It's me, hi, I'm already losing my mind over the release of 1989 (Taylor's Version). One of the best parts of a Taylor Swift release day, you might ask? Why, that would be the lengthy prologues she writes along with each album, and dear reader, the Grammy winner isn't holding anything back when reflecting on the *iconic* 1989 era.
The original version of the album—which dropped exactly nine years before Taylor's Version in 2014—tells the story of a newly minted New Yorker that is 25-year-old Taylor Swift. It reflects on her journey in the city as she hangs out with friends and navigates an on-and-off situationship that many have theorized to be with Harry Styles or Karlie Kloss. Taylor seemingly addressed this speculation surrounding her dating life and sexuality in the prologue for 1989 (Taylor's Version).
"It became clear to me that for me, there was no such thing as casual dating, or even having a male friend who you platonically hang out with. If I was seen with him, it was assumed I was sleeping with him, and so I swore off hanging out with guys," she wrote. "Dating, flirting, or anything that could be weaponized against me by a culture that claimed to believe in liberating women but consistently treated me with the harsh moral codes of the Victorian era."
Taylor Swift’s prologue for #1989TaylorsVersion
“This moment is a reflection of the woods we’ve wandered through and all this love between us still glowing in the darkest dark.” pic.twitter.com/HGQDTPqKgo
— Taylor Swift Updates (@SwiftNYC) October 27, 2023
She continued, explaining the origin of her infamous "squad" that took over the media during the original era in 2014. "Being a consummate optimist, I assumed I could fix this if I simply changed my behavior. I swore off dating and decided to focus only on myself, my music, my growth, and my female friendships," she added. "If I only hung out with my female friends, people couldn’t sensationalize or sexualize that, right? I would learn later on that people could and people would."
This isn't the first time the "Blank Space" singer addressed speculation about her relationships through her music. During her Billboard Woman of the Decade speech in 2019, she explained her artistic decision to venture deeper into pop music with 1989.
"They’re saying I’m dating too much in my 20s? Okay, I’ll stop, I’ll just be single. For years. Now they’re saying my album Red is filled with too many breakup songs? Okay, okay, I’ll make one about moving to New York and deciding that really my life is more fun with just my friends. Oh, they’re saying my music is changing too much for me to stay in country music? All right. Okay, here’s an entire genre shift and a pop album called 1989," she said.
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