“Disarming someone’s petty bullying can be as simple as learning to laugh,” Swift wrote, referencing Kim Kardashian and her husband, Kanye West, who the singer has been battling with for years since he famously interrupted her acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards to give his own.
Her fight with Kardashian reached a breaking point in July 2016 when Kardashian posted Snapchat videos of Swift chatting with West about his song “Famous.” Kardashian leaked audio of Swift approving the use of her name in the lyrics: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous.” When Swift claims she never approved the use of the “bitch” line, Kardashian called her a snake.
While Kardashian said on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in January that she’s “over” the drama and has moved on, Swift has brought it all up again with her article. “In my experience, I’ve come to see that bullies want to be feared and taken seriously,” she wrote. “A few years ago, someone started an online hate campaign by calling me a snake on the internet. The fact that so many people jumped on board with it led me to feeling lower than I’ve ever felt in my life. It would be nice if we could get an apology from people who bully us, but maybe all I’ll ever get is the satisfaction of knowing I could survive it, and thrive in spite of it.”
Swift did fight back with a giant inflatable snake named Karyn that appears on stage as she sings “Look What You Made Me Do” on her Reputation Stadium Tour.
“I can’t tell you how hard I had to keep from laughing every time my 63-foot inflatable cobra named Karyn appeared onstage in front of 60,000 screaming fans,” Swift said of the prop. “It’s the Stadium Tour equivalent of responding to a troll’s hateful Instagram comment with ‘lol.’”
So does Kardashian owe her an apology? Was it really bullying?
In a recent survey of more than 2,000 adults across the U.S., 31 percent of respondents said they’ve been bullied as adults, and 43 percent believe that bullying behavior has become more accepted in the past year.
“As upsetting as being bullied is at any given moment, what’s worse is it can have a significant impact on your physical and emotional health, leading to sleep loss, headaches, muscle pain, anxiety and depression, or frequent sick days,” reported U.S. News and World Report. “There can be significant, long-term detrimental effects … The stress from bullying can trickle into thyroid problems, gastrointestinal problems, elevated blood pressure, mood disorders, self-harming behavior and eating disorders, among other health conditions.”
Researchers have a very specific definition of bullying: “It’s deliberate meanness, targeting a particular individual, usually over a period of time (although sometimes a single cruel act can count); plus there’s a power difference between the person doing the bullying and the target. That power difference is what makes it difficult or impossible for [those] who are truly being bullied to protect or defend themselves.”
The American Psychological Association defines bullying as as “aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort,” and again “involves a real or perceived power imbalance.”
“Among adults, bullying can take more subtle forms than it does with kids: Rather than threatening to beat someone up or calling someone nasty names, the adult brand of bullying can include political backstabbing, the silent treatment, publicly belittling or humiliating someone, social ostracism or undermining him or her,” say experts.
So in conclusion, it’s hard to say when both these women are famous, who’s really bullying who.
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