Taylor Swift deals with peoples’ s–t on the reg. Her fans deal with peoples’ s–t on the reg. So it’s only natural that her 21-year-old doppelgänger will have to deal with peoples’ s–t on the reg too, because as we know, the Internet trolls’ hunt for the next human punching bag never sleeps. University of Utah student Keitra Jane has been getting a lot of buzz on the web for being a living and breathing clone of Taylor, particularly for clapping back at haters who have been bullying her. I support her and her fight to promote healthy body image, but there’s something she’s forgetting in her battle.
Keitra was recently featured in Alex Boye’s music video for “Amerian Hipster,” which was labeled: “Ft. (Taylor Swift Doppelganger).” In a sea of positive comments from users cheering Keitra on, was sadly, of course, the hate.
Some flat-out dissed her:
Some sexualized her:
But one user in particular referred to her as a “fatter Taylor Swift,” she took the high road by replying with class and posting a long message about the sad and unfortunate climate of Internet bullying.
Internet bullying contributes to disordered eating. People need to understand that nothing on the internet goes unnoticed, and when you publicize your comments or suggestions you aren't just writing on a wall, you're writing to a real person. This is just one of millions of hurtful comments that are given to REAL people every day. This isn't a sympathy post, this is information. You need to know that words have power to do harm or promote positivity. Use your power for good! #NEDA @centerforchange #nedaawareness #loveyourbody #healthybodyhealthylife #loveyourself
She then shared this video a few days ago, thanking fans for their praise and for joining her in her mission, saying: “I feel like the Internet doesn’t get enough love.” I commend her for being a young woman, thrown into the whirlwind of being Internet-viral and dealing with it with poise and positivity. That said, she needs to be a bit more mindful.
When scrolling through the comments on Alex Boye’s video, I noticed this little exchange and it threw me:
As you can see, she gives a warm welcome to users who diss and body-shame Taylor Swift, but because she’s simultaneously getting complimented. They compare her and Taylor, saying Taylor looks like a “stick” in comparison and isn’t at “cute” as her. And are these even compliments? Her responses include “thank you”s and smileys and exclamation points and rainbows and butterflies.
You’re going to shut down people hating on and body-shaming you, but excuse others because you’re flattered by what they have to say? Even though they’re putting another woman down? I don’t think so.
Would have been wonderful to see Keitra call out their wrongdoing as well, even if it wasn’t aimed at her. If you really want to get your message out there, defend people beyond yourself. You want to prove that “everyone is beautiful in their skin,” and this was the time to say that. If you really want to have influence, then stick to and fight for your message, even if it means turning down an (already messed up) compliment or two in the process.