To honor Taylor Swift’s latest addition, we celebrate Week 1989 (Taylor’s version). at The daily beast is possessed. That said, we’re taking a look back at 2014 to relive everything Taylor – and the rest of pop culture – was up to.
Taylor Swift knows how to throw a party, and she’s proud of it. But she’s not exactly in the business of throwing housewarming parties — at least not publicly. Their birthday celebrations received varying levels of interest. (The only ones I remember are Selena Gomez’s party stormed out And the controversial party Swift and Alana Haim were co-hosts during the Delta variant outbreak. It’s her very exclusive, star-studded Fourth of July appearances that have garnered attention over the last decade. And it makes sense! Who’s out here throwing a huge celebration on America’s birthday instead of their own? And how much money do you have to make to get on the guest list?
Since 2013, Swift has invited a select group of celebrities to hang out with her on the beaches of Rhode Island over the holiday weekend. (Appropriately, her extremely expensive estate in Westerly, Rhode Island, was once known as the “Holiday House.”) Everything we’ve learned about what actually happens at these parties comes from social media, which adds to the intrigue – and , yes, also attacks of jealousy.
Intentionally or unintentionally, Swift created an annual event that captured everyone’s attention from that point forward by showcasing her rotating cast of hot, mostly white, famous girlfriends each summer doing normal summer things. And knowing her, she intended to stir up our envy; A girl doesn’t trip over a crack in the sidewalk without planning for it.
Fittingly, it was The 2014 event This cemented this highly Instagrammed event as an occasion. Their second annual Fourth of July party featured an intriguingly motley group of wealthy people who seemed to have no business hanging out together. Have Emma Stone, Jaime King, Lena Dunham or Jessica Szohr even spoken to each other since then? I doubt it. But united under Swift they stand – or rather, they sit next to each other on a yacht.
The increased visibility of the Fourth of July party coincided with the ubiquity of not only Swift’s career or Instagram itself, but also the construction of a central tenet of her image: the “troop.” Swift’s public image is defined as much by her work as it is by the people she surrounds herself with – which is why there’s always so much talk about who she’s dating. These relationships obviously influence her songwriting, but the friends she hangs out with contribute to a more likeable public persona. Think about any photo you’ve seen of Swift with one of her friends: perfectly poised, strutting down the sidewalk like it was a runway. But with Gomez, the Haim sisters or Blake Lively, Swift isn’t afraid to look silly.
Unlike a famous person’s birthday party, which is always full of other celebrities, professional photographers, and even tabloid chatter, a random Christmas party is the perfect place to cultivate a superstar’s image as a relatively normal person. In photos from 2014 that participants shared on their own Instagram pages, Swift is seen holding a film camera pointing at her friends; run into the sea with abandon; She sits at the back of a larger group shot, to the point where your eyes glaze over her. (In a widely shared group shot, I first saw Dunham sitting in the front with her middle finger raised.) There’s even a photo of her screaming her way down a Slip ‘N Slide. That’s about as low-key as any well-managed celebrity.
While the 2013 party barely made headlines, starting in 2014 the media picked up on these fragmentary moments of Swift acting real (again, relatively speaking, considering everything she does is PR-approved). There were headlines lots and instant fandom mythmaking. In the years that followed, the media continued to devote obsessive attention to the issue 1989-era Swift has been to all sorts of events with her group of friends. Perhaps the highlight of the phenomenon was Swift’s “Bad Blood” video, which featured various Squad members and cemented who really belonged to the artist’s circle of friends. But this was a huge friend get-together, just like the Swift-underage stories Lorde drunk at an awards ceremony or Sitting on the sidelines at a Knicks game with ex-best friend Karlie Kloss. In comparison, Fourth of July parties seemed like intimate, silly, and good-humored events.
Sadly, Swift put an end to her publicly filmed Fourth of July bonanza after 2016 – just three short years of Taymerica fun. At the same time, the 2016 event moved away from what made previous years’ parties so exciting, one observer noted. A reputable photographer was present to ensure everyone looked Instagrammable; This was something that was really close to all of our hearts in 2016, and it’s an ongoing passion for many celebrities today.
I’d also like to blame Joe Alwyn, boring non-American that she is started dating At the end of 2016, which must have convinced them that celebrating a former British colony in this way was a stupid idea. No matter how disgusting Taymerica had become, to us or Joe or both, the media and fans mourned her demise.
But with Joe out of the picture following their breakup this spring and Swift riding the huge success of the Eras Tour, the Fourth of July party is making a big comeback. Swift and her friends posted cozy photos together at her home last summerall in the name of the 4th of July.
The squad is much smaller now; Gomez and the Haims remain, but many of the other members have husbands, kids, dogs, lives, and new friends to hang out with. But we’re still enjoying this rare glimpse of the woman behind the songs – who’s obsessed with her cats and just wants to hang out with her girls. What is truly more human than that? And can I get an invitation to next year’s party?