We don’t have to explain why Taylor Swift’s music video for her new single “Shake It Off” isn’t good, right? We don’t have to explain, AGAIN, why Taylor Swift wearing bamboo hoops and crawling underneath the twerking asses of faceless black women is perpetuating harmful stereotypes about black female sexuality and the commodification of black female bodies, right? Like…we just had this conversation, right? We’re all clear on the fact that repackaging yourself in caricatures and stereotypes in order to seem more interesting, cool, and/or ~*fun~*~ is offensive and deeply entrenched in white privilege? Because now is not really the time, my fellow white people. Now is not the time to cherry pick through Black culture, swiping the booty-popping and oversized boomboxes but leaving the police brutality, disenfranchised communities, and unceasing fear for one’s life. But don’t get the wrong impression — there would never be a right time for Taylor Swift to pantomime breakdancing in a hoodie and thick chains, it’s just that now is THE WORST time.
But it didn’t have to be like this — Taylor could’ve gone full Julia Stiles and it would’ve been more tolerable than this sad Bring It On miscarriage. If you want to listen to “Shake It Off” but can’t bear watching the female Vanilla Ice giggle her way through cultural appropriation, try pairing the single with one of these famous movie dance scenes: just lower the volume on your clip of choice and avert your eyes from Taylor’s twerking.
PHOTO: Lorde and Taylor Swift Took a Cooking Class Together in Coordinating Outfits
An Acutely Female Song About Sexual Assault Is Pitchfork’s Best Song of This Decade
Our Reaction to Katy Perry’s “This Is How We Do” in GIFs