Taylor Swift Opens Up About Being "Canceled" in 2016: It Was a "Very Isolating Experience"

Inez and Vinoodh | Vogue

Taylor Swift is coming to terms with her past and learning how to move on. The "ME!" singer covers the September issue of Vogue, and in the magazine, she opens up about everything from her feud with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West in 2016 to the sexism she has faced in the music industry. In addition to hashing out past drama, Taylor also takes a moment to talk about the future of her career, including her highly anticipated seventh album, Lover.

In the cover story, Taylor teases two unreleased songs on the album: "The Man" and the title track "Lover." While the latter track, which was coproduced by Jack Antonoff, includes beautifully written lyrics like, "My heart's been borrowed and yours has been blue. All's well that ends well to end up with you," "The Man" questions what Taylor's career would be like if she were a man. "If I had made all the same choices, all the same mistakes, all the same accomplishments, how would it read?" she says. Just from those two teases alone, we're more than ready for Aug. 23. See the rest of her quotes from the cover story ahead, then get details on her outfits.

Inez and Vinoodh | Vogue

  • On the infamous #TaylorSwiftIsCanceled hashtag after the Kim Kardashian drama: "A mass public shaming, with millions of people saying you are quote-unquote canceled, is a very isolating experience. I don't think there are that many people who can actually understand what it's like to have millions of people hate you very loudly. When you say someone is canceled, it's not a TV show. It's a human being. You're sending mass amounts of messaging to this person to either shut up, disappear, or it could also be perceived as, Kill yourself."
  • On moving on from the Kanye West and Kim Kardashian drama: "When you're going through loss or embarrassment or shame, it's a grieving process with so many micro emotions in a day. One of the reasons why I didn't do interviews for Reputation was that I couldn't figure out how I felt hour to hour. Sometimes I felt like: All these things taught me something that I never could have learned in a way that didn't hurt as much. Five minutes later, I'd feel like: That was horrible. Why did that have to happen? What am I supposed to take from this other than mass amounts of humiliation? And then five minutes later I'd think: I think I might be happier than I've ever been. It's so strange trying to be self-aware when you've been cast as this always smiling, always happy 'America's sweetheart' thing, and then having that taken away and realizing that it's actually a great thing that it was taken away, because that's extremely limiting. We're not going to go straight to gratitude with it. Ever. But we're going to find positive aspects to it. We're never going to write a thank-you note."
Inez and Vinoodh | Vogue

  • On Lover being her favorite album yet: "There are so many ways in which this album feels like a new beginning. This album is really a love letter to love, in all of its maddening, passionate, exciting, enchanting, horrific, tragic, wonderful glory."
  • On sexism in the music industry: "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. Then I realized, as an adult woman, that was because I was a kid. Men in the industry saw me as a kid. Cause 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. It's fine to infantilize a girl's success and say, How cute that she's having some hit songs. 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."
  • On being scrutinized for writing songs about her exes. "I wanted to say to people, You realize writing songs is an art and a craft and not, like, an easy thing to do? Or to do well? People would act like it was a weapon I was using. Like a cheap dirty trick. Be careful, bro, she'll write a song about you. Don't stand near her. First of all, that's not how it works. Second of all, find me a time when they say that about a male artist: Be careful, girl, he'll use his experience with you to get — God forbid — inspiration to make art."
Inez and Vinoodh | Vogue

  • On breaking her political silence and speaking out about LGBTQ+ rights: "Rights are being stripped from basically everyone who isn't a straight white cisgender male. I didn't realize until recently that I could advocate for a community that I'm not a part of. It's hard to know how to do that without being so fearful of making a mistake that you just freeze. Because my mistakes are very loud. When I make a mistake, it echoes through the canyons of the world. It's clickbait, and it's a part of my life story, and it's a part of my career arc."
  • On mending her friendship with Katy Perry and inviting her to be in the "You Need to Calm Down" music video: "She wrote back, This makes me so emotional. I'm so up for this. I want us to be that example. But let's spend some time together. Because I want it to be real. So she came over and we talked for hours. We decided the metaphor for what happens in the media is they pick two people and it's like they're pouring gasoline all over the floor. All that needs to happen is one false move, one false word, one misunderstanding, and a match is lit and dropped. That's what happened with us. It was: Who's better? Katy or Taylor? Katy or Taylor? Katy or Taylor? Katy or Taylor? The tension is so high that it becomes impossible for you to not think that the other person has something against you."