A few days ago a good friend of mine posted an article onto my Facebook page that accused Taylor Swift of romanticising African colonial rule in her most recent music video, “Wildest Dreams”.
Her video was set against the backdrop of a non-specified African country in the 1920’s era and whilst it featured some dubiously photo-shopped prominent members of the African wildlife family, the big outcry with the whole video (according to the article) was that it didn’t feature one African person in it.
*gasps & clutches at my non-existent-pearl necklace*
This is the part when I interrupt my regular blogging schedule for about 4 minutes to showcase the infamous video so that those of you who haven’t watched it will know what the fuss is about. As for the rest of you who have already watched it, I’m still taking a break to make some tea. Ta.
Before I go any further, I would like to preface this post by declaring my long-standing musical allegiance to Ms Swift. Yes, I’m a Swiftie and I’m proud.
So now you know I’m a Taylor fan, for one second let’s pretend I’m not. I’ve watched the video and it didn’t offend me and honestly, I’m starting to think that it’s become too damn fashionable to take offence at everything – these are exhausting times *pinches bridge of my nose*
Ironically the only issue I took after watching all 3 minutes and 55 seconds of the video was not enough close-ups of Scott Eastwood, Taylor’s suspect lace-front wig and that photo-shopped version of Cecil’s second cousin (twice removed) just chilling in the background, nje.
Let’s say that she did include Africans, let me tell you right now that this here article would be then complaining that she used African people as pawns in her video OR she used African individuals from the wrong parts of African OR that she was in some shape or form contributing to Poverty Porn.
Would there have been as loud an outcry if she had shot this video against an Amazonian jungle backdrop with no Amazonian tribe members in view? Would her critics be baying for her blood as loud if she had not addressed the plight of the Amazonian jungle by not highlighting how deforestation, oil companies and globalisation had endangered parts of it.
In the infamous words of that random Nigerian actor who has the worst Ebonics accent ever:
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Pop Culture Jury, this video was not a case of misguided Cultural Appropriation or some ill-formed romantic homage to the days of colonial rule. No, this is merely Taylor taking advantage of the majestic African landscape and a giraffe with attitude (honestly, that giraffe at the 1:04 – 1:06 mark looks SO unimpressed, like it’s saying “Yo Tay-Tay, get out of my spot!”) to tell the story of a doomed and very one-sided love affair to the very handsome by-product of Clint Eastwood’s loins, during what was perceived as Hollywood’s Golden Era.
So let’s reserve our “Internet Rage” for more pressing concerns, nne.
Have a great weekend, chickens.
– The Big Problem With Taylor Swift’s New Music Video That Nobody Is Talking About.
– :A Much-Needed Primer on Cultural Appropriation
– Appropriation vs. Appreciation