BUT I KEEP CRUISING
she’s ready to blaze into the next phase of her still-young career, where she’ll continue to dance like no one’s watching, write like she stole our collective diary, and inevitably soar to ever-greater heights.
@SwiftWorld13: Shake it Off is #1 on iTunes in 31 countries! Congrats @taylorswift and @taylornation13! http://t.co/ZVxf20Uyn5
Not to take my newfound tolerance of Taylor Swift immediately to the next level, but I think this is an important learning moment for Tumblr:
I’ve been seeing a lot of messages going around about the “cultural appropriation” of using twerkers in the Shake It Off video. It’s not. Let me delineate the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural representation.
It’s pretty clear in the Shake It Off video that Taylor is not good at any of these dances. Not twerking, not ballet, not interpretive. She is clearly set apart from all of these dance forms and the cultures they may or may not be a part of. The plot of the video is that she tries to fit in in all these places, but in the end she just needs to shake her white booty in some Keds. She is not taking on the twerking culture as her own. She is not claiming she has an authentic role in it. She is allowing the people who ARE authentically a part of it to demonstrate it and keeping herself separate from it. This is cultural representation and it’s harmless.
Cultural appropriation is when Miley Cyrus claims she - as a rich and famous white girl - has any authentic ownership over twerking or its related culture. It’s when she puts herself as the central focal point of said culture in her video and implies that she is a representative of it, like it’s all about “her and her girls.”
I don’t make this distinction because I think it’s important that Taylor get away with shit and Miley does not. I make it because I’m concerned “cultural appropriation” is becoming a Tumblr buzzword that’s used as an excuse to write an enraged anonymous message about a pop star you don’t like instead of an actual social and pop cultural issue. I’m concerned you’re throwing it out there to get notes.
I’m concerned you keep using that word. But I do not think it means what you think it means.