Sorry, Swifties. Let me start this by saying I don’t hate Taylor Swift. I really don’t. But, as an active member of the Britney Army (I’ve been dutifully serving since 1998), I can’t let another day go by without calling out T. Swift for continuously copying the undisputed Princess of Pop. The truth of the matter is that 27-year-old Taylor — who, like me, grew up in a time where Britney Spears reigned supreme — has taken one too many cues from the living legend.
I don’t want to be too hard on Tay. After all, her unremitting veneration of Britney is rather admirable. The former country starlet shared her love for the “Piece of Me” songstress in a 2009 MySpace post. “While I was in LA my mom reorganized my bathroom … But then I turned around and was startled by something … Where was my Britney Spears poster … No, this can’t be right … WHERE is it?!? I searched the room frantically for a few seconds before finding its new spot,” she wrote at the time. “My Britney Spears poster (from 6th grade) had been relocated to my bedroom, which is another AMAZING upgrade. This way, I see it more often and it more proudly displays my unwavering devotion to Britney Spears.”
While I understand that Britney — who serves as an inspiration to pretty much all of humankind — is often imitated, she is never duplicated. And it’s about time that Miss Swift understands that. First, let’s revisit Taylor’s 2015 video for “Bad Blood,” her first unfortunate attempt at channeling our beloved Brit-Brit.
Joseph Kahn — who directed several of Britney’s most iconic videos — was hired by Taylor to work on the visual for her Katy Perry-bashing single. Now, I don’t know if it was Taylor or Joseph who came up with the concept for “Bad Blood,” but it was a legit hybrid of Britney’s videos for “Toxic” and “Womanizer.” Here, please take a look and see for yourself.
The red hair and cat eye makeup from “Toxic”:
The “walking through a futuristic-looking tunnel while wearing a black bodysuit” moment in “Toxic”:
Taylor’s “Bad Blood” co-star Selena Gomez as Brunette Bob-ney from “Womanizer”:
Selena (as Brunette Bob-ney) also kicking a– and taking names in an office setting:
Coincidence? I think not. And then, in early August, Taylor tried to make snakes her thing when she announced the release of her sixth studio album, Reputation. Yes, Taylor was repeatedly called a snake after Kim Kardashian seemingly confirmed that she lied about not giving Kanye West permission to name-drop her in his controversial track “Famous.” But, TBH, I don’t care if Taylor is trying to take ownership of her bad rap as Hollywood’s biggest snake, because Britney was the one who made serpents fun — and sexy! — in the first place. Not scary.
In case you forgot, Britney left an indelible mark on pop culture when she writhed around with an albino Burmese python named Banana during a particularly steamy live performance of her hit “I’m a Slave 4 U” at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards. Like, even to this day, I get chills when I think about it.
Three letters: SMH. Maybe Taylor will — in the eternal words of Chris Crocker — leave Britney alone in her upcoming video for “…Ready for It?” Fingers crossed, for sure.