To quote Heath Ledger as Patrick Verona in 10 Things I Hate About You, “What is it with this chick? She have beer-flavored nipples?” This is the sentiment a rational person feels when beholding the dissection of everything Taylor Swift puts out into the world. Her latest piece of “artistry”? A new video for “Wildest Dreams,” set against a lush backdrop of 1950s Africa.
I know what you’re thinking. Cady Heron is the only white girl allowed to have anything to do with Africa. It’s far too delicate a setting to not create certain hotbed issues even when one isn’t setting out to be offensive. Directed by Joseph Kahn, best known for helming some of Britney Spears’ best music videos, and now, Swift’s (including “Blank Space” and “Bad Blood”), “Wildest Dreams” wields the premise of two Hollywood actors making a movie in Africa while falling in love.
As the movie progresses, they start to hate each other a little bit more every day, gooey-eyed looks transforming into overblown fights. Because it is set in 1950, there are a noticeable lack of black people present among the crew members of the film. While I am by no means a Swift apologist (as anyone who knows my views on her NYC Tourism Ambassador role can attest to), it is quite ridiculous that she should be accused of racism or glamorizing colonialism.
Because of this controversy, Kahn has spoken out about the video, noting, “There is no political agenda.” And yet, this is the problem with Americans. Whenever you try to keep politics out of something, they try to accuse you of “white”-washing or “glossing over” “important issues.” Can’t a bitch just tell a historically accurate story? All she wanted was to look and feel like a less edgy Lana Del Rey for a moment. And she’s even catering to her bathetic good girl image by donating proceeds from the video (are there proceeds to be made from a video?) to the African Parks Foundation of America. So please calm down and reserve your accusations of racism for the NYPD.