While her intentions are well-meaning, the "You Need to Calm Down" video is a missed opportunity to highlight the narratives represented by the queer icons.
Just when Taylor Swift gives us hope, she lets us down.
Her latest music video features almost every mainstream queer celebrity you could imagine. While her intentions are well-meaning, the video is a missed opportunity to highlight the narratives represented by the queer icons. Instead of throwing a trans flag at Laverne Cox, Swift could center the video on the activist and her perspective rather than on her own.
Taylor Swift - You Need To Calm Down www.youtube.com
The Todrick Hall production capitalized solely on the culture of the LGBTQ+ community— celebrating it and taking the song a bit too literally. But uplifting these voices means more than a feature in a video or tagging them on social media.
Stan/Follow/Support @A_doubleC_D @adamlambert @Adaripp @AdoreDelano @antoni @theebillyporter @bobbyberk… https://t.co/Z7tprkgOIU— Taylor Swift (@Taylor Swift)1560777851.0
The music video highlights the visual aesthetic that "signifies" gay culture. There are rainbows and dancing and glitter. We follow a white cis, straight woman parade around with her LGBTQ+ friends. It's a party, a celebration of being yourself, fighting against "barbaric" homophobes with love and positivity. Yet, here, the biggest takeaway from this video is that at last, pop's biggest feud between Taylor Swift and Katy Perry is over. They embrace in the video— which will be sure to cause conversation. It overshadows the video's intent. It's also marketing genius.
The video ends with an image of text advocating for the Equality Act. The Equality Act was passed by the House of Representatives but now sits idle in the Senate. The law would extend civil rights protections to people of any sexual orientation and gender identity. Swift urged supporters to sign her petition asking for Senate support. The petition already has over 200,000 signatures, converting the single's success into political support for LGBTQ+ issues.
While Taylor Swift has contributed to the LGTBQ+ community through donations and recent political support, she's misinterpreted what an ally should be. Leading up to the video's release, Swift addressed a rumor that she would share a kiss with Perry:
"That is ABSOLUTELY false. To be an ally is to understand the difference between advocating and baiting. Anyone trying to twist this positivity into something it isn't needs to calm down. It costs zero dollars to not step on our gowns."
It's difficult to forget the days when Taylor Swift refused to comment on politics, to the point she threatened to sue over white supremacy allegations. Now, she's attempting to be a part of the conversation while lacking the language to be effective. What Swift cannot seem to grasp is that advocating for and offering a platform to the LBGTQ+ community should be greater than featuring them in a music video. Uplifting their stories and normalizing their experiences goes a lot further than a straight woman's celebration of pride. Expecting an immediate embrace from LGBTQ+ members after years of silence and quiet donations is asking for more credit than she deserves. It takes time to earn the trust of queer people, and just maybe, Taylor Swift should take several seats and listen.
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At this point, it might be easier to fathom the number of past RuPaul's Drag Race contestants who haven't tried their hand at a music career, but season 6 runner-up Adore Delano is one of the few who is actually deserving of being deemed a singer.
Her amazing first album, 2014's Till Death Do Us Party, not only holds a record for being the highest-charting debut of any of the show's melodically inclined contestants, but it also managed to best anything that RuPaul herself has ever released throughout her 22-year long music career (Delano premiered at no. 59 whereas Ru's highest peak was with last year's Born Naked, which entered the Top 200 chart at no. 85).
Just recently, the queen, who once deemed herself "polish remover" (a drag queen who is happily less than perfect) released her latest video for the sultry track, Jump the Gun.
Filled with steamy scenes involving scantily clad guys and a hot make-out session with fellow Drag Race alum (and equally talented singer) Courtney Act, the clip serves as the sixth release from Delano's disc. It also happens to be the sexiest, but no one's complaining about that.
Check it out for yourself -- are you feeling the groove?
Most of you will know who Adore Delano is, either from her time competing on the seventh season of American Idol as Danny Noriega or her stint on the latest season of RuPaul's Drag Race. Like most Drag Race finalists, Adore's launching a music career (or should I say, 'relaunching'), but her first single, "DTF," isn't what we've come to expect from the dozens of wannabe pop stars that RuPaul has given life to.
Sidestepping the typical camp EDM fodder that's expected from most Drag Race alumni, Delano goes for something more current with trap-infused electro-hop. She plays down her huge pipes for the most part, matching the song's hazy beats by flatlining her lines like someone who's too stoned to try and too cool to care. Add the deliciously white trash music video on top, and we may very well have the best Drag Race single since RuPaul herself dropped "Jealous Of My Boogie."
While most Drag Race divas are busy trying to become the next Lady Gaga, Adore Delano is breaking the mold and forging her own lane as drag's answer to Brooke Candy and Lil Debbie.