Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Ruby Rose, Cara Delevingne and More: can we say that Taylor Swift's Friendship Circle is Queer-Inclusive?

TaraElla: Maybe Taylor Swift does stand for something important, after all. The other day I read this article which pointed out that her friendship circle is in fact very queer inclusive. There was even this photo of Taylor and about a dozen of her friends. In there was Ruby Rose and her girlfriend, and Cara Delevingne and her girlfriend. That's about 25% queer, about 12 times the population average. I don't think this inclusiveness is deliberate, but it's good that she's doing this.

Jess: I rather think she decided there should be an LGBT quota because it would look good.

Katie: I'm with Jess here. It looks calculated, just like many of Taylor Swift's other activities.

TaraElla: If it were calculated, shouldn't the quota be more like 2%, in line with the population average?

Jess: I just think she has set the quota super high to make her look super-inclusive. But anyway, it would still send a good message to young people out there.

TaraElla: I still disagree that somehow this isn't genuine, but I think we can agree that by being so inclusive she's doing something great, setting an example for girls out there.

Katie: But seriously, who cares what Taylor Swift does? I don't, and I never will.

TaraElla: You may not care, but quite a few people out there do, and she has set a great example for them. So at least, she has done her bit to change the world.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Did she just get slammed as part of the Taylor Swift vs Kimye Feud, or does Selena Gomez really not Speak Up Enough?

During the recent twitter wars that was part of the Taylor vs Kimye feud, Selena Gomez tweeted that there were more important things to talk about, in response to Taylor haters getting all excited about her supposed 'downfall'. Trouble was that, she was soon criticised for not talking about the 'more important things', like the recent issues of gun violence and police brutality. And then some Latinos even suggested that, as a Latina, she didn't talk about Latino issues enough.

TaraElla: I think Selena should just be herself, and if it means what she is right now, then there's nothing wrong with that. There are plenty of other people to support those causes.

Jess: I really think it's just part of the feud. I think they were just out to get Selena. She should just ignore them.

Katie: But it's true that Selena appears to almost stand for nothing. It's sad when you could have helped changed the world, but don't.

TaraElla: But the important point is that, if she doesn't want to support a cause or take a political stand, that should be fine. There should be no pressure for people to say or do certain things, if they are not comfortable doing so. The fact that she is a Latina also doesn't mean she needs to be a champion for her race. My point is, nobody should ever be pressured into roles they aren't comfortable with.

Jess: The other thing is, the world isn't just all about social justice warriors, after all. Some people just want to be entertainers, and that's fine.

Selena Gomez - Same Old Love (cover/parody)

Download the full song here.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Donald Trump Campaign Continues to Use Queen Song, Despite Being Told Not To

The Donald Trump campaign has used the Queen song We Are The Champions again, despite already being told by the band to stop doing so, that they disappove of the use.

I think this is very disrespectful. The Trump campaign may think they can legally use the music as long as it's licenced, but I still think it's very disrespectful, especially coming from someone who is running for President.

If I were his advisor I would advise that this should stop. (But then again, does he even listen to advice, I wonder?)

Adele - Hello (cover/parody)

Download the full song here.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Whether #KimExposedTaylorParty is Real or Not, Taylor Swift Needs to Improve her Image

Let me start by saying this. I still stand with Taylor in her current feud with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. I remain a Taylor supporter, and I write this like every other piece of advice I give, just to try to help.

But after my conversation with Katie and Jess, I suddenly realised this. Many people out there have always doubted Taylor's authenticity, and that's what makes her vulnerable to accusations like these. For quite a few people out there, they have always been picturing in their minds that Taylor was a fake, cooking up drama for publicity all the time, and this is their 'proof'. The many 'personalities' Taylor has displayed over the years have meant that people think they don't know what she stands for, that she may have been faking it all along.

Which brings me back to 2009, why I began to like Taylor, and why I so strongly argued that she deserved those awards back then, more so than her competition (Beyonce and Lady Gaga being the main ones back then). I liked that Taylor had values, and really stood for something. Sure, Lady Gaga was known to be gay friendly. But that had become almost a generic stance everyone took, even back then. On the other hand, Taylor Swift stood for things people may not necessarily like, that were not what mainstream celebrities were likely to talk about. I don't know if you still remember it, but she received a lot of hate for her You Belong With Me video for its supposed 'slut shaming' imagery and also for her song Fifteen (which was actually one of my favourite Taylor songs). Of course that criticism was almost ridiculous, but the hate was real, and I believe it was because she stood for something. I still remember reading one commentator being impressed by the fact that Taylor took the effort to express appreciation for her mom, something that could potentially make her look uncool in the entertainment world, but she did it anyway. Let's hope this Taylor comes back. Agree with her or not, you have a good idea of what Taylor Swift was all about.

Fast forward to today. Taylor Swift may not be 'fake' as her haters say, but she doesn't appear to stand for any particular values solidly either. She has become a 'generic popstar', if you like. She may still have many haters, but they hate her for being 'fake', not for her values. If she stood her ground like she did back then, nobody could say that she's fake. I guess that's what she should do again.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Taylor Swift vs Kanye West and Kim Kardashian: Is it Really #TaylorSwiftOverParty or Not?

Ever since Kim Kardashian's release of those SnapChat coversations between Taylor Swift and Kanye West, there has been polarised discussion, not only regarding whether the Kimye version was a true reflection of events, but also regarding whether Taylor Swift is 'fake and calculating', as some commentators have put it. Some anti-Taylor commentators have even (perhaps prematurely) said that Taylor's image is coming apart, that fans will now desert her.

TaraElla: So like all stories, there are now two version of events. And I am inclined to back Taylor's, on the overall evidence. It was stupid for Kanye to come up with his idea anyway, of revisiting those events in 2009. Taylor has been the victim of bullying in this event, and in anything relating to this event, I believe Taylor deserves to be believed more than Kanye. (A potential 'conflict of interest' declaration here: I was a major supporter of Taylor Swift's claim to those awards back in 2009, as readers of my blog and column may remember.)

Katie: But doesn't this all go back to the long-standing accusation that Taylor Swift has been fake all along? I mean, would the real Taylor Swift please stand up? It's almost like in the You Belong With Me music video, except that there has been more than two of her. For example, there's country princess Taylor, there's the Taylor from the Begin Again video, there's the Taylor we see now, and I think there have been more Taylors in between. All these seem like different people to me. In the beginning, when I only saw one single Taylor Swift, I quite liked her. But now? I really don't know if I like her, because, I don't really like ALL the Taylors I have seen. If she doesn't address this problem soon enough, it will eventually be #TaylorSwiftOverParty whether involving Kimye or not.

Jess: I'm with Katie here. If so many people think that Taylor is fake, and she cannot prove otherwise, then her authenticity deserves to be doubted. This is not to say Kim and Kanye are to be trusted either. I don't think Taylor's career is over or anything like that however. People like her, and don't care whether she's fake or not. I even read an article somewhere saying that Taylor Swift is a brilliant popstar because she is fake.

TaraElla: I guess people can change over time. That doesn't necessarily prove that they are fake. I've heard it all before, but I've yet to see evidence that Taylor Swift is indeed fake in any way.

Katie: But take, for example, her attitude on feminism. It was not long ago that she said it was not about 'boys vs girls'. Now she's soooooo feminist. It doesn't look believable to me.

Jess: Maybe she's just been 'educated'? I don't know, I'm just saying it's possible. Some people may do this. Still, with Taylor Swift, I don't have the confidence that she is acting real.

TaraElla: I guess you two may have a point about Taylor, at least that she may have 'confused' many people with her rapid personality changes. Maybe she should address this. Still, I tend to see this as an extension of 2009, Kanye as the bully and Taylor as the victim. You have to remember that it was a Kanye song that started it all, too.

Lady Gaga finally gets Driver's Licence at 30. (There should be no shame in that!)

Lady Gaga recently shared that she finally received her driver's licence, at age 30. She revealed that she only had a learner's permit all this time, even as she was a major global superstar.

And I think it was terrific that she shared this with us. There's a major cultural expectation that people should get the licences when they are teenagers. But the truth is, people 'develop' at different speeds in different aspects, and this expectation is very unhealthy.

The culture needs to change, and Lady Gaga has at least started a conversation. Good on you!

Download the full song here.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Mila Kunis on Photoshop is Spot On. I Hope the Industry Listens

In a recent magazine interview, Mila Kunis shared her views on photoshopping. She put it this way: it's like if somebody wanted her name, but they didn't want what she really looked like.

I think this is the best argument against photoshopping I've heard so far (not that there aren't many other good arguments).

I hope the industry listens. But if they don't (as likely), I suggest that celebrities start insisting that their names should not be used on photos that have been edited to not look like them, because that would be false advertising. Why would they want to do that, you may ask. Well, I believe the first few celebrities to start insisting on this would gain loads of public respect, and the rest would just have to follow, thereby ending this unhealthy culture of photoshopping.

Download the full song here.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Kim Kardashian's Waist is Scary, Photoshop, Corset or Not.

Kim Kardashian has been causing controversy in her appearance on Fergie's latest music video. Specifically, it has to do with her ultra-slim waist, which many accused her of photoshopping. She later hit back, denying any photoshopping, suggesting instead the use of a corset.

But let's take a look at this again. Who would want such a waist? The proportions are not natural at all, and it frankly looks scary. And scary ain't beautiful.

Maybe someone should take the Fergie video and indeed Photoshop Kim to look more normal by increasing her waist size. Ironically, that would make her look much better.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Mila Kunis apologized to Mom for being a Difficult Teenager. More of us should do that, I think.

In a recent magazine interview, Mila Kunis admitted to being a difficult teenager in the past, and she even apologised to her mom when she was 21.

Let's face it. Most of us were difficult in some way as teenagers (or even when a bit older), and we probably do owe our parents an apology.

I think we should make this a popular thing to do. Take your mom (or dad) out to dinner, and make the apology sincere. And tell them how much you actually appreciate them, now that you are older.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Daniel Radcliff Leaves Door Open on Returning as Harry Potter

J.K. Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter book soon, and fans have been getting their hopes up that Daniel Radcliffe returns to the role in a future movie. Daniel himself has said that it's not the right time yet, but he doesn't rule it out eventually, pointing to what has happened with Star Wars.

So can we take that as a 'yes, maybe'? I think so.

As an author myself I can see the appeal of the Harry Potter books, and why fans want more and more of it. But I actually think that many of the actors would want to move on by now. I would, if it were me. You know, they have a life too, they are not wizards and witches in real life.

TaraElla's Latest Single Not That Kind of Retro

This song is now available at the TaraElla Google Play shop.