Swift was named Time's 2023 Person of the Year and used it to lift up other women.
For years the media has made the two chart-topping artists out to be “frenemies” at best, a well-known catalyst moment being during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards show when Ye, formerly Kanye West, interrupted a then 19-year-old Swift during her acceptance speech for Best Female Video to go on a tirade about how Beyoncé should have won.
However, both women would go on to challenge this narrative of rivalry with their support of one another, be it at other awards shows, networking events, online or making guest appearances at each other’s record-shattering concert film premieres.
And in her interview with TIME, Swift couldn’t help but gush over her fellow music icon.
“She’s the most precious gem of a person — warm and open and funny," she told TIME. “And she’s such a great disrupter of music-industry norms. She taught every artist how to flip the table and challenge archaic business practices.”
Swift then argued that any supposed rivalry between her and Beyoncé was merely a thinly veiled marketing ploy:
“There were so many stadium tours this summer, but the only ones that were compared were me and Beyoncé. Clearly, it’s very lucrative for the media and stan culture to pit two women against each other, even when those two artists in question refuse to participate in that discussion.”
But that needs to change."I've never felt like there was a need for female artists to be in competition. There's room for everyone to shine,” she said.
It’s such a simple statement, but a powerful one—one that epitomizes a real turning point for how female friendships are portrayed in the media. More and more (think back to Jamie Lee Curtis hyping up Michelle Yeoh for her Golden Globe win earlier this year) we are seeing female peers swap out jealousy for being supportive of one another and celebrating each other's successes. In a world that still often divides women, this kind of solidarity feels pivotal.
.@taylorswift13 on stan culture and the internet-originated rivalry w/ Beyoncé.— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@BeyLegion) December 6, 2023
“There were so many stadium tours this summer, but the only ones that were compared were me and Beyoncé. Clearly, it’s very lucrative for the media and stan culture to pit two women against each… pic.twitter.com/76AhRFMiys
Swift continues to use her massive platform as a force for good—avocating for women and girls, challenging negative stereotypes and encouraging positivity. And especially this year, her work has inspired coming together in pure joy. It was for these reasons that TIMES’ Sam Jacobs said the magazine awarded her with the honor. Here’s to that well deserved recognition continued her message for generations to come.