Last night, Taylor Swift kicked off the massive summer stadium tour behind her Reputation album at the University Of Phoenix stadium in Glendale, Arizona. We’ve already posted some videos of her performing, but the most newsworthy thing from the show might not have been anything directly music-related. It might be the moment when, for the first time, Swift finally directly addressed the time that Kim Kardashian called her a snake:
About two years ago, Kardashian posted an instantly-famous Snapchat video of a conversation between Kardashian’s husband Kanye West and Swift. On his song “Famous,” West had rapped, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / I made that bitch famous.” Swift had objected to the lyric, even referencing it when she accepted an Album Of The Year Grammy, but the video appeared to show her OK’ing it. When she shared the video, Kardashian wrote, “Wait it’s legit National Snake Day?!?!?” and posted a bunch of snake emojis.
That incident inspired probably about half of Swift’s Reputation album. She had snakes in her “Look What You Made Me Do” video, and at her show last night there were giant inflatable snakes everywhere. Swift used a snake-shaped mic stand and, at one point, she went over the crowd on a snake-shaped platform.
As The Washington Post reports, during the show, Swift at one point talked to the crowd, never mentioning Kardashian’s name but directly addressing the whole situation. Here’s what she said:
You might be wondering why there are so many snakes everywhere, huh? A couple of years ago, someone called me a snake on social media, and it caught on. Then a lot of people were calling me a lot of things on social media. And I went through some really low times for a while because of it. I went through some times when I didn’t know if I was going to get to do this anymore.
I wanted to send a message to you guys that if someone uses namecalling to bully you on social media, and even if a lot of people jump on board with it, that doesn’t have to defeat you. It can strengthen you instead. And I think something that came out of it, that was good, is that I learned a really important lesson that I’ve been telling you from the stage for about 10 years, but I never had to learn it so harshly myself. And that lesson has to do with how much you value your reputation.
I think that the lesson is that you shouldn’t care so much if you feel misunderstood by a lot of people who don’t know you, as long as you feel understood by the people who do know you — the people who will show up for you, the people who see you as a human being.
Here’s video of her speech:
— Taylor Swift News (@TSwiftNZBU) May 9, 2018
It’s probably worth pointing out that Swift never said anything about why someone might’ve been using “namecalling to bully” her. Maybe it doesn’t really matter in a situation like that, with the message she was trying to convey to her fans. But maybe it does.