Taylor Swift: ‘I’d been tried in every possible way people could throw things at me’

Variety's Power Of Women Los Angeles 2019

Taylor Swift is one of People Magazine’s People of the Year, alongside Jennifer Aniston, Michelle Obama and Jennifer Lopez. Taylor’s done a lot this year, but that’s true of every year, really. Taylor dominates conversations and spreads her snake drama far and wide. For that, I’m grateful, because she makes my job easier, so I’m fine with her position on this list. I think People Mag would only make someone one of their POTY if the celebrity would give them an exclusive interview, so here we go:

Her pride in her album Lover: “This is the first time I’ve been able to put out music that I feel is connecting with people, yet look back on everything I’ve made and feel a quiet sense of pride. I’m proud of the things I’ve withstood, and I’ve been able to carve out a life for myself.”

Her beef with Scooter Braun. “I’m in a position to speak out, thankfully, so if somebody who’s younger who’s signing a record deal can learn from that, then that’s a good day. When I signed my record deal with Universal Music Group, they agreed to pay their artists a significant portion when they sell their Spotify shares. It’s a hugely important thing to me as an artist because I think that’s our pension plan, and that’s our thing we get to leave to our kids.”

Her LGBTQ+ advocacy work: “When you advocate for something, it has to be completely disconnected from what people say about you advocating for it. It should be removed from hard numbers,” she says. Still, the star acknowledges the response has been inspiring. “When numbers do come in that are promising and petitions are signed in the hundreds of thousands, it’s a good feeling. It reinforces your feeling that there is good in the world.”

Writing ‘Lover’ after ‘Reputation’: “There was so much theatricality in the darkness of reputation. It was secretly a love story, but it was also filled with angst, rebellion and this vengeful taking back of your life. Lover ended up being the album [where I was no longer] answering to something. In the past, I’ve definitely used my criticism as a jumping-off point for creativity. With reputation, I’d said everything I needed to say. I’d been tried in every possible way people could throw things at me, and I felt like now I just get to create.”

How 2019 felt for her: “This year feels more special to me than any year before it. Fifteen years into doing this, being able to look around and acknowledge that it’s special, I’m really stoked this moment can happen when I’m 29. That’s one of the benefits of starting when you’re 12!”

[From People]

Wait, what? “When you advocate for something, it has to be completely disconnected from what people say about you advocating for it.” I think the sentiment is “ignore the haters and just do the work you believe in,” but… I don’t know, I found that slightly strange. I guess Taylor is acknowledging that she heard the criticism about how she used LGBTQ people as props in her music video. As for the rest of it… imagine how exhausted we are, Tay. She’s forever trying to convince herself (and everyone else) that everyone is against her, that she’s the most maligned and the most misunderstood, and that she’s the biggest underdog. I’m usually only that paranoid when I’m PMSing.

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Photos courtesy of WENN, Backgrid and Avalon Red.

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52 Responses to “Taylor Swift: ‘I’d been tried in every possible way people could throw things at me’”

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  1. Cindy says:

    You need to calm down, Taylor.

    • LoonyTunes says:

      Love this! Lol To Taylor: Bytch please

      • Jessa says:

        Bravo! Life’s not been perfect but when your career begins because dad bought half the label…it’s not so bad. Yes, she did work hard for her money but the bad behavior is also on her.

  2. Rapunzel says:

    The only thing tried is my nerves …by Taylor’s “poor me” schtick.

  3. Lucy says:

    “Baby I can build a castle, out of all the bricks they threw at me”, from her 1989 era song New Romantics.

  4. Erika H says:

    Uugh…she is the embodiment of white privilege and entitlement.

  5. Oui oki says:

    She looks really pretty on the cover. Her UK vogue cover is gorgeous too. Not so fond of all the rainbow looks but it reminds me of a recent goop podcast on joy from aesthetics; so I’m guessing those looks make taylor feel good. Or the person who dressed her.

  6. Beach Dreams says:

    Miss Perpetual Victim strikes again.

  7. Ann says:

    I love Taylor and I love Lover but her interviews can be so tedious. Her version of introspection is giving herself a pat on the back for surviving drama she creates. This isn’t as bad as the Rolling Stones interview, which is something, I guess. No big fat lies in this one so at least there’s that.

    • Dara says:

      “giving herself a pat on the back for surviving drama she creates.“ @Ann, that has to be the most succinct – not to mention insightful – description of Taylor’s psyche I have ever heard. Nicely done.

  8. Sarah says:

    White privilege meets white mediocrity, and we have Taylor Swift.

  9. Leah says:

    Okay, Regina George.

    *eye roll*

    /I don’t like the way she treats other people and then how she plays victim when they speak up to defend themselves. She’s ridiculous.

  10. Ellie says:

    You can tell that she’s still so embarrassed by being caught by Kim. Get yourself some therapy, baby girl.

  11. Mignionette says:

    Straight to the comments….. LOL 😂🤣😂

    Hey Taylor try being a black actress, singer, producer or writer for a day and come back to us honey !

    • ChillyWilly says:


    • lucy2 says:

      Or transgender. Disabled. Indigenous. In poor health. In poverty.
      She has SOOOO many advantages, and just can’t recognize them at all. She always has it harder than anyone else, in her mind, and never realizes what other people have to go through, for stuff they have no control over.

  12. MrsBanjo says:

    Lord, she’s exhausting.

  13. ChillyWilly says:

    Whaaa, whaaa, whaaa…she is such a whiney brat. She needs to thank her lucky stars for her success and quit playing the perpetual victim.

  14. H says:

    Always a victim. Almost 30 and she still has to push that narrative. It’s old and shows her maturity is stunted at about 13.

    Plus her music sucks. That’s all I got.

    • petee says:

      Agreed.She is a grown woman but you wouldn’t know it by the way she acts.I also can not stand watching any awards show’s anymore.Her dancing around and either opening or closing a show is is too much for me.

  15. paranormalgirl says:

    Yes. Your life is so hard and so trying.

  16. Casey says:

    I would like her to change her hairstyle please.

    • holly hobby says:

      It took her a lot of years to move from lasagna hair to this. So it’ll be another 10 before she changes it.

  17. Riley says:

    Her “Poor rich little ole me” schtick is definitely old, but I wonder if that’s because she started when she was 12? It’s almost like she never matured properly and is now trying to act like an adult but she doesn’t know how?

    • Noely says:

      From a longtime fan’s point of view, my theory is this.

      When Taylor started out, she cultivated an “underdog” image. A lot of her songs were about her crush being in love with another girl, being cheated on or treated wrong by guys or being left out/bullied by the popular cliques at school. Things that teenage girls could relate to.

      So a lot of them started to look up to Taylor because she sold herself as being “just like her fans” and her story was that of the girl that put all her experiences into songs and worked hard to achieve her dream until finally one day she rose to stardom. The girl that had the last laugh.
      So, in a way, fans who had their own stories of being unpopular at school or being ignored by their crush and who deep down were hoping that they could finally get noticed could vicariously live through Taylor and look up to her as an example that “underdogs” can win. (I hope this makes sense?)

      (We can argue here that Taylor, as a rich white pretty girl, was never really an underdog to begin with, but that was definitely the image she was selling).

      Then the Kanye incident happened and she had another underdog story to tell.

      But then the years went by and as she became mega popular and it was more and more obvious that she was shrewd about her business, it became increasingly hard to sell this “underdog” image. So she needs new villains in her story.

      I am not saying that she is completely evil and just making EVERYTHING up – I personally think that while the Kanye incident certainly helped her, he didn’t really “make her famous” – I mean, she was accepting an MTV award while he interrupted her and Fearless was already a top selling album and I am on her side about the masters’ situation – but I definitely believe that she is obsessed with being an underdog because that’s what she wanted to be from the beginning.

      • Riley says:

        I would agree with a lot of what you wrote. I think I’m pretty unbiased, as I am not a fan or a hater. It worked well for her in the beginning when she was younger, but she really needs a new PR person to sell a new schtick, more like “I’m living the dream” She is so blessed and as with any successful artist, a lot of that is pure luck! I wish her well, but what was charming at 14 or 22 is now nauseating at almost 30. Thanks for your well thought out reply!

      • Beach Dreams says:

        I think the Kanye situation launched her career to a level it might not have gotten to otherwise. If that incident didn’t happen, I think her career/status would be more like that of Carrie Underwood or Kacey Musgraves: a reasonable level of mainstream recognition but still largely concentrated on the country music scene.

      • Noely says:

        @Beach Dreams I’m not sure about the country part. She is constantly praised for her songwriting talent and she probably would eventually have transitioned to pop music anyway. Even way before she put a few pop songs on Red, music critics have noticed that her songs have pop elements in them.

        Did Kanye launch her career to another level? I am honestly not sure as I can only speak from my European perspective. In my Country her name was always in teen magazines in 2008/09 because she was hanging out with the then-Disney kids (Miley, Demi, Selena and the JoBros) but other than that, she was really not talked about here and I also don’t really remember the VMA incident being talked about a lot either (it was mentioned somewhere, yes, but it didn’t make major headlines or something). Country music is not really a thing here, so she wasn’t on the radio either (I was super surprised when I heard Fifteen in a store once this year) until she started to do pop. I think she would have been ambitious enough to eventually make the transition because she probably knew that country is more of an US thing and she wanted worldwide fame.

        But I reckon that the VMA thing seemed to be MUCH more talked about in the US at that time (didn’t Obama say something about it or am I remembering things wrong?), so I guess you’re onto something?

      • Beach Dreams says:

        @Noely: The thing with the mainstream country music scene is that people often criticize it for not being “country” enough. Taylor was just one of many country artists who integrated elements from pop and other genres (usually rap or rock) into their sound.

        Back then, Taylor was definitely popular but she didn’t have anything close to the level of fame and recognition that she commands today. She had a presence at the teen shows and MTV-type events, but her main scene was the country awards shows (and there’s a LOT of them).

        Yeah, the VMAs incident was huge in the US. Obama called Kanye a jackass (if I recall correctly, it was an off-the-record remark that got leaked by an interviewer), Jay Leno invited Kanye onto his show and asked him what his recently deceased mother would think, SNL chimed in…It was a big deal partially because people saw a black man drunkenly interrupting a blue-eyed blonde white girl and reacted accordingly (this IS America after all).

        It’s not that I think Taylor wouldn’t have been popular as a pop act without the incident, it’s just that I doubt she’d be at such a vast level of fame. To compare her to another pop act, I’d say she would’ve been at Ariana Grande’s pre-2016 level of popularity at best (which was pretty damn good, but Ariana wasn’t the one of *the* top pop stars until she got her moment in the sun a couple of years ago).

  18. Nev says:

    oh geez.

  19. jenner says:

    She is so lost in her own victim storyline, there is no way out for her but to keep going down.

  20. jenner says:

    She is so lost in her own victim storyline, there is no way out for her but to keep going down.

  21. Originaltessa says:

    There are people in the world truly suffering, Taylor! No one feels sorry that some other spoiled celebrities were mean to you once. Boo hoo!

  22. Loubie says:

    Get over yourself love.

  23. Daisy says:

    She exhausts me and I dislike he more at every interview she gives, so I’ll just keep playing her Speak Now album that’s my favourite of hers.
    But god this underdog story is annoying, she’s a beautiful, white, straight, millionaire woman who’s had her rich daddy’s financial support since she started singing. And as a gay woman, this support of hers is becoming much more of a “hey guys look I like the lgbts” than actually help, but since she’s got some donations, I’ll shut up.

  24. zotsioltar says:

    Taylor Swift is not the first person that had to pay for her catalogue after being successful. Shes a bully that sent her equally mean social media fans after a bunch of people that had every legal right to that catalogue. Because of her, a bunch of people have been receiving death threats.

    • Shirleygailgal says:

      do you think she knew how her fans would react…I mean, to such an extreme as to send death threats? Or do you think she was just saying….freeze this guy out (as in, don’t give him your money)? Could she know ahead of time it was going to be death threats?

      I don’t know. In this day and age, I find it hard to think she would willingly and knowingly encourage death threats. Lord, I so hope not, but am unsure….

      • Noely says:

        As much as it pains me to say this as her fan, but she had to have known.

        She has made two posts about Scott and Scooter. The first was when the news of him buying Big Machine Records initially broke a few months ago. Some insane fans already started sharing his address, sending him literal horse shit via mail and harrassing his family.

        Then she addressed the issue again when BMR didn’t want her to perform her old songs at the AMAs. The same thing happened. So even if she didn’t know the first time, she had to have known the second time.

        And I am actually on her side about the masters since I didn’t think she got a fair offer to buy them (instead she got a slave like contract where she would have to give BMR another six albums to earn her first six ones back) and I really wish artists could have that option. I also think she should be allowed to voice her opinion about these things. But it still pains me to think that she couldn’t even say “hey guys, thanks for standing up for me, but it isn’t cool to send death threats to people, so could you not?”

        To be fair though, I have seen many fan accounts on Instagram who were speaking out against death threats too.

      • zotsioltar says:

        You dont put a call out to your fans and expect them to be civil 100% of the time. She has an average of around 100m followers on twitter/instagram, if even 1% of them are unhinged that is 1m people sending out death threats.

        If she did not mean it then she is not a bully, she is a fool.

  25. Abby says:

    I’m not a Taylor hater at all – I really enjoyed her from the very beginning, but in the last year or two especially it’s been interesting how literally the most popular person in the entire world can be so supposedly undone by the criticism or disbelievers. I do think she’s a perfectionist and it clearly kills her to make any missteps. I think that revenge porn video that Kanye did really set her off into the spiral (which i think happened before the receipts, right?) Remember how she used to be so afraid of someone getting naked pictures of her? And she would say things like she doesn’t even walk around naked at home, and she checks every dressing room for hidden cameras, etc? It was a topic that appeared in several interviews and was around the time so many female stars were subjected to hacks of their personal photos. And then here was a representation of her nude for everyone to see. I notice in her latest cover the quote is she “leaned in” to who she really is – that’s a classic therapist phrase. She said she wanted to keep details of whether she sought therapy private, and then her next interview she said her mom was her therapist. Nah. I don’t believe that. But I think she’s probably spent a million hours in therapy processing this stuff and it is STILL on her mind, and that’s why she had so many metaphors about “giant echo chambers” if you respond with specifics, etc. That’s from therapy. Therapy probably made her really obsess about this even more and now she’s trying to impart the validation of her victimhood even more – therapists are fountains of empathy and she was probably told “you’ve been tried every way imaginable” so now we get to hear, again, how she’s suffered unfathomably. And maybe she is – her mind seems to be her own prison, and when she has to have so much security and focus on privacy and being hidden outside of public events… maybe she spends a lot of time ruminating and has zero insight into her popularity and rumor battles being pretty effing minor (Scott Borchetta and her mother’s cancer aside). I took my daughter to her reputation concert and at one point during her rambling moments, she started talking about how self-aware she is and I had to laugh. People who are self-aware don’t go around announcing it!

    • Mo says:

      One of the most useful things I learned in therapy is that misery doesn’t scale. If you are unhappy, even over something minor, it will fill up all your thoughts and take over your whole life if you let it.

      People’s strengths and weaknesses tend to line up. She has made a career of feeling all her feels and turning them into music and performing that music with all her heart. But now her feels aren’t healthy, so the songs aren’t having the same cathartic function for her.

      That said, I really haven’t been able to listen to Lover more than once or twice. I did like a lot of Reputation.

    • liriel says:

      Abby, really interesting take! Can I make a giant assumption that sometimes therapy can make it worse because you’re dissecting everything too much?

  26. Debby says:

    For someone so smart she is painfully immature and, in my opinion, mediocre. When I hear her speak I feel she should know better but it seems like emotionally she didn’t mature past tween-age. This last incident being a good indicator of how she views herself. She knew full well what would happen if she sent out those messages to her fans. That she hasn’t responded to the death threats her fans have been sending to the people from Big Machine makes perfectly clear she thinks she’s completely in the right to bully others in order to get what she wants. I don’t think it’s fair she doesn’t own her own work but let your lawyers handle that mess. I really liked how she wiped the floor with that ass grabbing pervert but she needs to stop acting like the perpetual victim and she needs to stop using important causes (LGBTQ but also feminism) to deflect.

  27. Andrea says:

    I still wonder what happened between her and Tom Hiddleston. Was he her rebound from Calvin and when Joe looked game, she gave him the boot? Poor Tom. He hasn’t recovered from this. The daily mail still references this summer fling. Thanks Taylor. Thanks.

  28. Charfromdarock says:

    I’m not a swifty but I’ll take Taylor’s victimhood over the scores of male celebrity’s gross sexual harassment, abuse and inappropriateness.

  29. Jas says:

    Advocacy, don’t make me laugh. And WHAT is she talking about with Spotify pennies being what she leaves to the grandkids; she has half a billion dollars. I’d buy her I’m-just-trying-to-do-good schtick if it all didn’t begin with benefiting herself.

  30. virginfangirls says:

    Please, please put her on SNL to revive the skit “The Whiners.” She’s honestly one of the biggest bullies.

  31. No Doubt says:

    Swift…the forever victim in her own mind. I can’t even muster up fake empathy for her masters situation considering she’s rich, in love and wildly successful. Go tell the single mother of 4 living in a 2 bedroom home working a minimum wage job about your ownership “problems”. Eyeroll…

  32. doesntmatter says:

    LOVE Tay Sway!!!