Well, this is certainly a coup for Edward Enninful, the recently installed editor-in-chief of British Vogue. It was widely believed that Enninful was installed because British Vogue was seeming rather dusty and homogenous, and the magazine wanted to go for a more youthful and racially diverse look. So… how does Taylor Swift really fit in with the new vision for British Vogue? She doesn’t really, but it’s still a coup. Swifty hasn’t done any print media promotion for Reputation, and so British Vogue got Taylor’s only – ?? – magazine cover. She made a conscious choice to do British Vogue rather than American Vogue or Rolling Stone or Vanity Fair. It’s also interesting because Tay’s got a thing for British boys and it would not surprise me at all if she had quietly bought a place in London, or she was thinking of buying a place. Handsome Joe is British too. Tay posted the cover on her Instagram with this message:
Thank you @edward_enninful and @mertalas for your passion, spirit, and contagious laughter on set. Mert and Marcus took these photos for @britishvogue and my album photos for reputation, and it’s been such a bonding experience working together so closely and talking so much about what we wanted to make. It’s been a while since I’ve done a magazine cover. I’m really happy my first one back was with such wonderful people.
That makes me think that she’ll do more magazine covers next year. She must be dying to explain her moves! That’s what I love and hate about Taylor – she wants to be like Beyonce and try this whole “dropping an album with no explanation, because there is only REPUTATION” thing, but the truth is… Tay does not have Beyonce’s willpower. Beyonce could refuse to speak on behalf of Beyonce for the rest of her days. Beyonce could merely explain her art through other art pieces forever (Beyonce explaining the music of Lemonade with the visual HBO special is the most classic example). Taylor doesn’t have the willpower to do that – she needs to explain it, make her fans understand, give people clues about which song is about which guy. That’s why she’s held listening sessions with fans and explained the songs to them, and told them to spread the word.
All of which to say, Taylor did not give British Vogue an interview. Girl is TRYING to have willpower! She wrote a poem for British Vogue but refused to sit for an interview. Enninful wrote about Swift: “Obviously she is a world-class lyricist – and has written a stunning poem just for Vogue on the timely subject of reinvention and moving on – but she also takes her duties as a role model very seriously. Taylor is acutely aware of her following and how she communicates with young women, and will never portray a character that would send the wrong message.” She’s so acutely aware of her following and how she communicates that she won’t even tell neo-Nazis that she doesn’t want their business, and when she gets called out on it, she sends unhinged legal threats to small-time bloggers.
Last thing: please enjoy this cover of Tay’s “I Did Something Bad.”
Cover courtesy of British Vogue, additional photo courtesy of Getty.