Remember when Taylor Swift “shook off” the haters and made fans ferociously want to dance with “Shake It Off”? Her first single from 1989 (which many pop-leaning Swifties view as her best album) boasts an uptempo bop that marked Swift’s gasp-inducing pivot into, well, pop music. And it was territory she wouldn’t return from for years. Its accompanying music video, which dropped at midnight on Aug. 18, 2014, along with the track, is now one of the 20 most viewed YouTube videos of all time, shaking its way to 3 billion views as of this writing. Yup, billion with a B.
Between that and other chart-toppers like “Blank Space” and “Bad Blood” — all of which got viral music videos — suddenly the whole world was dancing along to … Taylor Swift? At the time, as even Saturday Night Live pointed out, it seemed surprising! Why was this country star making us want to dance so much? Well, with Max Martin at the production helm, we danced. “Shake It Off’s” toe-tapping beat and victoriously repetitious lyrics are on replay-play-play to this day-day-day!
So what is “Shake It Off” really about? Clearly, the Evermore singer, who seems to have a musical clap-back for every moment, was calling out her haters, but what type of haters exactly? Well, here’s the real meaning behind “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift.
Taylor Swift was "shaking off" criticism from the media
So, what’s the meaning behind “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift? “Shake it Off is a song that I wrote about having to deal with on everyday basis, just kind of how human beings treat each other,” Taylor explained to IHeartRadio in 2015, per ABC NewsRadio. “… You know, the feeling of humiliation is the same when a girl has a rumor spread around about her at school isn’t true, is the same feeling I feel when I’m checking out at the grocery store and I read some crazy headlines about me.” She continued, “rather than writing a song that was victimized in nature I wanted to write a song that was joyful and give people way to cope with whatever knots of ridiculousness life is doling out to them but also makes them want to dance.” Preach!
Taylor Swift, who has been embroiled in feuds with stars like Kanye West and Katy Perry but emerged stronger with even more refined music, told Good Morning America, per Pop Crush, “People will find anything about you and twist it … You have to not only live your life in spite of people who don’t understand you — you have to have more fun than they do.”
Well, Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” is nothing if not fun.
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