Taylor Swift: I've Been Slut-Shamed My Whole Life!

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There's a new Taylor Swift album in stores at the moment.

That sounds like a very antiquated statement, as music is rarely purchased in stores these days, and most consumers prefer to stream it or otherwise pluck it from the content ether and shove it in their ears.

At the Billboard Music Awards

But Taylor basically is the musical mainstream these days, and she's cut so many deals with so many corporate entities that you will find a display of Lover CDs next to the register if you walk into your local Wal-Green's today.

Seriously. Give it a shot.

None of this is to disparage Taylor or her achievements -- she had a clear goal and she went for it.

Taylor wanted to be the biggest star in music, and though she's not yet 30, by just about any measure she's been holding onto that title for several years.

You Need to Calm Down

Of course, she'd likely be the first to admit her meteoric rise to the top has taken a considerable toll and forced her to make some very difficult decisions over the years.

In a candid new interview for Apple Music's Beats 1 (whatever that is), Taylor reflected on her career and what she's learned about the unique challenges faced by women in the music industry.

"When I was 23 and people were just kind of reducing me to, like, kind of making slideshows of my dating life and putting people in there that I'd sat next to at a party once," Swift shared, adding that some critics dismissed her talent and argued that her "songwriting was like a trick rather than a skill and a craft."

"It's a way to take a woman who's doing her job and succeeding at doing her job and making things, and -- in a way -- it's figuring out how to completely minimize that skill by taking something that everyone in their darkest, darkest moments loves to do, which is just to slut-shame," Taylor added.

Taylor Swift Opens AMAs

"So now when I see this happening, I can see a headline about a young artist, about a young female artist, about another breakup, and it sends me into a real sad place because I don't want that to keep happening."

There's an easy counter-argument to be made here -- after all, Taylor spent a lot of time putting her love life front-and-center, and some of her most famous songs contain lyrics in which she gleefully calls out her exes.

But while we're sure Swift occasionally regrets making such a spectacle of her private life, none of that changes the fact that as the most powerful woman in the recording industry, she's had a target on her back for years.

In addition to the double standards in media coverage and the other forms of systemic bias against women, Taylor was recently involved in a pair of ugly legal entanglements.

Taylor Swift at 2018 AMAs

For starters, Swift testified in court against the man who groped her at a public event.

Shortly thereafter, Taylor lashed out at Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber's manager who 

Obviously, the two situations are not directly linked, and the former is far more egregious than the latter -- but for Taylor, you can bet they both serve as painful reminders of the fact that for as high as she's risen, she's still vulnerable to the machinations of powerful men in the music industry.

Despite the many dense and difficult topics she addressed during the discussion, Swift ended her interview on a positive note:

Taylor Swift Does Her Thing

"I tell a lot of new artists and a lot of people who I ended up talking to who are like, 'Hey, so you've been through a lot of things. I'm freaking out, I'm getting my first wave of bad press, what do I do?'" she said.

"And I'm like, 'Do not let anything stop you from making art. Just make things. Do not get so caught up in this that it stops you from making art, [even] if you need to make art about this. But never stop making things,'" Taylor added.

"Just keep making things. Like, keep doing what you love and don't get so sidetracked by [the press].

Sound advice that will hopefully serve as a guiding light for a new generation of female artists.

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Taylor Swift Biography

Taylor Swift and Friend
Taylor Swift is the next big thing in country music. She hails from Pennsylvania and has a younger brother named Austin. Personally,... More »
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Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift Quotes

I think it's kind of fun to call out your ex-boyfriends. Like why do this if you're not gonna take the opportunity to always have the last word. It's so much fun.

Taylor Swift

I saw that documentary on Britney Spears, and I feel bad for her—she can't leave her house!

Taylor Swift