You know an essay is going to be good when this is the preamble:
I am writing this piece in good faith (that you, as a reader, like to think more about the culture that surrounds you, whether it’s culture you love or hate or are ambivalent about) and that you are in turn reading in good faith (that I do not hate Taylor Swift, that this is not a takedown, that we’re talking about Swift’s image but we’re also talking about people’s reaction to that image).
But yes, this is a really timely and poignant piece by Anne Helen Peterson about Taylor Swift and the impossible trajectory of celebrity:
But sometimes, when you keep on winning — awards, sure, but also in your career — it doesn’t matter who you are or how hard you worked for those achievements. People are going to find it harder to root for you. It’s when domination turns into over-saturation: when honest missteps become weaponized, when the interpersonal comes to feel emblematic, when every move becomes overdetermined.