Taylor Swift on Why There’s No Use in Trying to 'Defeat' Enemies: 'Trash Takes Itself Out'

The 'Time'-designated Person of the Year closes out 2023 with some words of wisdom on fame.

taylor swift performing live
Image via Getty/TAS2023
taylor swift performing live

To say that Taylor Swift had one hell of a 2023 would be an understatement of downright preposterous proportions. Alongside re-recordings of Speak Now and 1989, the latter of which earned Swift her biggest-ever sales week, she also bagged a theatrical blockbuster with the film version of her Eras Tour experience. Now, Swift is capping off this incredible 12-month run with a Person of the Year distinction from the folks at Time magazine.

In the resulting feature, penned by Sam Lansky, Swift speaks at length about a number of topics certain to be of interest to fans both casual and deeply committed, including how she views the ever-changing nature of fame at this level. More specifically, she shared some well-earned words of wisdom on the topic of whether to bother pursuing the “defeat” of one’s “enemies.” In Swift’s case, these problems tend to resolve themselves.

“Nothing is permanent,” she said. “So I’m very careful to be grateful every second that I get to be doing this at this level, because I’ve had it taken away from me before. There is one thing I’ve learned: My response to anything that happens, good or bad, is to keep making things. Keep making art.”

Notably, Lansky’s piece sees the above quote from Swift being introduced with some reflections from the writer on this year’s Scooter Braun developments, as well as the fallout from the artist formerly known as Kanye West’s anti-Semitic comments in 2022. On the topic of “enemies,” specifically, Swift offered the following:

“But I’ve also learned there’s no point in actively trying to quote unquote defeat your enemies. Trash takes itself out every single time.”

Read more here. The full Person of the Year coverage also includes praise from Lady Bird and Barbie director Greta Gerwig, a reveal that a certain Paul Thomas Anderson film inspired the Midnights track "Mastermind," and much more.

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At next year's Grammys, Midnights, Swift's 10th studio release, is up for Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album. Fellow nominees in the Album of the Year category include Jon Batiste, boygenius, Miley Cyrus, Lana Del Rey, Janelle Monáe, Olivia Rodrigo, and SZA.

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