This is part of a weekly series called “Pop Opinions” where The Lantern offers its take on the week’s pop culture news.
Taylor drops the ‘S’ bomb
Set to release her new album, “1989,” next Monday, Taylor Swift is (finally) retaliating against all those wild and wacky critics who label her as a whiney, boy-crazy looney tune who uses her past relationships as her own personal piggy banks.
“That’s a very sexist angle to take,” Swift preached on Australian radio show “Jules, Merrick and Sophie” — and she’s right. “No one says that about Ed Sheeran. No one says that about Bruno Mars. They’re all writing songs about their exes, their current girlfriends, their love life and no one raises a red flag there.”
In today’s fervently feminist society, “sexist” is an incredibly charged word — a word that is not and should not be taken lightly. If a celebrity so much as drops the “S” bomb in a casual conversation, headlines are made and social media goes ablaze with a conflagration of controversy.
But T-Swift went there. After years of taking the heat with a smile, she finally pulled up her big-girl panties and defended herself.
And you know what? Girlfriend is right! What Taylor does is absolutely no different than what any other singer does. So why do people hate on Taylor? Well, she’s an easy target. She’s been featured on the cover of nearly every arts and entertainment magazine, her Diet Coke ads play every 12 minutes and she might as well be credited as a regular on “Good Morning America.”
Taylor Swift is everywhere. She’s popular, and it’s a sad but true fact that bashing all things popular has replaced baseball as the great American pastime. It’s the same phenomenon that plagued “Twilight,” nautical tattoos and pumpkin spice lattes. But bashing aside, Taylor Swift shows no signs of slowing down, and her fame rises exponentially each and every year.
(By the way, she’s also got a net worth of like $200 million, just sayin’.)
In other news, Kesha is posing some super serious claims against her longtime producer, Dr. Luke. America’s No. 1 Glitter Gal is claiming that Luke — whose real name is Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald — has abused her both verbally, physically and sexually throughout the entirety of her career.
Rumors of Dr. Luke’s misconduct surfaced months ago via several handwritten notes penned during Kesha’s brief stint in rehab. The star claims her producer as the reason behind her past body issues and poor mental health. Dr. Luke has responded to the allegations, writing them off as a clever ploy to end Kesha’s contract and allow her full rights to her work. He is suing her back in return.
I’ve always liked Kesha. She radiates sleaze, she pseudo-sings synth-heavy pop songs about drinking, drugs and casual sex, and it’s easy to write her off as another petty pop princess. Kesha has constructed an image for herself that is iconic for its immorality.
And I just don’t buy it.
In a world where Swedish producer Max Martin pens nearly half of the hits heard on pop radio stations, Kesha is still responsible for writing the majority of her own work (alongside her mother, Pebe Sebert, a fellow songwriter). After scoring a near-perfect score on the SAT, the former whiz kid dropped out of high school to pursue her dreams of pop music stardom. She moved to Los Angeles, obtained her GED and accomplished her dream.
What I’m saying is that Kesha is a smart woman. Conceivably, the pop star could have fabricated the entire story, and Dr. Luke’s defense definitely holds merit. Kesha waited years before bringing these issues to light, only drawing attention to the abuse after receiving low sales on her second album and a rapidly declining relevance. Prior to Kesha’s public announcement of the charges, though, her mother wrote an admittedly blackmail-esque email to Dr. Luke himself, demanding freedom from her contract.
Finally — you’ve seen them, you’ve questioned them, you’ve hated them – I’m talking about Queen Bey’s bangs.
What. The. Hell.
Beyoncé is beautiful. She’s powerful, she’s talented, she’s inspiring, and, by many accounts, she’s perfect.
But those bangs. Those awful DIY-chic bangs are causing me to wonder whether we should stop calling her “Queen Bey” and instead go with the more visually appropriate “Friar Bey.”
I get it: Her body, her choice. Who am I to judge? Well, I’ll tell you who I am – I’m an opinions writer, and it is my personal opinion that Beyoncé’s bangs make her look like the love child of Jim Carrey’s “Dumb and Dumber” character and the left side of Ellie Goulding’s head. Is she thinking about leaving the pop world and joining a seminary? Will she use the earnings from her multi-platinum music career to invest in some Rogaine or extensions? Only time will tell.
Who knows? Maybe the bangs will grow on us. Or at the very least, maybe they’ll grow back.