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A Few of Taylor Swift's Most Questionable PR Moves, from Petting the Weeknd to Her #SQUAD

In case you've been under a rock this week, R&B superstar The Weeknd gave us another SMH moment -- but unlike the other instance, this one doesn't involve dating an 18-year-old. Instead biggest-pop-star-in-the-world Taylor Swift was the focus, as The Weeknd recounted a brief meeting with her in an anecdote that will make even his biggest detractors cringe in sympathy -- thus beginning our countdown Taylor's, uh, most questionable moments this year.

Petting The Weeknd's Hair
According to his Rolling Stone cover story, the Weeknd and Taylor met one night, and were pretty drunk and hitting it off. "But when she started petting my hair, that's when I was like, 'I definitely need a drink.'" As Jezebel notes, Taylor has, in fact, proudly told this story herself (in an interview with Ed Sheeran, naturally), but didn't seem to think there was anything wrong with it. There's probably only one way to handle Taylor Swift playing with your hair like a pet...

Celebrating Her Friend Kendrick's Politically-Charged Album

To Pimp a Butterfly is a lot of things, but it is not a bright and happy album, nor is it an album that you should respond to instinctively by parading through nature drenched in sunlight. It's often harsh, difficult to listen to, and is aggressively political in ways that don't quite jive with Swift's mass-friendly message. Being a pop star is fine, but don't pretend you're all about "The Blacker the Berry."
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Taylor Versus Nicki Minaj
A few months ago, T. Swift caused quite the social media stir with her, err, call-out of Nicki Minaj, who was tweeting about the implications of her viral "Anaconda" music video being snubbed by MTV for a "Video of the Year" VMA. Minaj felt that the video's exclusion was a larger reflection of white-centric media, and its aversion to celebrate black female artists, different body types, etc. etc. Swift apparently took it as a personal attack to her "Bad Blood" video being nominated, and a not a comment on the whitewashing of mainstream pop culture, launching into a string of "hurt" and "I've done nothing but love & support you" tweets. She later apologized to Minaj for misunderstanding, but it was painful to watch play out on twitter in front of the world.

"Bad Blood's" Kind Of Twisted Take On Feminism
Speaking of "Bad Blood," the infamous music video also happens to be a pretty bad example of the brand of "feminism" Taylor is claiming to ship. She ran into some criticism for promoting her exclusive #SQUAD of supermodels and famous pretty people as merely women supporting women. And even though Swift has recently claimed the song is about an ex, Katy Perry was cited for a long time as the inspiration for this "fuck off" anthem -- which leaves the song with a vaguely icky, Mean Girls aftertaste. A sentiment that's just intensified by her emphasis on her genetically-blessed girl gang, which breeds an "us versus them" mentality that is ultimately pretty unfeminist.

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The "Wildest Dreams" Video
Also tangentially related is Swift's "Wildest Dreams" video, which premiered during the VMA ceremony and showed her re-enacting the "glamorous"African Queen-style romance films of the 1950s. Which is all well and good, except, uh, she forgot to include any African people...in a narrative set in Africa. It was a move that led to several accusations of racial erasure and white-washing, which was also refuted in a pretty questionable manner by her director Joseph Kahn:

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