Why Is Everything Suddenly Taylor Swift’s Fault?

Ask the people in your life to name a woman who’s got it good, with wealth and beauty and talent and true love, and I’d bet at least a few of them would name Taylor Swift.

Ms. Swift, the 34-year-old pop icon, who made history last Sunday as the only musician to win four best-album Grammy Awards, checks many of the important boxes. She is white and thin and blonde in a world that continues to privilege whiteness and thinness and blondness. She’s a billionaire with an enviable real estate portfolio, a loyal coterie of girlfriends and, for the past five months or so, a handsome, cheerfully goofy N.F.L. player boyfriend who seems smitten with her. On Sunday, she may take a break from her worldwide Eras tour and fly in from Japan to watch him play in the Super Bowl. Hashtag blessed, right?

But if you spend 10 minutes on X or Threads, or eavesdropping on N.F.L. message boards or watching TikToks, you will notice that factions that do not agree about anything share an absolute certainty that Taylor Swift is trouble. She’s doing too much, except when she’s not doing enough, and she’s always doing it wrong.

I’m not the first to observe that a pretty blonde dating a handsome football player should, at least for white people of a certain age, evoke all the simpler bygone vibes (Friday-night lights, milkshakes with two straws, letterman jackets) that conservatives could want. Except — oops! — the pretty blonde endorses Democrats. And Travis Kelce, the football hero, appears in commercials for vaccines (bad) and Bud Light (somehow worse).

And why does she hog the spotlight at his games? She’s Yoko Ono-ing him and jinxing his team, the Kansas City Chiefs, except when she misses a game — and is still, somehow, jinxing the team, which made it to the Super Bowl anyway, proof right there, somehow, of a vast left-wing conspiracy.

Of course, anyone subjected to that much distilled man-cave fury should be beloved by the opposing team, the folks with dye in their hair and pronouns in their online biographies, right?

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