Taylor Swift Really Hates Matty Healy, and Also Maybe Us

But in The Tortured Poets Department, Swift seems to aim her weapons squarely at her own creation: her fans’ deep parasocial relationship with her. The schism, it appears, came over her extremely ill-fated whirlwind fling with The 1975’s Matty Healy. If you were living under a rock, a brief synopsis. Swift broke up with Alwyn, immediately started dating bad-boy rocker Healy, may or may not have said she loved him on stage, fans began to rage against him online for his myriad racist and sexist remarks, and then they split. She then started dating Kelce, and many fans who were mad at her for dating, in their estimation, a scumbag like Healy quickly forgave her for the misstep and embraced her new Americana love story.

Healy, to basically everyone’s surprise, is the main antagonist of The Tortured Poets Department, instead of Alwyn, who gets barely a mention in comparison. It seems their fling was, in a nutshell, extremely toxic and ended very poorly, and Swift seems extremely bitter about the whole thing and how he treated her. In one song, titled “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived,” she lets him have it.

“You are what you did, And I’ll forget you but I’ll never forgive, the smallest man who ever lived,” she sings.

But an equally biting missive seems to be aimed at a surprising target: the fans who thought they knew better than she did about her relationship with Healy. Titled “But Daddy I Love Him,” Swift accuses those judging her relationship as”the most judgmental creeps” who “say they want what’s best for me, sanctimoniously performing soliloquies I’ll never see.”

“I’ll tell you somethin’ right now, I’d rather burn my whole life down, Than listen to one more second of all this bitchin’ and moanin,’” she says. “I’ll tell you somethin’ ’bout my good name. It’s mine alone to disgrace. I don’t cater to all these vipers dressed in empath’s clothing.”

Okay, sure. But honestly, what did she expect? Swift has spent her entire career building what she now has: an empire of a fandom with perhaps the most parasocial relationship to parasocial in history. Her fans think they can advise and criticize and judge her because that is the relationship she has built with them, as not a pop icon, but a friend who understands them on a deeper level. And it seems for the most part she enjoys the monoculture she built, when it is giving her accolades and making her a billion dollars. After all, with Kelce, she is more out in the open than ever, and apparently loves it.

Of course this has consequences! Of course sometimes her fandom—which is frequently jokingly compared to QAnon or a cult for its devotion—feels entitled to feel personally affected by herr admittedly poor choices. If Swift wants *waves hands* all this, she has to accept that her life is 100 percent hers anymore. How can it be?

If you’re a Swiftie feeling sad about this though, don’t be. It appears the rage Swift felt was actually just a brief moment in time. In the album’s “prologue,” she appears to be speaking directly to her fans, admitting that she was wrong, and asking them for forgiveness.

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