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Rolling Stone's Taylor Swift cover was an unsubtle wet t-shirt contest entry rather than her usual cute lewk, which is significant because the magazine has angled their feature as "The Reinvention of Taylor Swift." One issue, though: She might be doing full on pop now, but she still talks about cats and friendship.
Like, for example, this secondhand cat story:
"So my brother comes home the other day," Taylor Swift says, "and he goes, 'Oh, my God—I just saw a guy walking down the street with a cat on his head.'"
As an ardent fan of ready-made metaphors, as well as of cats, Swift was excited by this. "My first reaction was, 'Did you take a picture?'" she says. "And then I thought about it. Half of my brain was going, 'We should be able to take a picture if we want to. That guy is asking for it—he's got a cat on his head!' But the other half was going, 'What if he just wants to walk around with a cat on his head, and not have his picture taken all day?"
And this friendship name drop situation:
Swift leads the way into one of her four guest bedrooms. "This is where Karlie usually stays," she says—meaning supermodel Karlie Kloss, one of her new BFFs, whom she met nine months ago at the Victoria's Secret fashion show. There's a basket of Kloss's favorite Whole Foods treats next to the bed, and multiple photos of her on the walls. Against another wall, there's a rack full of white nightgowns. "This is a thing me and Lena have," says Swift—meaning Lena Dunham, another recent friend. "We wear them during the day and look like pioneer women, fresh off the Oregon Trail."
And this juicy little blind item about frenemies embedded in the interview:
Swift's focus on sisterhood cuts both ways, because when another woman crosses her, she's equally fierce about hitting back. The angriest song on 1989 is called "Bad Blood," and it's about another female artist Swift declines to name. "For years, I was never sure if we were friends or not," she says. "She would come up to me at awards shows and say something and walk away, and I would think, 'Are we friends, or did she just give me the harshest insult of my life?'" Then last year, the other star crossed a line. "She did something so horrible," Swift says. "I was like, 'Oh, we're just straight-up enemies.' And it wasn't even about a guy! It had to do with business. She basically tried to sabotage an entire arena tour. She tried to hire a bunch of people out from under me. And I'm surprisingly non-confrontational—you would not believe how much I hate conflict. So now I have to avoid her. It's awkward, and I don't like it."
On the new side, she's owning to her feminism now:
"Earlier in her career, Swift deflected questions about feminism because she didn't want to alienate male fans. But these days, she's proud to identify herself as a feminist. To her, all feminism means is wanting women to have the same opportunities as men. "I don't see how you could oppose that." Dunham says Swift has always been a feminist whether she called herself one or not: "She runs her own company, she's creating music that connects to other women instead of creating a sexual persona for the male gaze, and no one is in control of her. If that's not feminism, what is?"
But then, of course, scones:
In front of her, two bodyguards clear a path. Behind her, another bodyguard carries a bag of scones.
There's also a lot of talk about not dating and privacy. So, in conclusion, it's really just old TSwift with a new sheen of wet t-shirtness, pop, and feminism?
From the archives: 'Erica Young on Designing Beyonce's Sexy Legwear'