In April 2016, meanwhile, Swift gave an interview with Vogue in which she described herself as “a national lightning rod for slut-shaming.” And it didn’t take long for her to be proven right. When she broke up with her boyfriend Calvin Harris and moved on with actor Tom Hiddleston, for example, a barrage of abuse was sent her way on Twitter. Teen Vogue, however, pointed out a double standard. “When a male celeb dates someone new immediately after a breakup, literally no one blinks an eye,” they noted in June of that year.
Still, Taylor was able to stand up for herself through her songwriting, in which many people saw references to her exes, and her award speeches, which were more often than not aimed at her haters. “I want to say to all the young women out there: there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame,” she told the audience when she was handed her Grammy for Album of the Year in 2016.
“But if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you’re going, you’ll look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there. And that will be the greatest feeling in the world,” she concluded. Her point was clear. But she didn’t just want to stand up for herself: she wanted to help other women as well.