In liner notes for her latest album, Taylor Swift is addressing critics who scrutinized her love life.
The pop star, whose Friday release of “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” adds to her rerecording journey, wrote that she “decided to completely reinvent” herself at 24 years old before describing how she felt facing comments from the public and media over her relationships.
“The voices that had begun to shame me in new ways for dating like a normal young woman? I wanted to silence them,” Swift wrote.
“You see — in the years preceding this, I had become the target of slut shaming — the intensity and relentlessness of which would be criticized and called out if it happened today. The jokes about my amount of boyfriends. The trivialization of my songwriting as if it were a predatory act of a boy crazy psychopath. The media co-signing of this narrative. I had to make it stop because it was starting to really hurt.”
Swift, who typically keeps mum on her relationships in public, has previously taken aim at detractors for going after her romantic pursuits and her songwriting.
She told Rolling Stone in 2014 that people “watching my dating life has become a bit of a national pastime.”
“I don’t like seeing slide shows of guys I’ve apparently dated. I don’t like giving comedians the opportunity to make jokes about me at awards shows. I don’t like it when headlines read ‘Careful, Bro, She’ll Write a Song About You,’ because it trivializes my work,” she said at the time.
“And most of all, I don’t like how all these factors add up to build the pressure so high in a new relationship that it gets snuffed out before it even has a chance to start. And so ... I just don’t date.”
Taylor Swift’s prologue for #1989TaylorsVersion
“This moment is a reflection of the woods we’ve wandered through and all this love between us still glowing in the darkest dark.” pic.twitter.com/HGQDTPqKgo
— Taylor Swift Updates (@SwiftNYC) October 27, 2023
In this week’s liner notes, Swift wrote that she swore off doing “anything that could be weaponized against me by a culture that claimed to believe in liberating women but consistently treated me with the harsh moral codes of the Victorian Era.”
“If I only hung out with my female friends, people couldn’t sensationalize or sexualize that — right?” the singer wrote. “I would learn later on that people could and people would.”
She added that “everyone had something to say” about her behavior and acknowledged that “they always will” before referencing one of her most famous tunes.
“I learned lessons, paid prices, and tried to ... don’t say it ... don’t say it ... I’m sorry, I have to say it ... shake it off,” she wrote.
Read more of Swift’s “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” liner notes here.