Summary: In 2015, Taylor Swift wore a black metal shirt during her “1989” tour and sparked controversy in the metal music community. This article explores the story behind the shirt, the reactions from fans and musicians, and the debate about whether or not Swift’s fashion choice was appropriative.
1. The shirt and its origins
The black metal shirt that Taylor Swift wore featured the design of the Norwegian band Mayhem’s debut album, “Deathcrush.” Mayhem is one of the most controversial and infamous black metal bands, known for their extreme lyrics, graphic live performances, and violent history. The album cover features a photograph of a dead body, which has been the subject of much controversy over the years. The “Deathcrush” shirt has become a popular item among metal fans, but Swift’s decision to wear it caused some uproar.
According to sources close to Swift, she received the shirt as a gift from a fan who was also a metalhead. The shirt was apparently meant to be ironic, as Swift is known for her pop music and wholesome image. Some fans saw it as a playful nod to the metal genre, while others felt that it was disrespectful to wear a band shirt without knowing anything about the music or the culture surrounding it.
Many metal fans accused Swift of cultural appropriation, arguing that she was using the shirt as a fashion statement without understanding the music or the controversial history of the band. Others defended Swift, saying that she had every right to wear the shirt and that metal fans should welcome new listeners with open arms.
2. The reaction from fans and musicians
As news of Swift’s t-shirt choice spread on social media, metal fans around the world began to weigh in. Some were angry and offended by what they saw as a pop star appropriating their culture for personal gain. Others were excited to see a mainstream celebrity showing interest in the metal scene.
Mayhem themselves eventually responded to the controversy, with band member Necrobutcher telling Loudwire, “People can wear whatever they want, but don’t come to a Mayhem concert wearing a Justin Bieber shirt.” He went on to say that he didn’t think Swift was a true metal fan, but that it was still cool to see her wearing the shirt.
Other metal musicians also weighed in on the controversy. Corey Taylor of Slipknot called Swift’s fashion choice “a bit of a dick move,” while Rob Halford of Judas Priest said that he was happy to see anyone promoting metal music, regardless of their background or knowledge of the genre.
3. The debate about cultural appropriation
The debate about whether or not Taylor Swift’s black metal shirt was appropriative has continued in the years since the incident. Some argue that she was simply wearing a shirt and that there’s nothing wrong with showing appreciation for a different type of music or culture. Others believe that wearing a band shirt without any connection to the music or the community is disrespectful and dismissive of the struggles that metal fans have faced over the years.
Defenders of Swift point out that she’s not the only celebrity to wear a metal t-shirt without being a true fan, and that metalheads should be happy to see their culture reaching a wider audience. Detractors counter that cultural appropriation is a serious issue, and that it can’t be ignored just because it’s happening in the realm of fashion.
Ultimately, the debate about Taylor Swift’s black metal shirt comes down to a larger conversation about cultural appropriation and who has the right to consume, re-appropriate, and profit from different types of cultures. While Swift’s shirt may seem like a frivolous topic, it raises important questions about how we approach music, fashion, and cultural identity.
The controversy surrounding Taylor Swift’s black metal shirt highlights the ongoing debate about cultural appropriation and the role that celebrities play in shaping our perception of different cultures. While some saw the shirt as harmless and playful, others were offended by what they saw as a disrespectful and dismissive attitude towards a genre of music that has faced its fair share of struggles and controversies over the years. Whether or not the debate will ever be fully resolved remains to be seen, but it’s clear that Swift’s fashion choice has sparked an important conversation about appropriation, representation, and the power of celebrity influence.