Taylor Swift and Matty Healy’s relationship is borderline inescapable. Earlier this week, when the two were seen together for the first time since news broke that Swift and Healy were dating, the entire internet shut down to gawk and collectively dump on Matty Healy.
See, Matty Healy is a controversial dude — more on that later — so his relationship with Taylor has inspired two distinct reactions from Swifties: betrayal (the How Could You, Taylor? argument) and generalized support (the Let Her Live argument).
Both camps have been at loggerheads since Swift and Healy were seen on May 14 without ever considering a bigger question: should anyone actually care who Taylor Swift dates?
Let’s consider the arguments; there are fair ones on either side.
Certainly, you could justifiably argue that people should indeed care about who Taylor Swift dates.
Swift is one of the most famous, most influential musicians on the planet and, as such, everything she does creates inherent shockwaves. Swift’s relationships are effect co-signs of her partners, which doesn’t really matter when Swift is dating someone as milquetoast as Joe Alwyn (her former partner) but matters much more when Swift is in a relationship with a firebrand like Matty Healy.
Healy’s predilection for courting controversy is almost diametrically opposed to the image that Taylor Swift has painstakingly sculpted throughout her career.
Swift is unabashedly feminist, for one. For another, she’s the patron saint of emotional strength; not necessarily “owning” her emotions but instead transforming them into visual and audible art that’s resonated across continents. To describe Taylor Swift as “thoughtful” is to deliver the mother of all understatements.
In contrast, Matty Healy comes off as a rash spur-of-the-moment kinda guy who talks without thinking. Maybe he has good intentions, maybe not, but Healy’s frequent thoughtlessness is at odds with the Taylor Swift Persona — not so surprising that fans would feel betrayed by Swift’s new relationship.
Perhaps if Swift was willing to publicly clarify Healy’s appeal or at least acknowledge the concerns held by fans, who have a uniquely tight-knit relationship with Swift.
Swifties are rabidly defensive of Taylor; they see themselves as extensions of her. Swift’s stans take their love of Swift to extremes, bringing grievances with ticket companies to court (good) and attacking or even doxing critics (bad).
Point being, no surprise that Swift’s fans believe they’re owed some explanation for why she’s dating Matty Healy. Swifties don’t just see the relationship as a betrayal as Taylor’s scruples but a betrayal of their own.
But here’s the flipside: maybe people shouldn’t care about whoever Taylor’s dating.
Human beings are attracted to other human beings for all sorts of indeterminable reasons. Consenting adults don’t really need much more of a justification to date each other than the simple fact that they want to.
Why is Taylor Swift dating Matty Healy? Why not?
You could speculate about the rationale for the relationship or simply accept that it is.
As a human being, ultra-famous or not, shouldn’t Taylor Swift have the autonomy to date whomever she pleases? It’s not like she owes her own happiness to anyone and, if Healy makes her happy, so be it.
Plus, as someone whose career has been built on espousing independence and self-empowerment, perhaps Taylor’s more concerned fans ought to give her more credit for making decisions.
Now, as for Healy, hoo boy.
The 1975 singer has had a real wild few years, ranging from BLM controversies to some questionable behavior during concerts.
As many Swifties as there are taking shots at Healy, there are 1975 stans (they exist, apparently) pointing out that Healy’s outrageousness is all just being taken out of context and he’s actually a great guy.
Thing is, ironic shittiness is still shittiness. And this is the stuff that has been publicized.
And then there’s his eyebrow-raising interviews.
“I’m not going to be in [cancel culture] anymore,” Healy once said “I’m certainly not going to become a pawn in it.”
Healy also previously complained about being “sexualized” by fans of The 1975.
“My mental health had come through the negotiation of sex as a teenager and a young man, and romantic relationships,” he said.
Rumors also abound that Healy has said something heinous about Beyoncé, which now also has the Beyhive buzzing.
All this is to say that whether you feel like Taylor Swift’s relationships ought to be scrutinized or that she ought to be left alone, we call all agree on one thing: Matty Healy doesn’t come off well, to say the least.