In case you live under a rock, the Grammy awards were last Monday night, Feb. 15., and Taylor Swift became the first woman to win Album of the Year twice. In fact, she's the first person (male or female) to win this award twice in over 20 years. History was made, folks. Below is her acceptance speech:
Following this win and this speech, the Internet blew up with comments and opinions, most of them settling on the idea that Taylor was calling out Kanye West for that moment at the 2009 VMAs that isn't even funny any more. And you know what? She probably was. Kanye did just come out with a new song called "Famous" with a very pointed line:
“I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that b---h famous (God Damn), I made that b---h famous.”
But who cares?
Taylor Swift has 67.1 million Instagram followers. Taylor Swift has won 248 awards in her career. Taylor Swift has been on the cover of TIME magazine for her incredible business prowess and fantastic use of her platform to model hard work and love to people--especially young women--everywhere.
Kanye West didn't make Taylor Swift famous. Claiming that Kanye West made Taylor Swift famous is saying that a man's stupid mistake and not her talent/hard work/support system/campaigning is what makes a female phenomenon famous. But if we're still in the men-make-women-famous camp, then it makes perfect sense that her empowering speech to young women went almost completely unnoticed in the wake of her maybe-feud with West. Primarily, her speech should be viewed as the motivational monologue it is. Few women have dared to take credit for the talent and the dedication it takes to make their dreams come true.
But obviously there is a second layer. Swift has proved herself to be too smart to be this publicly petty, so we can be certain that this reference to West is not her stooping down to his level of juvenile digs. Rather, she is rising above him and putting her foot down: Taylor Swift made Taylor Swift famous, and she shouldn't have to explain that to anyone.
In a way, this speech feels like it's marking a new era of Swiftdom. The curls are cut off, the country twang is over. The 2009 VMAs are forever irrelevant, and that girl is gone.
This is just the beginning of Taylor Swift.