Taylor Swift revealed the exact moment she started to notice sexism in the music industry, and ugh
With about two weeks to go until Taylor Swift’s next album, Lover, hits shelves, the pop star is at the top of her game. She’s released three new bops about loving yourself and has ended a long-time feud. But Swift’s life isn’t all pastel colors and butterflies. The singer is no stranger to being underestimated or ridiculed because of her gender, and in a new interview, she got candid about the moment she started experiencing this sexism in the music industry.
Swift is the cover star for Vogue‘s September 2019 issue, and in the story, she shared that, at first, when she broke into the industry as a teen, she didn’t notice the persistent mistreatment of other women in the business. But once she “became a woman,” it quickly became apparent.
"When I was a teenager, I would hear people talk about sexism in the music industry, and I’d be like, 'I don’t see it. I don’t understand,'" she told Vogue. "Then I realized that was because I was a kid. Men in the industry saw me as a kid. I was a lanky, scrawny, overexcited young girl who reminded them more of their little niece or their daughter than a successful woman in business or a colleague. The second I became a woman, in people’s perception, was when I started seeing it."
Swift also explained that this new backlash against her coincided with Red‘s release and resounding success.
"It’s fine to infantilize a girl’s success and say, 'How cute that she’s having some hit songs,'" she said. "'How cute that she's writing songs.' But the second it becomes formidable? As soon as I started playing stadiums—when I started to look like a woman—that wasn’t as cool anymore. It was when I started to have songs from Red come out and cross over, like 'I Knew You Were Trouble' and 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.'"
Swift has often been mocked her for writing about her past relationships—a fact that she then parodied in 1989‘s “Blank Space.” As she told Vogue, “find me a time when they say that about a male artist.” The most frustrating part is that she’s far from the only female artist to face sexist criticism of her work. We’re glad she’s sharing her experience, which illuminates how we treat successful women.