Writer says Swift is 'a scary flashback to the fascist blondes who ruled the social scene during my youth'
Taylor Swift has been criticised for being elitist and presenting a “silly, regressive public image” by famed feminist author Camille Paglia, who has also labelled the star an “obnoxious Nazi Barbie”.
Paglia has penned a think piece for The Hollywood Reporter in which she critiques Swift’s modern brand of ‘girl squad’ feminism and portrays her as elitist and self-gratifying.
Paglia writes: “In our wide-open modern era of independent careers, girl squads can help women advance if they avoid presenting a silly, regressive public image — as in the tittering, tongues-out mugging of Swift’s bear-hugging posse. Swift herself should retire that obnoxious Nazi Barbie routine of wheeling out friends and celebrities as performance props, an exhibitionistic overkill that Lara Marie Schoenhals brilliantly parodied in her scathing viral video ‘Please Welcome to the Stage’.
“Writing about Taylor Swift is a horrific ordeal for me because her twinkly persona is such a scary flashback to the fascist blondes who ruled the social scene during my youth.”
She continued: “Girl squads ought to be about mentoring, exchanging advice and experience and launching exciting and innovative joint projects. Women need to study the immensely productive dynamic of male bonding in history. With their results-oriented teamwork, men largely have escaped the sexual jealousy, emotionalism and spiteful turf wars that sometimes dog women.
“If women in Hollywood seek a broad audience, they must aim higher and transcend a narrow gender factionalism that thrives on grievance. Girl squads are only an early learning stage of female development. For women to leave a lasting mark on culture, they need to cut down on the socializing and focus like a laser on their own creative gifts.”
Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ world tour has featured an array of special guests, from Charli XCX and Lorde to St Vincent and Avril Lavigne.
Paglia previously criticised Swift in another piece for The Hollywood Reporter in 2012. She wrote: “There’s Taylor Swift, America’s latest sweetheart, beaming beatifically in all her winsome 1950s glory from the cover of Parade magazine in the Thanksgiving weekend newspapers. In TV interviews, Swift affects a ‘golly, gee whiz’ persona of cultivated blandness and self-deprecation, which is completely at odds with her shrewd glam dress sense.
“Her themes are mainly complaints about boyfriends, faceless louts who blur in her mind as well as ours. Swift’s meandering, snippy songs make 16-year-old Lesley Gore’s 1963 hit ‘It’s My Party (And I’ll Cry if I Want to)’ seem like a towering masterpiece of social commentary, psychological drama and shapely concision.”
American academic and social critic Paglia published her influential book Sexual Personae in 1990, which looked at sexual decadence in Western history and literature. However, some have labelled Paglia as an “anti-feminist feminist” due to her unorthodox views.
Meanwhile, Jared Leto is reportedly suing celebrity gossip website TMZ after being caught insulting Taylor Swift in a video leaked online.