When I initially heard those words sung by Taylor Swift in her song Anti Hero, my mind went directly to Beauty and the Beast. There’s a song in the movie titled Tale As Old As Time.
Both songs, Anti Hero and Tale As Old As Time, sing the same tune in regards to meaning. However, have entirely different outcomes. Do they not?
In Anti Hero, there seems to be no resolution except her acknowledgement of herself being a beast, and infecting those closest to her. In Beauty and the Beast, however, there’s some big change within the cursed prince and a happily ever after with Belle.
The most lovely thing about Anti Hero is that Taylor Swift wrote it with help from Jack Antonoff. Her heart is poured into her music, and that’s what sets her apart from the crowd. Fans adore her. Is she really a cursed beast?
“I should not be left to my own devices
They come with prices and vices
I end up in crisis (tale as old as time)”
(If this isn’t Gaylore, I don’t know what is.)
For those of you who aren’t waist deep into Taylor Swift conspiracy theories, there’s this whole group of people on the internet that have completely dissected Taylor’s life and music; claiming to have found cryptic messages pointing to the singer being a closeted lesbian. For what reason? Who knows. Does she get more positive attention from a wider range of people being straight? Maybe.
“Did you hear my covert narcissism I disguise as altruism
Like some kind of congressman? (Tale as old as time)”
Then, I started thinking about narcissism disguised as altruism in the classic Disney film. Had the Beast truly changed for Belle or had he changed because she was his last and only option at breaking the curse of being hideous. Let’s face it, according to the wilting rose, the Beast was on a time crunch with Beauty, literally. I’m not sure if Taylor Swift has ever faced that kind of pressure with fame unless not coming out of the closet is the burden she bears. She seemingly has it all together, right?
“It must be exhausting always rooting for the anti-hero.”
Maybe she doesn’t have it all together. Maybe none of us do.
Possibly, the point to these fairy tales we grew up on isn’t the obvious point of happily ever after by way of playing by the rules, but what you have to endure or sacrifice to get there. How far would you go for a happily ever after? Love, money, fame, beauty; it’s all a game, isn’t it? And once you get it, is it all you really need? Can anyone ever have it all?
“Pierced through the heart, but never killed.”