1 of 10
WHEN SHE ANNOUNCED HER NEW ALBUM BY MAKING A STATEMENT
Unlike with her previous records — which she's announced on live streams and with traditional album rollouts — Swift decided to do something different when it came to her newest release. First, she wiped all of her social media accounts, then she teased fans with a cryptic, three-part video of a snake, and then, she suddenly dropped the cover art for Reputation, which features the singer rocking a dark lip and slicked-back hair, surrounded by her name in mock newspaper headlines. All of which came together to make one thing very clear: Taylor Swift is taking back the narrative, and she's going to tell her story, on her terms.
2 of 10
WHEN SHE COUNTERSUED HER ASSAILANT — FOR $1 — TO MAKE A STATEMENT ABOUT SEXUAL ASSAULT (AND WON!)
Backstage before one of her concerts in 2013, David Mueller, then a radio host, allegedly grabbed Swift’s behind during a meet-and-greet. Swift never sued Mueller or reported him to the police, but her security team did accuse him of the assault, which he claims led to him losing his job. He then sued Swift, saying that the allegations ruined his career. She countersued, arguing that he "intentionally reached under her skirt, and groped with his hand an intimate part of her body in an inappropriate manner, against her will, and without her permission." Her suit was for just $1, as Swift said she didn't want to "bankrupt this man." After some fierce court testimony, Swift won the lawsuit, and though she received only the $1 she asked for, she promised to donate more of her own money to groups that aid victims of sexual assault. “I acknowledge the privilege that I benefit from in life, in society and in my ability to shoulder the enormous cost of defending myself in a trial like this,” she said in a statement after the trial's conclusion. “My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard. Therefore, I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves.”
3 of 10
WHEN SHE CHANGED APPLE'S MIND IN A SINGLE DAY WITH A SINGLE LETTER
"We don't ask you for free iPhones. Please don't ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation," Taylor Swift wrote in a lengthy essay explaining that she would hold back 1989 from Apple Music because its free trial period causes artists to lose three months of compensation. The letter led Apple to change its tune: Soon after her words went viral, Eddy Cue, senior vice president of internet software and services, and CEO Tim Cook called Swift directly to tell her that the company will pay artists after all.
4 of 10
WHEN SHE WENT UP AGAINST SPOTIFY
We all thought Swift would never, ever, ever get back together with Spotify after pulling her catalog in 2015 (and simultaneously igniting a debate about the streaming service). "I think there should be an inherent value placed on art," she said. "I didn't see that happening, perception-wise, when I put my music on Spotify." She ended up changing her tune in June 2017, putting her catalog back on Spotify to celebrate 1989 selling 10 million albums worldwide.
5 of 10
WHEN SHE JUST DID NOT HAVE TIME FOR THAT FEUD THING
Her fans, her cats, her squad of equally impression girlfriends – those are all things Swift will gladly talk to you about. Just don't ask her about her rumored feud with Katy Perry, the much-speculated inspiration for "Bad Blood." She told The Telegraph, "I'm not giving them anything to write about. I'm never going to talk about her in my interview. It's not going to happen." Mic drop.
6 of 10
SPEAKING OF RUMORS: SHE HANDLES THEM LIKE A PRO
We just may never know if cat-cidental damage is covered by anyone's insurance. Poking fun at reports she took some serious steps to protect her famous legs, she posted a photo on Instagram of a claw-related injury. "GREAT WORK MEREDITH," she wrote. "I WAS JUST TRYING TO LOVE YOU AND NOW YOU OWE ME 40 MILLION DOLLARS."
7 of 10
WHEN SHE PUT THE PAPARAZZI IN THEIR PLACE
Nothing ruins a Hawaiian vacation with your girlfriends quite like … a bunch of strangers taking your picture with a long-lens camera. "We realize, 'Okay, so they got pictures of us in our bikinis. Like, I don't want them to make like $100,000 for stalking us," she recalled. "So we're like, 'Get up on the bow of the boat. We're taking better bikini shots, so they don't make as much money on theirs.'"
8 of 10
WHEN SHE MADE AN IMPORTANT CASE FOR FEMINISM IN 2015
9 of 10
WHEN SHE TURNED A JOKE INTO A DIALOGUE
When her dating track record became a punch line for hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at the 2013 Golden Globes, Swift responded to the controversy with a Madeleine Albright quote she heard from Katie Couric: "There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women."
10 of 10
NOT TO MENTION EVERY OTHER TIME SHE'S STOOD UP FOR FEMALE ARTISTS AND WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD
"For a female to write about her feelings and then be portrayed as some clingy, insane, desperate girlfriend in need of making you marry her and have kids with her, I think that's taking something that potentially should be celebrated – a woman writing about her feelings in a confessional way – that's taking it and turning it and twisting it into something that is frankly a little sexist," she told Vanity Fair in 2013. Any questions?
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