There's a profile of Taylor Swift in The New Yorker this week, which, like all profiles of Swift, wrestles with the fact that her teenage fans love her because they feel like they know her and find her authentic and talented, but she is so supremely competent, polished, and guarded that she seems, to many adults anyway, unsettlingly unknowable. (A more subtle way to say this can be found in the kicker of The New Yorker piece: "[Two young girls] stood there while [Swift] worked the room, very close, but very far away.") This being Swift, the piece is sort of light on "fun facts": She works very hard; her facade/personality never cracks; she's perkily, ambitiously neurotic ("I've been watching Behind the Music since I was five, and I became fascinated by career trajectories. Like ... this artist peaked on their second album. This artist peaked on their third album. These are singles artists, these are album artists and I sometimes stress myself out wondering what my trajectory is — like, if I sleep in and wake up at 2 pm, because I'm so tired from the night before, sometimes I'll beat myself up, because what if I was supposed to wake up earlier that day and write a song?"), and fine, she lives in a condo with an indoor moat. Oh, and also, she and Kayne totally high-five now.
Lizzie Widdicombe, who wrote the profile, went to the Met's Costume Gala with Swift and witnessed the following incident:
"Swift neared the top of the stairs and froze. She grabbed Erickson's sleeve in a panic: ‘Am I supposed to talk to him or not?” Standing by the door was the rapper Kanye West... Swift hesitated for a second, and then realizing that there was no time to wait for advice, continued walking up the stairs toward West. As she neared the door, he held a hand out, and they exchanged a studiedly casual “down low" high five. When it was over Swift stopped just inside the museum, looking giddy. Erickson let out a breath, and exclaimed "That wasn't bad!" Feeling my eyes on her, Swift didn’t comment on what had just happened. Instead, she said, "I’m so glad I didn’t bring a purse this year! "
You Belong With Me [The New Yorker]