We know what Taylor Swift is into these days: 1989, polaroids, shaking things off. Good for Taylor! Also good for Taylor: Another Rolling Stone cover, this one touting "The Reinvention of Taylor Swift." So what's she reinventing? The Wire investigates:
Reinvention No. 1: She's going full pop.
Okay, this one was obvious — she said so herself when she announced her next album. But Taylor, who Rolling Stone calls out as a "fan of ready-made metaphors," harkens the change to chasing rabbits: a Pop Rabbit and a Country Rabbit. "At a certain point," she tells the magazine, "if you chase two rabbits, you lose them both." What, it wasn't one conjoined Pop/Country Rabbit in Red?
Reinvention No. 2: She's no longer sexting.
As Rolling Stone put it:
Swift hasn't been involved with a man in quite some time. She's not dating. She's not canoodling. She's not even sexting. Taylor Swift is single and loving it.
Taylor's turned over a new leaf. Canoodling? Pfft. She's "painting more." Sexting? Nah. She's "been working out a lot." Not dating is treating her well: She's tapping into her artsy side, she's not looking at her phone so much, and she's going to the gym an awful lot and coming out looking like this. Who would feel sorry for Taylor? Do you feel sorry for Taylor? I only ask because she thinks you'll feel sorry:
She hasn't dated since breaking up with Styles. 'Like, have not gone on a date... People are going to feel sorry for me when you write that. But it's true.'
Reinvention No. 3: She's set aside a guest room just for Karlie Kloss, her new best friend.
Taylor met Karlie at the Victoria's Secret fashion show last December. They've been inseparable since. Case in point:
Swift leads the way into one of her four guest bedrooms. 'This is where Karlie usually stays,' she says – meaning supermodel Karlie Kloss, one of her new BFFs, whom she met nine months ago at the Victoria's Secret fashion show. There's a basket of Kloss's favorite Whole Foods treats next to the bed, and multiple photos of her on the walls.
Hey Ed Sheeran, you and Taylor still doing okay?
Reinvention No. 4: She's been watching Girls (she's also friends Lena Dunham), and she's now totally a Shosh.
As a recent New York transplant in her mid-twenties, Swift says Girls is like her Sex and the City. 'I could label all my girlfriends as Shoshannas, Jessas, Marnies or Hannahs,' she says. And which would she be? 'I've thought about this a lot,' she says. A pause. 'I'm Shoshanna.'
This is a reinvention I'm having some trouble with, because first of all, Taylor's definitely a Marnie with maybe a light shade of Hannah. (Her songs are more Shosh. I... I fail to see any Jessa.) Anyway, here's Taylor's defense: "She's becoming more sure of herself and taking life head-on, in a way that I can relate to."
Okay then. She's less "Teardrops On My Guitar," more "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," less "Love Story," and more "I Knew You Were Trouble." Got it: Taylor Swift is Dark Shosh. Maybe even Drunk Shosh.
Actually, you know what? She's — er, spoiler alert — Terrifyingly Strong Shosh who beats up Marnie in Season 3 after Marnie confesses to sleeping with Ray! Taylor, here you are on the left, ignoring old you on the right:
Reinvention No. 5: She took Latin in high school, but she forgot it.
It's a smaller reinvention, but still notable because she has an antique lamp in her apartment inscribed with the phrase CALADIUM SEGUINUM. She would have known it means "a homeopathic remedy for male impotence" if only she had remembered how to speak Latin. Vita sine luctibus, Taylor, vita sine luctibus.
Reinvention No. 6: She's okay with paparazzi in New York, and she wants Selena Gomez to come to the city.
She likes it so much she's trying to recruit friends to move here – like her buddy Selena Gomez. 'Project Selena,' Swift says. 'I think I can do it.'
Yeah, this is definitely I-Need-Everyone-At-The-Beach-House Marnie. Just sayin'.
Reinvention No. 7: She's sorry not sorry for putting up a new wall that bothered her Rhode Island neighbors.
In what might be the inspiration for the line, "'Cause the players gonna play play play play play/And the haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate," Taylor faced some backlash for renovating the sea wall at her Rhode Island house. She recounts the story for Rolling Stone, and concludes, "There will always be people who grumble about this... But it was a problem, so I fixed it. Nothing has changed about anyone's beach experience, except that now my house won't fall on them. So, you know. Sorry not sorry."
No more home improvement problems for Taylor! No more enemies in Rhode Island! Taylor Swift: Reinvented!
Reinvention No. 8: She's not just not dating, she might be over dating.
It's been rough for Taylor. She broke up with One Direction's Harry Styles many moons ago, and since then, it's been "slide shows of guys" she's dated, comedians making jokes about her at awards shows, and headlines that say "Careful, Bro, She'll Write A Song About You." (Her words, not mine.) So the best defense for a gossip-hungry offense? "I just don't date," she says. Simple.
Reinvention No. 9: She's more into acquiring girlfriends than acquiring boyfriends.
Taylor's reinvention here involved some heavy lifting. "When your number-one priority is getting a boyfriend, you're more inclined to see a beautiful girl and think, 'Oh, she's gonna get that hot guy I wish I was dating,'" she says. "But when you're not boyfriend-shopping, you're able to step back and see other girls who are killing it and think, 'God, I want to be around her.'"
She's been successful so far, with Karlie Kloss, Lena Dunham, and Ella Yelich-O'Connor — commonly known to us plebeians as "Lorde" — in her collection today.
Reinvention No. 10: She's no longer scared to call herself a feminist.
This one took Taylor even longer, because at the start of her career, she "didn't want to alienate male fans." Later, she realized alienating male fans is just fine and she might as well advocate for women to have the same opportunities as men. "I don't see how you could oppose that," she says now. Ah, the Reinvention of Taylor Swift? Complete.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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