Taylor Swift seemingly addressed rumors about her sexuality in the prologue for 1989 (Taylor’s Version), saying her friendships have been “sensationalized” and “sexualized.”
In the message to fans, Taylor, 33, spoke candidly about being a target of “slut-shaming,” and said the “intensity and relentlessness” of the attention about her dating life “really hurt.”
Tim P. Whitby / Stringer
“You see — in the years preceding this, I had become the target of slut-shaming — the intensity and relentlessness of which would be criticized and called out if it happened today,” Taylor wrote in a prologue released on Friday, October 27. “The jokes about my amount of boyfriends. The trivialization of my songwriting as if it were a predatory act of a boy crazy psychopath. The media co-signing of this narrative. I had to make it stop. Because it was starting to really hurt.”
The “Wildest Dreams” singer continued, venting her frustrations about her inability to be seen with platonic friends without sparking romance rumors, and admitted it made her stop hanging out with men altogether.
“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,” she continued. “If I was seen with him, it was assumed I was sleeping with him, and so I swore off hanging out with guys. 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 went on to explain that she believed she could stop the gossip if she began hanging out exclusively with female friends.
Raymond Hall / Contributor
“Being a consummate optimist, I assumed I could fix this if I simply changed my behavior,” Taylor wrote. “I swore off dating and decided to focus only on myself, my music, my growth, and my female friendships. 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.”
The pop superstar is likely referring to her close former friendships with model Karlie Kloss and actress Dianna Agron, both of whom fans have long speculated Taylor once dated.
The “Blank Space” singer wrote that she brushed off the rumors and focused on songwriting instead. She continued in the prologue, “But none of that mattered then because I had a plan and I had demeanor as trusting as a basket of golden retriever puppies. I had the keys to my own apartment in New York and I had new melodies bursting from my imagination.”
Reflecting on the era in which she wrote 1989, Taylor admitted that there was “so much that [she] didn’t know then,” and described that time in her life as being “marked by right kind of naïveté, a hunger for adventure, and a sense of freedom that I hadn’t tasted before.”
Christopher Polk/AMA2014 / Contributor
The “I Know Places” singer ended the prologue with a message of gratitude to her fans.
“I’ll always be so incredibly grateful to how you loved and embraced this album,” she wrote. She joked that fans “knew that maybe a girl who surrounds herself with female friends in adulthood is making up for a lack of them in childhood (not starting a tyrannical girl cult).”
The 12-time Grammy Award winner thanked her supporters for “having the grace to allow [her] the freedom to change,” referring to her self-described “reinvention” with the 2014 release of 1989.
Jeff Kravitz/AMA2014 / Contributor
She added, alluding to her own hit song, “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the magic you would sprinkle on my life for so long.”
Taylor concluded the message with, “I present to you, with gratitude and wild wonder, my version of 1989. It’s been waiting for you.”