She can do no wrong.
I’m talking of course about Taylor Swift, the American phenom who turns enemies (like Kanye West) into friends and bakes cupcakes and surprises sick kids in hospitals, and who shows up at bridal showers unannounced to give generous gifts.
She’s sweet and sexy, leggy and smart, so how can anyone not love this one?
In the November issue, GQ’s Chuck Klosterman interrogates the most popular human alive. Taylor was down the street from Monsters and Critics’ offices in Malibu! How did we miss this? Taylor, please visit us in Malibu Canyon, you are always welcome here.
“There is such a thing as having enough… after ten years, you learn to appreciate happiness when it happens, and that happiness is rare and fleeting, and that you’re not entitled to it.” – Taylor Swift
Excerpts courtesy of GQ:
“You’re in an interview, and the writer says, ‘Who is that song about? That sounds like a really intense moment from your life.’ And you sit there, and you know you’re on good terms with your ex-boyfriend, and you don’t want him—or his family—to think you’re firing shots at him. So you say, ‘That was about losing a friend.’ And that’s basically all you say. But then people cryptically tweet about what you meant,” Taylor Swift tells GQ’s Chuck Klosterman about the media’s assumptions that ‘Bad Blood’ was about Katy Perry.
“I never said anything that would point a finger in the specific direction of one specific person, and I can sleep at night knowing that. I knew the song would be assigned to a person, and the easiest mark was someone who I didn’t want to be labeled with this song. It was not a song about heartbreak. It was about the loss of friendship.”
“I’ve never named names, so I feel like I still have a sense of power over what people say—even if that isn’t true, and even if I don’t have any power over what people say about me. The fact that I’ve never confirmed who those songs are about makes me feel like there is still one card I’m holding.” When asked how she feels about being labeled as calculating, she turns serious. “Am I shooting from the hip?” she asks, rhetorically. “Would any of this have happened if I was? … You can be successful for three or four years. Accidents happen. But careers take hard work.” And part of this hard work is holding on to the small artistic liberties she can—like never making public statements about who her extremely personal songs are about.
“To me, the safest thing I could do was take the biggest risk. I know how to write a song. I’m not confident about a lot of other aspects of my life, but I know how to write a song.” So it comes as no surprise that Swift has studied the ins and outs of the music industry. “I used to watch Behind the Music everyday,” she tells Klosterman.
“When other kids were watching normal shows, I’d watch Behind the Music. And I would see these bands that were doing so well, and I’d wonder what went wrong… And what I established in my brain was that a lack of self-awareness was always the downfall… So self-awareness has been such a huge part of what I try to achieve on a daily basis. It’s less about reputation management and strategy and vanity than it is about trying desperately to preserve self-awareness since that seems to be the first thing to go out the door when people find success.”
“I’m around people so much. Massive amounts of people… So then when I go home and turn on the TV, and I’ve got Monica and Chandler and Ross and Rachel and Phoebe and Joey on a Friends marathon, I don’t feel lonely.” But Swift is completely comfortable with her alone time: “You know, during the first few years of your career, the only thing anyone says to you is ‘Enjoy this. Just enjoy this.’ That’s all they ever tell you. And I finally know how to do that.”
“You take your creative license and create things that are larger than life. You can write things like I get drunk on jealousy, but you’ll come back each time you leave, ‘cause darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream. That is not my approach to relationships. But is it cool to write the narrative of a girl who’s crazy but seductive but glamorous but nuts but manipulative? That was the character I felt the media had written for me, and for a long time I felt hurt by it. I took it personally. But as time went by, I realized it was kind of hilarious.”
The November issue of GQ will be available on newsstands in New York and L.A. on Tuesday, October 20, and nationally October 26.