Remember “Look what you made me do,” by Taylor Swift? If you’ve forgotten, congratulations! I’m impressed. It was the #1 song for quite a while. But also, I’m so sorry for reminding you. A lot of people hated the song/music video for a lot of different reasons, but there’s one thing in particular that really got me heated about the whole thing that actually doesn’t have to do with disguised symbolism relating to Kim Kardashian or the monotone-ness of the chorus (I’ve read plenty of journalism about that already, and I’m confident that no one wishes to read any more.)

My initial thought after watching the video was “This is super silly!” The whole song feels like it was written for Pretty Little Liars: The Movie, and I personally found it hilarious that Taylor’s attempt to discard her old “reputation” was done in the most Taylor Swift way possible. A dramatic Instagram build up? Releasing personalized magazines, posters, and CDs to fans? This is exactly what she did with 1989, except that time she was going from Pop to Country, and this time she’s going from Pop to, dare I say, Pop With More Black Eyeliner.

But whatever. As pretentious or brilliant as you think the single is, what really irks me is that Taylor wants the “old Taylor” dead so bad. “Old Taylor” is a girl of red lipstick and curly blonde hair and represents the voice of the typical young, troubled, naïve, carefree girl that we all are or once were. “Old Taylor” was my 8-12 year old self’s inspiration, because she was vulnerable, honest, and relatable. But some time has gone by, and now I’m left with here with the words “Why? Oh, she’s dead,” which when stripped of their god-awful cheesiness feel exactly like that phrase “I’m not like other girls”, or rather, “I’m no longer like other girls.”

What’s up with that, Taylor? What’s so wrong with other girls like the one you used to be? Like the ones probably listening to this song? What makes them less worthy?

In my book, nothing. But I’ll be frank, there was a period of time when I felt like being a “girly girl” was done to death. Though I can’t say I really understood feminism at all at the time, I think I thought that liking traditionally feminine things made you less of a feminist. To me in my naïveté, girls who were rebels didn’t like pink or bows or makeup. They had short hair and wore pants and played sports. This translated to how I presented myself and how I judged the girls around me. I wanted people to know that “I wasn’t like other girls”; I was “woke”. But looking back, in perpetuating this idea that femininity is something to be ashamed of, I was only furthering a stereotype and contributing to the same hate that I thought I was combating.

In my humble opinion, Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream will always do more for feminism than her latest self declared “purposeful pop” album Witness. Maybe it’s an overcorrect for the current political climate or manifestation of some guilt stemming from privilege, but this new archetype of the “woke (probably white) female pop star” is only putting up more walls than it’s tearing down. Wear a pushup bra or don’t, because who freakin’ cares!! Either way you can still be a feminist!! True empowerment only happens when we lift each other up rather than tear any one down so we can all achieve happiness and freedom together. I love The Notebook, shoes, and the color pink. I’m exactly like other girls, and I’m proud. So take that, Taylor!

Love, Ruby