The things we do to celebrities are a direct reflection of the true social and political attitudes that our society holds. While it appears that men and women enjoy equal rights, from a legal perspective, we’re still working on social equality. If we consider the way Taylor Swift has been treated by the tabloids, it’s pretty clear that feminism is still relevant and very much needed. The singer is barely into her thirties and we’re already wondering why she’s not married, and making comments about her dying alone with a room full of cats—though we’ve yet to make any such comments about John Cusack or Jared Leto, both of whom have never married or had children.
Welcome to 2023
Welcome to 2023, a land where feminism is irrelevant but we still ask why female celebrities haven’t been “wifed.” It’s truly a time to be alive. We’d never ask why nobody’s “husbanded” a male celebrity. In fact, we hardly notice when a male celebrity remains unmarried, even if he’s got a lengthy history of dating girls who are young enough to be his daughter—we’re talking about you, Leonardo DiCaprio. In fact, it’s even celebrated that Leo can get girls who are young enough to be his daughters: well, of course he’d never settle down! He’s handsome and rich! Why would he? But the moment a woman elects to stay unmarried, it’s somehow a huge issue.
Guys, She’s 33
Putting aside the double standard, Taylor Swift is 33 years old. Statistics from 2022 reveal that the average person got married at age 30. In most states, the average person is getting married in their early to mid-thirties, the only exception being Utah, with an average age of 28. Given that Taylor Swift is arguably one of the most famous people in the entire world, it’s not surprising that she may have chosen to hold off on finding a man who was “husband material” until she was further along in her career. While misogynists love to criticize a woman’s choice to focus on their careers, it’s particularly ridiculous in the case of Taylor Swift because she’s Taylor freaking Swift. As of 2023, it’s estimated that her net worth is over $1 billion.
But She’s Dated SO Many Guys
She’s Dated SO many guys! Doesn’t that mean she’s, y’know, crazy? The bulk of what we know about Taylor Swift’s dating history took place when she was between the ages 18 and 22.
By “normal person” standards, dating a bunch of different people for only a few months each is completely normal behavior for someone between the ages of 18 and 22. In fact, it’s not at all uncommon for people to give young people advice to date a lot of people before settling down. Swift’s first serious relationship with Calvin Harris occurred when she was around 24 and lasted until she was around 25. After that, she dated Tom Hiddleston for a few months. In 2017, she began dating actor Joe Alwyn and the two were together for six years. If we judge Taylor Swift by the same standards we judge normal, everyday people by, her dating life is actually pretty normal.
But She Writes about Her Exes!
A common complaint about Taylor Swift is that she writes about her exes, but a lot of artists produce content inspired by their current or former partners. In fact, it’s rumored that when Zelda Fitzgerald published Save Me the Waltz, F. Scott Fitzgerald flew into a rage since she wrote about experiences that he was planning on writing about. Justin Bieber, John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, Eminem, and Robin Thicke have all made music about their exes, some of them even dedicating entire albums to their exes. The only difference? They’re Men. And, therefore, it’s therefore, somehow magically acceptable for them to talk about their break-ups.
Why Does This Bother Us?
The question we, as a society, should be asking isn’t why Taylor Swift remains unmarried.
Instead, we should be asking ourselves why it bothers us that she’s unmarried. Why do we feel entitled to make judgments (based on marital status alone) about someone whom we don’t know on a personal level, and whom most of us have never met in passing? Is it because we’re uncomfortable with the fact that a woman with such influence and wealth has yet to “fall in line” with the rest of society? And why is it that we have expectations of how any given celebrity should act, even though we have no idea what it’s like to have our lives so meticulously detailed by magazines, tabloids, and paparazzies?