrong if only because it's coming from her. If Nicki Minaj made the same video (she did, with a whole lot more sexy butt shaking in it) no one would tweet twice.
The last notes of the video end on the sweet, vaguely Kylie Minogue-ish note that Swift probably intended.
Wouldn't the likes of Swift and Miley would be better depicting their own reality in videos, e.g., applying lip gloss and shopping with their BFFs, than gyrating and prancing around in gold chains?
Are videos like Swift's offensive to you as a parent or are we all taking pop music way too seriously these days?
This veteran pop star wants the music industry to stop selling "highly styled pornography" to our kids.