Taylor Swift and Adele Take Different Approaches to Aging and Pop Stardom

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S1: This is the waves. This is the

S2: wave is the wave. This is the way this is, the way this is the waves ActionScript.

S1: Welcome to the Waves Slate’s podcast about gender, feminism and today at least aging alongside your favorite pop stars. Every episode, you get a new pair of feminists to talk about the thing we can’t get off our minds, and today you’ve got me. Asha Saluja, managing producer of Slate Podcasts,

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S3: and me Shannon Palus, Slate’s senior editor, mostly covering science and health.

S1: So the thing we can’t get off our minds this week is that it’s a huge week in pop music. Last Friday, pop icon and near-constant figure of public fascination Taylor Swift marked the rerelease of her 2012 album Red with a short film, a slew of late night interviews and an SNL appearance. And this coming weekend, beloved but reclusive megastar Adele gears up for the release of her next album, 30, after a two hour primetime special that featured an intimate concert and an interview with Oprah. I am a huge music fan and devoted follower of all of the pop girls, so I’m really excited to talk to you, Shannon, about both of these album cycles and in particular, how they speak to one decidedly feminist concern. The way we react to prominent women aging in the public eye. Shannon, why did you want to talk about this Asha?

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S3: I spend maybe 90 percent of my life when I have headphones in listening to Taylor Swift. I was a big fan of Reddit when it came out. Taylor was 22. I was 22, and getting to revisit red alongside Taylor is just a magical experience in. We’re happy, free, confused and all of us swears that that has been my vibe all week, and I’ve also been thinking a lot about what it means to observe pop stars and their public images. I recently wrote about Adele’s weight loss and how I feel about that and how I feel weird about having feelings about that. So I’m really excited to dive into pop stars and new music and what it means to be a woman in the spotlight.

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S1: I feel you on all of those things I’m so excited to, and we should mention that we’re right about the same age. So these pop stars and the particular ages that they are are really ripe for our specific projections. So I’m right there with you. Stay tuned. And we’re going to deep dive into what that’s been like for us as women, feminists and pop fans to get older with these women and witness their careers over time. Hello, Wave’s listener. We hope that you’re enjoying the show, and if you are. Be sure to come back every Thursday for a new episode to make it easy. You can subscribe to our feed and while you’re there, check out some other episodes too, like last week’s conversation, which was really, really great about using the words pregnant person versus pregnant women. Taylor Swift is currently on a press tour for the rerelease of her 2012 album Red. This is part of a big project to rerecord and release the entirety of her catalog prior to the year 2018 so that she owns the Masters to her songs in addition to owning the songwriting credits. We can get into what I think about this entire undertaking, which is turning out to be quite a big sort of like mid-career milestone for Taylor Swift. But first, Shannon, let’s get into how this particular release speaks to the current career moment Taylor finds herself in and how her age and gender have informed it. Shannon, I know you mentioned that red is a particularly meaningful Taylor album to you. Do you want to talk about why?

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S3: Yeah. So the theme of Red is being 22 years old, and I was 22 when Rod came out, so that just felt magical. This pop star who sings about emotions in very deep and descriptive ways, was my age and was in some ways going through a lot of the stuff that I was going through. One of the songs that resonated with me most on rad, particularly on the original, was We are never, ever getting back together, and it just kind of captures that feeling of being in college and kind of serving everyone in your life about your dating moves and kind of gathering intel about your like love interests, dating moves and strategizing. And kind of in a lot of ways, doing anything except having a conversation directly with them about your needs and then going and making this big, declarative statement like we’re never, ever getting back together. It was very relatable and in particular, the bridge of the song where she’s talking and and she says,

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S4: Well, like, I just. Is exhausting, you know, like we’re never going back to like ever.

S1: No.

S3: I think that I quoted that in therapy at least once. Just it really captured emotionally what was going on in my dating life. And I listened to that like very carefully on the real estate, and it just didn’t seem the same as on the original. I think you have to be in that kind of 22 headspace to to get out that little spoken word part with all of that emphasis. For me, the song that resonated the most this time around was all too well, the 10 minute version. She just seemed much more together than I did. And I know people say, Oh, well, she dated a ton of guys and she’s always been dramatic and like, I didn’t. I just don’t buy that like she. She seems like she she was really in love and had this love that was like deeper and more valid than my kind of needy, like crummy love that wasn’t reciprocated. And in the new version, it’s just like the new verses that are slotted into the 10 minute version. Reveal this entire back story to me that does align with my experience and I think does a lion a lot with the experience of being 22 and in kind of a shitty relationship where you’re not really getting what you need out of it.

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S1: I think that these lyrics make the song all the more relatable, and I think in some ways they helped me at least unpack the sort of internalized misogyny I’ve maybe had about the topics of, you know, Taylor’s music over the years. She’s definitely lived most of her 20s in the shadow of this early press narrative that was created around her as like a serial dater. As someone who is writing entire albums about a guy she’s dated for a few months, sort of like a dating dilettante, but also like a super dramatic scorned woman. And all of these things were both really gendered in a way that I see as sexist, but also that I was really susceptible to as someone who’s sort of lived throughout my 20s as like, you know, someone who did not wish to be defined by the men in my life. But these details help me unpack the misogyny that I felt toward her and sort of the like judgment that I held toward her for for writing long songs about guys that she maybe saw for a few months because our society’s in a different place. Right now, we’re taking women’s pain more seriously. We’re like,

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S3: yes, like like she’s seen as a serial dater and she’s like a lot of the chatter, which I have frankly not engaged with because I I don’t want to. I want my feelings about this album to stay pure. One thing I’ve always appreciated about Taylor is the way that she kind of blows up these really small feelings and lends them like real gravity. Some of her songs are about someone who she saw once briefly and my counter to like, Well, isn’t that ridiculous? It’s like, Well, it’s not really about the guy. It’s about something you’re processing within yourself and trying to find her place in the world exploring those feelings of like what you need and what you want and who you want to become through people you see who you think are hot or people you have these like little special dancing around to the refrigerator light moments with is really worthwhile. And men do this, by the way, to the song Hey there, Delilah. That was really popular when you were in high school was about some girl that the singer met at a party. Briefly.

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S1: I mean, from the scarf to like the refrigerator light to all of the details in this song, I’m now in a headspace where I think it’s like, really beautiful and powerful that she’s able to draw sort of masterpieces out of small emotions and small experiences. You know, I have some some like mixed feelings and some critical thoughts about a major pop star hitting her 30s and spending a bunch of time as a pitstop, sort of like looking back to her even younger days. She’s like doubling the amount of material that was that was originally released, so I can’t hold it against her that she’s not still digging into her creative well and like making new things happen. But it does disappoint me on one level, as a woman who’s kind of like about to turn 31, who’s staring down sort of like the next decade of my life that the pop star who’s my age, the one that I’ve aged through my teens and 20s with, is stopping at this juncture to spend all of this time in a more youthful place and like in a nostalgic place for a younger age. And I think the reason I feel so strongly about this is that I right now am also finding myself, like, oddly nostalgic for this era of my life. I kind of wonder a little bit like, is this because? ‘Cause we don’t necessarily have romanticized narratives of what it’s like to be 32 compared to what it’s like to be 22. I kind of wonder like whether she and I are both susceptible to like a sort of societal infatuation with with youth. But one thing I also wanted to bring up is that she’s not unself aware about this. And in fact, she was thinking about it long before it occurred to me having sort of aged in the spotlight, becoming a famous teenager and basically feeling like she was potentially going to be old news. By the time she was writing this album, read it was her fourth album and one of the new From the Vault songs that she released as a duet with Phoebe Bridgers is called Nothing New. And some of the lyrics speak to this fear and concern of mine super directly.

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S4: I know someday I’m gonna meet her. And so. Retrieve the cut rate is. He had says she’ll know the way and then she’ll say she got them for me. I’m so happy for me.

S1: Then I’ll cry myself to sleep. I mean, that is just like gutting.

S3: I listened to this album, and I think, thank God, I’m not 22 anymore.

S1: So we’ve talked quite a bit now about this rerelease project and another component of sort of like the conversation around it that’s been rubbing you the wrong way is like that. She kind of talks about it as a feminist pursuit. Taylor Swift is one of the richest women in America. Well, I think it’s great for her on a personal level to, like, regain creative control of the stuff that she’s made in the past. And that was kind of like exploitative Lee, to be fair, wrested from her control very early on when she was a teenager. I don’t know that I necessarily see it as like a win for women that she’s doing this project on a business level. Shannon, I’m really curious, what do you think

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S3: I have to say I like mostly don’t give a shit, but in terms of a means to an end in us getting this new stuff. I support it. I think that like Taylor’s whole like beef with people, part of her persona is one that I kind of try to ignore because it is embarrassing. Same with the part of her that released a keychain that says, Fuck the patriarchy with the you start out after people are going insane over the lyric. Like, why star out the you?

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S1: Another thing about this album cycle is that part of the motivation for it, to be sure, was like business oriented. I mean, she’s doing this entire rerelease project to sort of best a business rival, and it’s going really well, like tons of critical acclaim. But when we look at it as a business move, it’s hard to not wonder, like in a music industry that is known to sort of discard women once they expire at the ripe old age of 35. It’s a little disappointing that sort of the rereleased project has, like been just so lucrative and been viewed as such a savvy, super savvy business move. Again, you can’t hold this against her because she’s doing incredible things when she is living in the present like folklore and evermore. Some of her best work, if not, you know, potentially her overall best work. I think she’s more creatively fruitful than ever. Yeah. So it just leaves me with mixed feelings about why, you know, we’re not allowing her to, like, move straightforwardly into her 30s.

S3: It sort of reminds me of the fact that, you know, movies these days are all like sequels. You know, we have Fast and Furious like Part 100. It feels like in a way, everybody is just sort of looking at old IP and saying, What can we do at this?

S1: Yeah, man, dust off that old IP. It’s totally a trend that’s taking hold of like the music industry too, with studios getting into tick tock and saying, like, which songs can we make viral? So, yeah, it seems like she’s totally not above this like music industry strategery strategizing.

S3: What I really love about the rereleased project is just getting the fresh material the from the vault material, and this rerelease of Ride was such a trove of that. I feel like I got a little mini album from Taylor.

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S1: Yeah, she’s definitely bringing it with the new material, and ultimately, it’s really inspiring to listen to the rerecording because her voice sounds so much more mature and kind of overtly better, in my opinion. Like she’s really grown as a singer since the original recordings. As much as I have like mixed and critical feelings about this retrospective. I appreciate that she is revisiting this era with like, as you say, wiser eyes.

S3: One thing I refuse to engage with is watching the all too well felt. I will not watch them all to ourselves.

S1: Oh my God, I loved it. I think it actually really hammered this home for me and in a way that I was like, Oh man, I really felt this way like, I’m watching this happen. This this whole scene has has happened to me. So, yeah, no pressure, but I don’t not recommend it.

S3: I think I’m going to stick to sitting around and pretending the entire song is literally about me, and I’m not going to do anything that would puncture that perfect.

S1: OK? So on that note, we have another pop star whose life we’re projecting ourselves into right now, and that is Adele. We’re going to take a break here and we’re going to get into a bunch of that right after the break. But if you want to hear more from Shannon and me about another topic, check out our Waves Plus segment. Is this feminist where today we’re going to be debating whether pop stars not dancing in music videos is feminist? Stay tuned for that.

S3: If you’re not yet a Slate Plus member, you should join now. Members get bonus content like our amazing segment, but also on. Shows like Slow Burn, Sleep, Money, Culture, Gabfest, and more. It’s only one dollar for the first month to sign up good a slate dot com slash the waves plus.

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S1: OK, so we’re back and we’re going to dive into the career arc of Adele, who by contrast to Taylor Swift’s current press moment, has embarked on one of her own that is distinctly marking her next decade of life with her album 30, which comes out this Friday in the music video for the first single on the album Easy on Me. Adele is truly marking the passing of time in the first shots of the video for her most recent big single Few Years Back. Hello. She’s seen entering and settling into a dusty old house in the opening shots. For this new video, she is shown leaving that same house, which is lived in and no longer dusty, having a breezy phone conversation. So she’s signaling. Time has passed. I’ve weathered a storm and I’m OK. And in her primetime special, which aired this past Sunday night, she talked to Oprah about a lot of the things that precipitated this new era. Her divorce, her raising her son Angelo, as a single parent, cutting out alcohol for a while. And one big change, Shannon, that you wrote about recently in Slate. Should we dive right into it?

S3: Let’s dive in. So Adele is skinny now compared to the way she looked before she’s been skinny for a while. Last spring, she announced her skinniness to the world in an Instagram post that quickly went viral and was dissected on all manner of news sites and no doubt comments sections and places where trolls hang out. And with this current cycle, we got skinny Adele in a music video with skinny Adele doing press. This has made me really bummed out. So many of our pop stars are really, really super skinny. That’s almost almost a job requirement is being super skinny. So to have one of the ones who is not skinny becomes skinny felt to me like a loss. And. I want to be really clear here that I’m talking about the image of Adele and not Adele the person because Adele the person can do whatever she wants with her body. It’s none of my business. But Adele, professionally is a celebrity image that’s crafted for music videos, for magazines. You can’t lose weight as a megastar and not have the thought of like, how is this affecting my public image? How is this strengthening yet going into that journey?

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S1: Yeah, I think there’s some really interesting stuff in the Oprah interview about this where she’s kind of like, Listen, I’ve always been objectified for my body. She’s kind of like my body has never not figured in to how I’ve been perceived as a star. And so right now is no different. And it’s like, yeah, certain people saw themselves in me before and certain people see themselves in me now. And she said she sort of does feel bad that the people who used to see themselves in her might feel disappointed. But she, you know, can’t live her life around that.

S5: My body has been objectified. My entire career might be too big or too small, you know, a marble hall or I’m not like, whatever. I never looked up to anyone because of their body. You know, I never admired anyone because they had the same hair color as me or the same style as me, or, you know, whatever. So I wear the same wages. You never, never, ever, ever. And when you were heavier, you were fine. I was and I was body positive then, and I’m body positive now. But it’s not my job to validate how people feel about their bodies. And I feel bad. You know, it’s made anyone feel horrible about themselves, but that’s not my job, and I can’t. I’m trying to sort me out life out. You know, I can’t. I can’t. I have another worry and another thing to try and neo-con. And I think

S3: that that is important. But Adele the the human being that sits inside of this like big cloud of celebrity image, which is the part that we see a dollar human being doesn’t owe. Anyone anything in terms of like being a point of representation of like a different size in the music industry, the people who are responsible for that are the people behind the scenes who are selecting, who gets to be a recording artist and a pop star and who is going to have their name listed in the liner notes of an album for having written the song and who gets to be on magazines and. And in what shape and in what presentation. And I tried to be really clear about this in my piece when we’re talking about Adele or even when we’re talking about Taylor Swift and making this calculated decision to rerecord her albums. We’re not really talking about one human woman here. We’re talking about an entire business structure around that person. And then an entire industry around that one person’s business structure. So when I say that I’m bound that Adele lost weight, that’s the thought and the feeling that I’m having. But what’s under that is I’m bummed that. Our pop stars are really fucking conventionally hot in a very specific way. And when you lose someone that’s like not conventionally attractive on one very narrow access, it feels like it backfired because the range of what people look like is so, so narrow. That’s what I’m bummed about. That’s what I am and very angry about.

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S1: I also think it’s really interesting that Adele’s sort of like, opened up about this in, you know, a pretty carefully calculated but still vulnerable way in a way that like sort of mimics mimics a template that these other sort of like post 20s pop stars have followed to like, it almost feels like it’s part of the template now that a pop star who, you know, hits 29 is going to have to open up to the public about their struggle with their body and like whether they’re already super thin and conventionally attractive, or whether you know they’re on the other side of that. It’s just part of the script now. A big part of sort of like Taylor Swift’s public image in her last few years has been opening up about basically healing from an eating disorder or at least some disordered eating. And this reminds me, too of another star who kind of serves as the template for these two women in terms of just their ages. What it’s like to be one of the most famous women in music over the age of 30. And that’s Beyonce. Beyonce sort of marked her aging out of her 20s with a really similar confessional moment where she sort of talked about the struggles with her body image that she’d had in the past. The diets that she followed to kind of like gear up toward her biggest moments and the pressure that she still feels as even as a woman in her 30s to sort of, as they say, eat clean and follow a specific diet.

S2: Good morning. It’s five a.m. and this is day one of rehearsals for Coachella every woman’s nightmare. Small weight, 175. Long way to go. Let’s get it.

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S3: Beyonce is famously a very private person, and the fact that one of the few intimacies we got of her life that, you know, doesn’t come through her music because her music is, of course, very intimate. But whatever the like inside books we have in her life over the past two years is like, is her standing on a scale that’s disturbing to me?

S1: Yeah. And you can’t begrudge any of these individual women for sort of living through the fat phobia and body stigma that we are all susceptible to. And I’m sure that it really helps some people for them to come out and talk about, you know, what they go through to maintain the bodies that they have. And you know what struggle and strife it causes them to have to feel the pressure to do that. But at the same time, like it would be so liberating to just have a format or a template for a woman who’s aging into her 30s, 40s and beyond without making her body the centerpiece of the conversation.

S3: It does feel like a small piece of what you have to offer if you are a very famous woman. Is the like story of how you came to terms with your body or how you made your body smaller, or how you changed your body like that? That is a newsworthy fact about yourself. And and that’s what’s disturbing. It’s not again right? I don’t begrudge anyone for taking the cards that they have been dealt and. Using them like this?

S1: Yeah. Adele is one of those pop stars that is sort of on a different trajectory than at least me personally and probably a lot of the millennials that are her, that are her contemporaries. So this whole album cycle is tied to a new era for her personal, mental, physical, spiritual growth. And she’s been very careful to paint it as such. But one thing I think is really interesting about how that’s being reflected in her career is that at least from her lead single on this new album, all of that growth is kind of sounding the same. Like Adele’s, you know, easy on me could have easily been on on 25. And to be fair, we have not heard the whole album yet, like Taylor. She is sort of like showing a lot of growth as a vocalist and a singer. It turns out that she’s actually had vocal cord surgery, leading to a really clear and beautiful voice. But in terms of like, how the music is arriving with us like Shannon, would you agree that she’s not necessarily showing as much growth? Dare I say,

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S3: you know what you’re going to get with an Adele? It’s an Adele song. It’s wonderful. It’s well sung and it’s heartfelt and it’s an Adele song. One thing that I do want to push back on. He mentioned that Adele has really focused on how her weight loss is part of this mental shift and being healthier and feeling better about herself. I hate it when people talk about weight loss like that, because it implies that, oh, if you get healthy and if you’re in a better headspace, you’ll lose weight. When I actually think a lot of times you can get healthy and be in a better headspace and stay the same way or even gain weight.

S1: Yeah, her talking about it that way certainly does perpetuate a stereotype that we’re probably better off without right now.

S3: I also think that Adele music has clearly instead a lot more study than Taylor. But Adele also stays out of the spotlight too much, much bigger extent than Taylor. She doesn’t gossip as much. She doesn’t leave Easter eggs in her songs for people to figure out her past lovers and who she was photographed with. And I think that bolsters the sense of maturity that her songs have. The older I got, the more I realize that everybody deals with the same petty relationship. Shit that everybody else does to a certain extent and maturity is in not having that body of stuff happen. Maturity is kind of keeping it under wraps.

S1: Sometimes it is sort of the surefire sign of a pop star coming into their own as they age into new decades. It’s like deciding what you are or are not going to contribute to the conversation about you. So like Adele is a little more following the Beyonce script. You know, Beyoncé, as she grew older, became just super, super careful about what she was going to do in what capacities you were going to be allowed to to see her existing Adele is doing a little bit of the same. You know, she went off the radar for five six years and now she’s coming back in Oprah fashion, so it’s obviously a pretty carefully calculated maneuver. Taylor Swift is handling things a little bit differently. She’s allowing herself to be viewed and accessed to a bit of a greater extent, but she’s like controlling more of the narrative in a very personal way. Obviously, she’s doing this rerecord thing. She’s directing the music videos. She is like partnering on every single detail of the business venture. It’s these three different pop stars aging into a sense of control that works for them.

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S3: Before we head out, we want to give some recommendations, Asha, what are you loving right now?

S1: I have two recommendations. They’re both things that I think are going to jolt my senses as we head into the winter doldrums of COVID year two. The first one is a brand of hand sanitizer. It’s called Jao Refresher J A. Oh, and you know, if you’re like me and sometimes you’re out in public transport or other public settings, you feel like you need to get the germs off your hands real quick when you don’t have access to a sink. But the smell of regular hand sanitizer brings you a deep sensory recall to the beginning of COVID. This will jolt you out of that. It smells amazing somehow, despite having the recommended amount of alcohol to actually clean your hands, per the CDC. So that’s my one recommendation. My other recommendation is singing in the shower. I recommend it. It’s good for you. Just try it.

S3: My recommendation is getting a latte and going for a walk with a latte. I have been on a latte streak at work recently where every afternoon or many afternoons I go and buy a latte or a cappuccino from this fancy little coffee truck in our office complex. And. I know that the the whole financial recommendation that you shouldn’t buy coffee out and like certainly not lattes, has been debunked many times. But I feel particularly satisfied when I have a near daily what I may think I can afford this. It’s not as expensive as it’s been ingrained into each of us. It’s a nice small, actually.

S1: Look at us millennials through and through. That’s our show this week. The Waves is produced by Shaina Roth.

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S3: Susan Matthews is our editorial director with June Thomas providing oversight and moral support

S1: if you like the show. Be sure to subscribe, rate and review wherever you get your podcasts. And please consider supporting the show by joining Slate Plus, members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast and unlimited reading on the Slate site. No paywall. It’s only $1 for the first month. To learn more, go to Slate dot com slash the waves.

S3: Plus we’d also love to hear from you. Email us at four waves at Slate.com.

S1: The waves will be back next week. Different hosts. Different topic,

S4: same time and place.

S1: Thank you so much to our slate plus listeners as part of your subscription, you get this bonus segment, is this feminist, Shannon? The question on the docket today is this feminist? Is it feminist when pop stars don’t dance or dance well in their music videos?

S3: Go, I’m going to go with a solid. Yes, it is feminist when pop stars, especially female pop stars, don’t dance in their music videos. There are so many requirements to being a pop star. Dancing should not be one of them. It’s great when they can dance. It’s great if that’s your talent that you want to show off. It shouldn’t be a requirement. What are your thoughts?

S1: Yeah, I basically agree. I think any, you know, public forum for women that does not center their physical appearance is going to be a little feminist. I do think like one thought that occurs to me here is that so many of the younger pop generation, it’s a little bit racialized. It’s like the white women are allowed to get away with not dancing. A famous incident that comes to mind is Dua Lipa’s early music video era, the invention of the phrase in YouTube comments. Go girl! Give us nothing. Inspired by Dua Lipa’s basic inability to dance with any with any gusto. And I compare that to sort of the younger generation of black pop women like Normani. Absolute like double threat. Just Incredible Dancer. Similarly, like Chloe and Halle, Chloe Bailey is like really putting her name out there as someone who’s going to give you the song The Dance, the full show. Obviously, there are exceptions to this. It’s it’s not a straight line. We were talking about this earlier. Someone pointed out Whitney Houston is a super famous example of a black pop superhero who, you know, just was not inclined toward dancing. So, yeah, it’s not a cut and dry issue. But overall, I think that any progress toward women being able to just sing is a step in the right direction. Do you have any any feelings about Taylor Swift and Adele in particular and their behavior in music videos?

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S3: There is just one like YouTube comment or Reddit comment that has stuck in my head for nearly a decade. On a Taylor Swift video where she was attempting to dance. Our Our editorial director, Susan Matthews, has pointed out that Taylor doesn’t really dance. She struts and the comment said. You know, if you can’t dance, you shouldn’t choose to add it to your routine or you shouldn’t choose to display it on stage if you can’t do it. And that felt very sexist, like just you’re right, you’re in this industry where part of you are your brand in the way you make money is doing this. These like huge like Broadway level production shows and like maybe since you don’t look good doing the dancing part, you shouldn’t try. And that felt very success.

S1: That is. Yeah, you had an interesting thought about where the origin of like the necessity of the dancing pop star might have happened.

S3: Yeah. So as we know, Britney can dance and Christina Aguilera can dance, and they and, you know, Justin Timberlake can dance. They all were originally cast on Disney as Mickey Mouse Club Variety show and. So they were really selected specifically for their ability to do all kinds of things for this very specific show. And and I think a lot of the requirement for pop stars to dance kind of comes out of that. It’s interesting when you were saying the the bit about how it’s racialized made me think of a segment that our colleagues did on it. Why am I not a similar creature? And Rachel Hampton did a segment about white tech talkers stealing choreography from black tech talkers. And even, you know, one of them went on Jimmy Fallon to show off his choreography that she was pretty bad at and she didn’t even come up with.

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S1: Yes, Addison Rae is like the latest incarnation of Go Girl, give us nothing, it’s like the things that we require from our white pop stars are just like not as strenuous. It’s like the white supremacy, just kind of allowing them to to coast by on like so, so dance moves.

S3: So there’s a lot going on here.

S1: Yeah, definitely a lot going on. I fully buy the idea that the Mickey Mouse Club is this like nebulous source of of sexism in pop music. It’s certainly given birth to a number of our pop stars that have really struggled with a lot of these things about their public image, the perception of them as as bodily figures in the culture.

S3: It also like Mickey Mouse Club, like source of a lot of cute little blonde children, white wine children who later became famous like, yeah,

S1: they have to

S3: start there. They sure how to type.

S1: I loved that, Susan said. That Taylor Swift just struts and I have to say, you know, obviously she’s no Big Dancer, but I think she’s really come into her own in the way she like uses her body on stage. I loved her basically headbanging over over her middle of her song and her SNL performance.

S3: My favorite Taylor nine dance move is her head banging in an all too well, piano performance from, I guess, a decade ago now. Yes, yes, it’s a Grammy is where she’s playing piano, and she is kind of like throwing her body around.

S1: I also loved that that was like a landmark Taylor moment for me. So not to get to fuck the patriarchy keychain on the ground, but I am all for women using their bodies however they want to in the year 2021.

S3: That sounds like a good note to go out on.

S1: Thank you again for listening and for being a Slate Plus member. Do you have something you’re dying to know if it’s feminist or not? Email us at The Waves at Slate.com.