Issue #09: Enough With All Too Well
plus, Protect Britney, WTF Paris, and Say Hello To The Bodyguard!
In this issue of Obsessed! -
I ask the important questions about Taylor Swift taking us on a journey to the land of breakups past. I worry about Britney Spears, I scold Paris Hilton, and I find the perfect duo for the remake of The Bodyguard.
Dear Readers, I have been in mental anguish since Taylor Swift released All Too Well: The Short Film on Friday, November 12 - six days ago. The central point of my despair: Did Taylor go too far by casting a Jake Gyllenhaal look-a-like as the antagonist in the film?
All Too Well was my favourite Taylor Swift song. As a consumer and spreader of celeb gossip, the fable of the red scarf tying the memory of a wronged Taylor Swift to a regretful Jake Gyllenhaal was everything to me.
On Friday morning, I woke up early, opened Spotify and listened to All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) hoping to glean more juicy info about the long-ago doomed relationship. Gleaning was easy.
“And I was never good at telling jokes but the punch line goes / I’ll get older but your lovers stay my age.”
The new lyrics point to the nine-year age difference as one of the reasons that Jake ended the relationship. The additional OH SNAP mocks Jake (now 40), who continues to date women in their 20s. This lyrical update was the little kick of morning gossip juice that I needed to start my Friday. I was giddy.
I was also giddy as I sat down to watch All Too Well: The Short Film. This short film quickly unfolded as a dramatic depiction of the unravelling of the relationship between Taylor and Jake, played by actors Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien. First, I watched Not-Jake ignore Not-Taylor at a dinner party with his older friends. Then, during a fight, he threw his keys that said Fuck The Patriarchy on the ground near her feet. Next, Not-Jake ghosted Not-Taylor’s birthday party, and he broke up with her because of their age difference. Then, Not-Jake made Not-Taylor cry — A LOT. Finally, 13 years later, Not-Jake showed up outside Not-Taylor’s book signing event, wearing the red scarf. Readers, my gasp almost overtook me. I very nearly died. I was ecstatic, thrilled, and queasy!!!
Wait, queasy? QUEASY? Yes, I felt sick to my stomach. An unusual feeling crept over me that I soon identified as an ‘I feel bad for Jakey vibe.’ Wait, me? The same person who screamed/sang the most emotionally tortured Sinéad O’Connor and Alanis Morissette songs at the top of my heartbroken lungs in my teens and twenties? The same person who, just months ago, screamed/sang Olivia Rodrigo’s good 4 u in public on my daily walks? Yes, me. And this has been the source of my mental torment for days: Have I become a Jakey apologist? Or, even worse, a male apologist?
This week, while sitting at Starbucks, fingers poised over my laptop, living my best Carrie Bradshaw life, and pondering this exact question, I heard the baristas arguing about which of them was the biggest Taylor Swift fan. I assessed the baristas and determined that the much-younger-than-me women might be suitable candidates for some field research.
My newly found subjects were more than willing to contribute to my research. First, I asked them what they thought of All Too Well: The Short Film. The women praised the film for its brilliance and told me that they admired Taylor Swift’s directorial debut.
When I asked my barista friends what they thought about the unflattering portrayal of Jake Gyllenhaal, one of the baristas said, “It’s Taylor’s song. She can say and do what she wants. Men say and do what they want all the time.” Touché. Another barista friend had a different angle, “Taylor has never said that the song is about Jake. It’s the fans who have created that narrative. It’s just art. She is just telling a story.” I didn’t quite buy this perspective but, okay. I asked her about the red scarf, and she said, “Maggie Gyllenhaal (Jake’s sister) once said that she doesn’t even think there is/was a scarf.” I was speechless. In my mind, there is no doubt that this whole thing is about Jake and that the scarf is real! But, I realized that I had been lovingly schooled by my barista friends who had encouraged me to not take everything so seriously and to, I guess, fuck the patriarchy.
Do you think I could leave it at that? No. I was still conflicted. I took to Instagram and created a poll with this question: How do you feel about Taylor Swift using a Jake Gyllenhaal look-a-like in All Too Well: The Short Film?
Readers, we have a tie! The responses did not seem to be linked to any particular age, race, or gender demographics.
Loved It - 50%
The oversharing of relationships past is the Taylor Swift brand.
Taylor is being authentic about what happened, and it’s her right to be.
Taylor doesn’t let her fame or men silence her.
Including a Jake look-a-like was funny.
It Was Too Much - 50%
It’s so high school.
It’s time for her and everyone else to move on.
The depiction of Jake in the short film led to him getting death threats on social media - not cool.
I guess this means that I’m just going to have to come to my own conclusion, so here it is: it was too much. As far as we know, Jake was a bit of a dick many years ago. Maybe he’s still a dick; I don’t know. But, I don’t think this situation needs a collective revisit. Don’t get me wrong, I have been entirely emotionally destroyed by romantic relationships with people of all genders, but those days seem so long ago. Yes, some of them made dick moves, but so did I. We all make dick moves in relationships. Over the years, I have made peace with each and every one of my exes and consider most of them to be my friends.
I think it’s the going backwards in time that bothers me. If this was fresh pain like Olivia Rodrigo’s, I think it would be more palatable. But, instead, Taylor’s orchestrated approach to feeding fans’ insatiable hunger for the revenge-of-the-ex narrative feels like marketing to the max, and it has finally left a sour taste in my mouth.
I still applaud the release of Red (Taylor’s Version) and I fully appreciate the POV of the people who love the inclusion of Not-Jake in the revisiting of All Too Well. Those of you who follow me on social media know that I got caught up in the moment and posted shit about Jakey and the red scarf! I just noticed a shift within myself that I couldn’t reconcile, and now I’ve had a chance to explore it. Thank you for helping me through the process.
By the way, if you are looking for a holiday gift, you can purchase an All Too Well Knit Scarf for $45. Tay-Tay knows exactly what she’s doing!
🍂🍁It is late on Wednesday evening, and Taylor has just released a surprise song: All Too Well (Sad Girl Autumn Version). I’m exhausted. I can’t do this anymore. Enough with All Too Well. 🍁🍂
Britney has been free for six days! The 13-year conservatorship, overseen by her father, Jamie Spears, was terminated on Friday, November 12. Since then, Britney has given fans a glimpse into what her life might be like post-conservatorship.
Britney’s leading platform of communication with her fans is her Instagram account. She used her account to thank fans, particularly the Free Britney Movement, for playing a key role in making her freedom a reality by saying, “Best day ever…praise the Lord…can I get an Amen????”
Britney has been relishing her freedom by doing simple things; driving, going out for dinner with her fiancé and tasting champagne. In addition, she has used an ATM card to withdraw cash, and she has gone shopping for candles. Britney has also shared hopes for the future; getting a kitten, having another baby, and being interviewed by Oprah.
I love that Britney is free, and I hope she gets everything she hopes for, but I would be lying if I said that I feel at peace about this. On Sunday, I woke up to the pics of Britney and Sam at WeHo celebrity hotspot, Catch. Before COVID, I was a frequent LA visitor, and I know precisely where Catch is and what it’s all about. The restaurant is one of a handful of LA spots where the paparazzi hang outside the front door and snap pics of celebs like the Kardashians, Lizzo, and Justin and Hailey Bieber as they come and go. So that’s why I felt uneasy seeing Britney there. It makes sense that she would want to go to a trendy resturant where her peers go but the paparazzi presence made me very nervous.
My nervousness peaked that same day while watching (another) Princess Diana docuseries. This particular episode of Diana focused on the short years of freedom that Diana had after she left the Royal Family before her chased-by-paparazzi death. Again, I couldn’t help but feel scared for a potentially similar outcome for Britney.
Britney has gone from being grossly overprotected to not being very protected, which leaves her in a very vulnerable position. Fortunately, a termination plan immediately moved Britney from being subjected to surveillance and silence under the conservatorship to being an active participant in a Supported Decision-Making model. Hopefully, this new model means that well-intentioned people will help Britney move forward in a safe and planned manner. I hope that someone is also supporting her in making sure she is physically protected in public.
Britney’s most recent message to fans called for all of us to “move forward” (Taylor, are you listening?) so, that’s what I will try to do. Here’s to a bright, happy, healthy future for Britney.
Of course, my obsessive mind never stops, so read on to find out my solution for Britney’s protection. But first, we need to deal with Paris.
I cannot claim to abstain from TMZ. I have even been on TMZ, and it is one of my most significant accomplishments to date. BUT, my eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw that a TMZ article about Brtiney Spears was sponsored by Paris Hilton’s upcoming docuseries, Paris In Love.
Really, Paris? You are really sponsoring the gossip conglomerate that nearly chased you and Britney to death? I like you, and I appreciate your unwavering support for Britney over the years. You looked fab in your wedding photos (minus hubby), but this sponsorship thing is not your best look.
Okay, I have found the solution to my need for Britney’s protection — Peter van der Veen!
I look at celeb photos all day long, and I have seen hundreds of celebs in real life. Not once have I ever noticed a bodyguard as their own distinct being. But on Monday night, I saw the above pic of Gaga and an unidentified (to me) man, and my eyes nearly popped out of my head. Who is he? Where did he come from?
This stunning specimen of a man is Peter van der Veen and, according to my frenzied research, he has been a bodyguard for Gaga and Adele many times over the years. Fans simply call him Pete. Gagapedia (yes, it’s a thing) tells me that Pete was born in Holland. He worked with Gaga from 2010-2015, and he even provided background vocals on Government Hooker on the Born This Way album. He also happens to be a former Mr. Europe (2005). Pete is clearly back on Gaga’s payroll as he has been photographed beside her or behind her through the whirlwind House Of Gucci promotion season.
I thought I was super witty when I tweeted that Gaga and Pete should star in the remake of The Bodyguard but it seems as though Gaga and Adele fans have been making that same joke/plea for years.
I am the biggest Whitney Houston fan of all time. I didn’t think that I would ever endorse a remake of The Bodyguard but give me Pete van der Veen with Gaga, Adele or Britney, and I will be in the front row of the movie theatre, Kleenex box on my lap, ready to bawl my eyes out again like it’s 1992! 😭
That’s all for this week! Dust off your Gucci knock-offs because it’s almost House Of Gucci time. I will be seeing the film on Monday so I will serve my thoughts and feelings in the next issue of Obsessed!