Taylor Swift Seemingly Talks About Getting Over Harry Styles “Heartbreak” In Elle
Taylor Swift seemingly talks about getting over Harry Styles in Elle’s June 2015 “Women in Music” issue, for which she is the cover star and deemed a “national treasure.” Swift was interviewed by close friend and rising journalist Tavi Gevinson, who asked the superstar about everything from “heartbreak” to stars who become “trainwrecks.” See photos from the spread below.
It’s when talking about her song “Clean” that Swift seems to allude to her romance with Styles, which ended in 2012. The track was the last one she wrote for her 1989 album, and she says it reflects “where I ended up mentally.” Swift explains:
“‘Clean’ I wrote as I was walking out of Liberty in London. Someone I used to date — it hit me that I’d been in the same city as him for two weeks and I hadn’t thought about it. When it did hit me, it was like, ‘Oh, I hope he’s doing well.’ And nothing else. And you know how it is when you’re going through heartbreak. A heartbroken person is unlike any other person. Their time moves at a completely different pace than ours. It’s this mental, physical, emotional ache and feeling so conflicted. Nothing distracts you from it. Then time passes, and the more you live your life and create new habits, you get used to not having a text message every morning saying, ‘Hello, beautiful. Good morning.’ You get used to not calling someone at night to tell them how your day was. You replace these old habits with new habits, like texting your friends in a group chat all day and planning fun dinner parties and going out on adventures with your girlfriends, and then all of a sudden one day you’re in London and you realize you’ve been in the same place as your ex for two weeks and you’re fine. And you hope he’s fine. The first thought that came to my mind was, I’m finally clean. I’d been in this media hailstorm of people having a very misconstrued perception of who I was. There were really insensitive jokes being made at awards shows by hosts; there were snarky headlines in the press — ‘Taylor Goes Through a Breakup: Well, That Was Swift!’ — focusing on all the wrong things.”
While most of Swift’s songs have always been about love and relationships, her songwriting has changed based on her romantic encounters. She tells Gevinson, “I’d never been in a relationship when I wrote my first couple of albums, so these were all projections of what I thought they might be like. They were based on movies and books and songs and literature that tell us that a relationship is the most magical thing that can ever happen to you. And then once I fell in love, or thought I was in love, and then experienced disappointment or it just not working out a few times, I realized there’s this idea of happily ever after which in real life doesn’t happen. There’s no riding off into the sunset, because the camera always keeps rolling in real life.”
“It’s magical if you ask anyone who has ever fallen in love — it’s the greatest,” continues Swift. “Now I have more of a grasp on the fact that when you’re in a state of infatuation and you think everything that person does is perfect, it then — if you’re lucky — morphs into a real relationship when you see that that person is not in fact perfect, but you still want to see them every day.”
Gevinson goes on to note that when “when people who’ve had success from a young age go through a train-wreck cycle, it’s usually because they’re working on someone else’s terms, so they feel the need to rebel,” whereas Swift might be without that “resentment or angstiness” because she has long been in charge of guiding her own career. Still, she wonders if Swift worries she will one day “accidentally say something inflammatory.” She responds:
“As far as the need to rebel against the idea of you, or the image of you: Like, I feel no need to burn down the house I built by hand. I can make additions to it. I can redecorate. But I built this. And so I’m not going to sit there and say, ‘Oh, I wish I hadn’t had corkscrew-curly hair and worn cowboy boots and sundresses to awards shows when I was 17; I wish I hadn’t gone through that fairy-tale phase where I just wanted to wear princess dresses to awards shows every single time.’ Because I made those choices. I did that. It was part of me growing up. It wasn’t some committee going, ‘You know what Taylor needs to be this year?’ And so with 1989, I feel like we gave the entire metaphorical house I built a complete renovation and it made me love the house even more — but still keeping the foundation of what I’ve always been.”
The full interview, which actually took place at Swift’s Los Angeles home on the morning of February’s Grammys, will hit newsstands on May 19. Check out photos from Swift’s Elle shoot below, and tell us what you think of her comments.