Taylor Swift’s outfits have meaning. She spent the first half of her career in virginal white dresses. She celebrated her Conor Kennedy romance with a series of Kennedy-inspired ensembles. She likes “to dress up like hipsters / And make fun of our exes, ah-ah, ah-ah.” So what do we make of her matching outfits with Hailee Steinfeld on Memorial Day?
Us Weekly reports that 23-year-old Taylor hosted 16-year-old Steinfeld and 28-year-old Jessica Szohr at her Rhode Island home this weekend, where they also met up with Lena Dunham and her fun. guitarist boyfriend Jack Antonoff. But back to the matching outfits: Is this cute or creepy? Your opinion will reflect your outlook on female relationships and clothing, in general. The options:
• They’re friends wearing matching outfits! Cute!
• They’re friends wearing matching outfits. [Gagging noises.]
• Taylor is turning Hailee into her clone. Just as Swift’s relationship with the high-school-age Conor invited whispers about predatory dating practices, we must now fret that she will sink her youth-succubi fangs into the little girl from True Grit.
• Hailee is imitating Taylor, which is cute because it proves the following: (1) Hailee Steinfeld is a relatively normal teen girl who just wants to fit in and be like the cool older girls, which is cute because it’s such a familiar impulse. (2) Taylor Swift is nice enough to smile and act natural when a younger girl admires and imitates her. (3) Taylor Swift really is a role model! All that wholesome girl-power marketing is actually true. It’s nice when the messages drilled into our heads turn out to be true.
• Taylor is Regina George and Hailee is, hmmm, Gretchen Wieners? Cady Heron? And on Memorial Days, they wear
pink starched collars buttoned all the way to the top, sweaters, and shorts.
• Coincidence: It’s a trendy look. [Yawn.]
My vote is for cute role-modeling, but trend ubiquity seems reasonable, too. Though the succubi theory is probably wrong, it has the best camp value, so I am willing to entertain it.