After getting into a major public feud with Kim Kardashian, the singer told Vogue that she faced a “mass public shaming.”
“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,” Swift said.
“When you say someone is canceled, it’s not a TV show. It’s a human being,” she added. “You’re sending mass amounts of messaging to this person to either shut up, disappear, or it could also be perceived as, ‘Kill yourself.’”
Part of the reason why she didn’t participate in the 2016 election, Swift said, was because of the twisted image the public had of her.
“Unfortunately, in the 2016 election you had a political opponent who was weaponizing the idea of the celebrity endorsement,” she said, referring, of course, to Donald Trump.
“He was going around saying, ‘I’m a man of the people. I’m for you. I care about you.’ I just knew. I knew I wasn’t going to help,” the 29-year-old added. “Also, you know, the summer before that election, all people were saying was: ‘She’s calculated. She’s manipulative. She’s not what she seems. She’s a snake. She’s a liar.’”
“These are the same exact insults people were hurling at Hillary. Would I be an endorsement or would I be a liability? ‘Look, snakes of a feather flock together. Look, the two lying women. The two nasty women.’ Literally millions of people were telling me to disappear. So I disappeared. In many senses.”
Swift later took a political turn after the election and got involved in many issues, one of which includes loudly standing up for LGBTQ rights. Her new song, “You Need to Calm Down,” includes the lyrics, “Shade never made anybody less gay.” Vogue interviewer Abby Aguirre asked the singer the one question many have had in their minds: Why did she decide to make a stand right now, instead of earlier on in her career?
“Rights are being stripped from basically everyone who isn’t a straight, white cisgender male,” Swift said. “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,” she added. “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.”
Head to Vogue to read more of Swift’s interview.