Taylor as Virgin
Like a number of pop tarts before her, Taylor's virginity was once a topic of discussion. In a 2009 Cosmopolitan feature on celebrity virgins, Swift was quoted as saying: "I read a very creative rumor this morning saying I'm pregnant, which is the most impossible thing on the planet. Take my word for it." Fast-forward a year to the release of her song "Dear John," presumably about John Mayer. The narrative then became: hey, did John Mayer take Taylor's virginity?
Taylor as Role Model
Because she's a teen star that has stayed relatively free from controversy (we'll get to that later, but no drugs, alcohol, erratic behavior) the term "role model" has been thrown around. In a 60 Minutes appearance last fall she said it was her "responsibility" to be conscious of her role as an idol. Lizzie Widdicombe of The New Yorker wrote in an extensive October 2011 profile that "In a world of Lohans and Winehouses, Swift is often cited as a role model, a designation she takes seriously. 'It’s a compliment on your character,' she told me. 'It’s based on the decisions that you make in your life.'"
Taylor as Feminist's Nightmare
The descriptor "feminist's nightmare" was perhaps most popularized by a post by Reise on the queer women's site Autostraddle titled "Why Taylor Swift Offends Little Monsters, Feminists, and Weirdos", written in 2010 after Taylor won the Grammy for Album of the Year. Reise explains how Swift's songs focus on a "Madonna/Whore Complex" and how "the rush to exalt Swift is (I believe) a desperate attempt to infuse our allegedly apocalypse-bound country with a palatable conservative ideology in the form of a complacent, repressed feminine ideal." The post elicited responses from places like Jezebel and fbomb. In an earlier example of Swift's feminist backlash, Sady Doyle at Bitch wrote that she "would argue that 'You Belong To Me' song and/or video is a triumph of girl-on-girl sexism."
Taylor as Goody-Two-Shoes
The "Goody-Two-Shoes" Taylor is an offshoot of her "role model" identity. However positive an influence Swift may be for young girls (or bad if you go with the feminist's nightmare narrative!), her golly gee persona can get frustrating. In 2009 the Daily Fill wrote a post declaring that the whole innocent "act" was "getting old." In the years since, that sentiment—and her actions and statements encouraging it—has done anything but subside. In an interview this month in Esquire, Swift, now of legal drinking age, revealed: "I don't drink much alcohol. If it doesn't taste like candy or sparkles, I usually don't drink it." Another part of the "goody-two-shoes" label: the endless mocking of her easily mock-able awards show "surprise face." Need any more evidence? This is a person who tweets about her cat.
Taylor as Cougar
Most recently, as she has begun dating 18-year-old Conor Kennedy, we've gotten the bizarre Taylor as cougar meme. (Remember: she also dated men who were scandalously her seniors.) Perez Hilton has said it, the Boston Herald has said it, the National Enquirer has said it. Recent rumors that she's also romantically involved with Kennedy's equally 18-year-old cousin Patrick Schwarzenegger will likely only perpetuate this iteration of the Taylor Swift story. In fact, the new Rolling Stone profile deems both Swift and fellow non-teen teen idol Selena Gomez "minicougars." (Gomez is also quoted as saying that Swift is "so tough," so maybe we need another identity category.)