How To: Deal with Criticism & Hate
Listen to the episode here.
Summary: Bee and Saira discuss how to deal with all kinds of criticism, including hate.
Speakers: Bee (@negans-lucille-tblr) and Saira (@thinkinghardhardlythinking)
Run time: 34:35
Tags/Warnings: Discussion of hateful messages. The accents make them sound lovely, though!
A rundown of some of the points discussed is below the cut!
No matter how constructive or polite criticism is given, it will always hurt. These are some ways to deal with it.
To respond or not to respond to constructive criticism:
If unsolicited, you can ignore it if you want to. Delete the ask or whatever and move on. You are under no obligation to listen to or answer comments you have not asked for.
Determine if the criticism is constructive and well-meant or simply hateful and intended to hurt you. Take a moment, let it sink in, get past the initial hurt, and then re-evaluate the comments and the commenter before deciding whether to respond. Knee-jerk reactions are never good.
If the comments are hateful, you do not need to let them live in your head rent-free. If you decide to respond, however, try to treat them with the kindness and respect you wish they would have used with you.
To accept or reject constructive criticism given to you:
Do they have a valid point? Considering criticism, even if unsolicited, can be constructive and can help you become a better writer.
If you disagree with their criticism, make sure you have a well-considered reason why. Doing this helps you to not reject good criticism out of hand and make a mindful decision that will improve your writing.
Do you respect the person providing the criticism? Only take criticism from people you want to emulate.
Don’t lose your voice because of bending to everyone’s criticism. In the end, you are the writer and only you can bring yourself to your writing. Also, we’re doing this for free, for the joy of it, so don’t lose the joy.
Dealing with outright hate:
When you receive outright hate, just delete it. Yes, it hurts, and it will bother you, but don’t give them the attention they crave. A certain type of person sends hate, and they are not interested in making you a better writer.
Take a break, talk to your friends, touch grass, and be kind to yourself. You are the better person for walking away rather than engaging them. If you really want to respond, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. As mentioned above, if you decide to respond, treat them better than they treated you.
People who send hate are attention-seeking, so starving them of that attention is the best way to respond. The more you answer them and defend yourself, the more they will attack because they enjoy the drama they create. Protect yourself and others by just deleting it.
That’s it for this episode! Give it a listen and let us know what you think!
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SONGS ABOUT LILY ON REPUTATION
The @whatiwillsay podcast is out now! Link. I joined Cam to discuss all things Rep album, including how gay it is and what was going on behind the songs. (My voice is changed for the episode.) Here’s a guide to some of the songs discussed.
“When this album comes out, gossip blogs will scour the lyrics for the men they can attribute to each song, as if the inspiration for music is as simple and basic as a paternity test . . . Let me say it again louder for those in the back . . . We think we know someone, but the truth is we only know the version of them they have chosen to show us.”
This song was played after Taylor’s pride 🏳️🌈speech during the Rep tour.
Let’s start with Taylor straddling (“autostraddle” like the lesbian and bisexual women’s website) a Cadillac Fleetwood in the music video. (Source: internet movie car database (link); it’s not the Ford Thunderbird from the Kaylor Vogue photoshoot.) The Fleetwood could only match one person, Ms. Fleetwood herself, Lily Donaldson, great niece of Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac, who posted often backstage at their concerts and mentioned them in several interviews as her family.
Let’s also talk about Taylor wearing the Victoria’s Secret angel ring in the “Delicate” vertical video, as well as the matching diamond eye ring that Lily also wears. Both rings were frequently paired with the J necklace during the Rep era.
The Victoria’s Secret angel ring can’t be from Karlie or Joe. Karlie ended her VS contract by early 2015 per this article and this one too. She didn’t participate in the 2016 show where the rings were given out. Joe has no affiliation with VS.
The first verse of the song is a conversation:
“Dive bar east side, where you at?” This is Lily asking Taylor to meet her at an east side dive bar. Lily lived in the East Village and was publicly known to like east side dive bars per interviews. Lily also lived just one block away from east side dive bars Lovers of Today and Cabin Down Below where Taylor, Lily, and others publicly went in October 2016. “Delicate” was written in October 2016 per the Making of a Song video.
“Phone lights up my nightstand in the black” - this is Taylor at home getting the text above.
“Come here, you can meet me in the back” is either meet at the back of the dive bar or meet at the back door of the Cornelia Street townhouse so no one sees.
“Dark jeans and your Nikes look at you” - Lily often wears dark jeans and sneakers.
“Oh damn, never seen that color blue” - a reference to Lily’s ocean blue eyes which will also come up in “Gorgeous” and throughout Rep, Lover, and Folkmore. (Karlie’s eyes are green/hazel per the fashion magazines and IMG Models - link, link, and link.)
“Third floor west side, me and you” - this refers to the Cornelia Street townhouse which was three stories tall and on the west side of Manhattan.
“Sometimes when I look into your eyes I pretend your mine, all the damn time” - why would Taylor have to pretend she is with Joe if the song is about him? She wouldn’t have to “pretend” they are together, they could just be together.
All the Taymojis for “Delicate” were blue, including the 🦋 which was the symbol Lily used for Taylor on social media and which also was the cover used for Lily’s Instagram highlights with Taylor during the Rep era. This symbol also became a big part of Taylor’s Lover era promo.
“Coney Island” - “did I close my fist around something delicate, did I shatter you?” “Sorry for not making you my centerfold.” This shows the “Delicate” relationship is over by Evermore (i.e. it can’t be about Joe) and the “Delicate” subject is a model who Taylor didn’t make her centerfold. Taylor made Karlie her centerfold often, including with the famous Vogue shoot, so this further leads me to believe “Delicate” and at least parts of “Coney Island” are about Lily.
The London scenes (pub and kebab shop) where Taylor ends up at the end of the music video were filmed in Kentish Town, where Lily grew up as a child/teen and moved back to as an adult (see below). It’s within a mile of Taylor’s Hampstead (Frognal) place that she rented when she moved to London. (Taylor is seen in videos and photos wearing the Victoria’s Secret angel ring at Frognal here and here.)
The title card for the Tokyo scenes in the music video appear at 1:27, Lily’s birthday.
Lily was in Tokyo when Taylor was there filming the video in November 2017. The same doctor that confirmed that Lily was in Tokyo during the end of the Rep tour in 2018 (including photos of Lily), also confirmed that Lily was in Tokyo the week before Thanksgiving in 2017, the week Taylor most likely filmed in Tokyo based on her schedule (Rep was released on Nov. 10 then she had promo), Ed’s schedule, and known info about the various location shoots and post-production schedule leading to the early January 2018 release of the video.
This past week, Ed Sheeran confirmed in an Audacy interview (link) when the “End Game” music video was filmed. He said that his London scenes were filmed after he broke his arms because he wore a cast in the video. He broke his arms on October 15, 2017 in the UK. Taylor was papped on the streets filming the music video in London on October 16, 2017, so they likely filmed Ed’s London scenes sometime between then and November 7, 2017 when Ed gave an interview with the cast still on his arm in the UK. Ed posted on Instagram that his arms had healed and he went back to the Asian leg of his tour on November 11, 2017. For Ed’s Tokyo scenes with Taylor there are behind the scenes photos of Ed in a t-shirt and he is not wearing a cast, so the Tokyo scenes must have been filmed after Taylor’s Rep rollout promo which went up to November 15 (and while Ed was in Asia for his tour) but before Thanksgiving week when Taylor went to Utah. So that’s exactly the week the doctor posted on Instagram that Lily was in Tokyo. December was the filming of the Miami scenes on location (TMZ on set), Taylor doing the Jingle Ball, and post-production on the video.
“I wanna be your first string, I wanna be your A-Team, I wanna be your end game.” Lily’s birthday post for Taylor of December 2016 likely referenced the A-Team phrase.
“Ooh, you like the bad ones too” could be a reference to Lily’s fling/situation/relationship with Rihanna (badgalriri), which was wrapping up in 2016 as Tily was getting started.
“It’s like your body is gold” could be a reference to Lily’s tattoo of the word “golden” in Latin on her left wrist, thus her body is literally gold.
“You’ve been calling my bluff on all of my usual tricks” is a similar card-playing, poker reference like in “Cornelia Street” (“back when we were card sharks playing games”).
“I got drunk and made fun of the way you talk” could refer to a British accent 🇬🇧 like Lily has.
“I got a boyfriend, he’s older than us. He’s in the club doing I don’t know what” is a reference to Calvin. This sets the timestamp for the song, while Taylor was dating Calvin, so sometime between 2015 and June 1, 2016 when the media reported that Tayvin broke up. As I’ve posted before, the Vanity Fair Oscar Party fits the song well. It took place at the end of February 2016. Taylor and Lily both attended this party. Karlie, Joe, and Calvin did not attend.
“Whisky on ice, Sunset and Vine” = Hollywood. Nothing is more “Hollywood” than the Vanity Fair Oscar Party. Lily captured the essence of the party with her post a few days before it featuring herself in front of the Hollywood sign, which is still up on her Instagram. (Link)
“You should take it as a compliment that I’m talking to everyone here but you” could mean Taylor was talking to her friends at the party like Lorde, Lily A., and the other VS models instead of Lily.
“Ocean blue eyes looking in mine” - we know who has these eyes, Lily. Not Karlie (who has hazel/green eyes per the fashion magazines and her management; see above) or Joe, who is referred to as “indigo eyes” in “I Think He Knows.”
Lyric video - the official lyric video (photo above; link) is in black and white except for the word “gorgeous” which is in pink throughout the video. To me this signifies that the gorgeous subject of the song is female.
Lily liked all three of Taylor’s posts about this song and none of her posts about other songs. It’s like she knows the song is about her and she acted like it at Taylor’s performance of the song in London during the Rep tour.
Is “Gorgeous” about pretty women in general? I don’t think so. The song has too many specific references (timeframe, accent, location, ocean blue eyes, etc.) to be about pretty women in general.
“Made your mark on me, a golden tattoo”
Taylor wore a golden heart tattoo around her neck several times in October 2016, including during one of the Bowery nights, for the Making of a Song video for “Delicate,” and during Taylor/Lily’s painting date night.
Lily also famously has an actual tattoo of the word “golden” in Latin on her left inner wrist, her sister’s name. (See photos above.)
“I’m spilling wine in the bathtub, you kiss my face and we’re both drunk” - could be referencing the photos of Deadpool Taylor drinking wine in the bathtub on Halloween night of 2016. The October 2016 timeframe matches Taylor’s “golden tattoo” she wore around her neck and Lily’s almost exactly similar golden heart necklace worn around her neck on Halloween night.
CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT
The timeframe - after Taylor’s “cancelling” in 2016. “My castle crumbled overnight . . . they took the crown but it’s alright. All the liars are calling me one. Nobody’s heard from me for months, I’m doing better than I ever was.”
“My baby’s fly like a jet stream, high above the whole scene, loves me like I’m brand new” - this part of the chorus could be referencing “late November” 2016 referenced elsewhere in the song and specifically the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Paris that Lily flew to right after Thanksgiving with Taylor. There are many photos of Lily on the jet or about to board the jet with Kendall, et al., and as we know Lily stayed “above the whole scene” and went immediately to London (where Taylor was at) after the Victoria’s Secret show with her snake jewelry in tow to wear to events starting in early December 2016. (See photos below.)
To recap the “late November” timeframe:
* Nov. 23 - Taylor wore the VS angel ring to see Todrick in Kinky Boots on Broadway. Taylor commented 13 🔥 emojis on Lily’s post from the Angel Ball.
* Nov. 24-25 - Taylor/Lily Thanksgiving in Rhode Island then fly back to New York. Taylor wore the VS angel ring throughout Thanksgiving.
* Nov. 27 - Lily took jet from NY to Paris for the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. “High above the whole scene.”
* Nov. 30/Dec. 1 - Lily snapchats from Paris doing Victoria’s Secret stuff including the fashion show and a photoshoot.
* Dec. 5 - Lily in London. Wears the Bvlgari snake necklace to an event for the first time. Lily spent the rest of December in London (confirmed via various social media) other than one trip to the U.S. Taylor was also now based in London per the Lover diary.
Taylor and Lily’s move to London in December 2016
The Lover Diary entry - January 3, 2017
Taylor confirmed the start of the relationship with her London lover as being October 2016 (the Bowery nights, Lily’s snapchats and Instagram stories from Cornelia Street including up on the roof, the Delicate making of a song video with Taylor wearing the golden heart tattoo, the photo Taylor used for Lily’s birthday post of the two of them painting (which Lily said in an interview is a hobby she never shares with anyone; this article is also the second verse of “the 1” to me)) in this diary entry.
Taylor also confirmed that she and her London lover were now based in London, which there are many receipts of Lily moving back to London in December 2016, almost immediately after Thanksgiving at Taylor’s house (“I remember late November . . . would you run away with me?”). Lily’s Bvlgari snake jewelry first appeared on Dec. 5 in London. Taylor celebrated her birthday in London on Dec. 13. Lily is confirmed in London at that time and throughout the whole month other than a quick trip to the U.S. E! printed an article that said Taylor and Lily spent Christmas together. And the VS angel ring was everywhere with Taylor this month, including before Christmas, after Christmas, and in her Rep magazine photo for Dec. 29. (Tily December 2016)
Taylor included another photo from London with the Call It What You Want lyrics about running away together written on it in the Reputation magazine which came out in November 2017.
Taylor wore the VS angel ring in the Making of a Song video for Call It What You Want and in the video singing the song at her London house.
Lily got a place in Kentish Town in 2012 (per the Standard UK) that I believe she kept through the Tily years. Kentish Town is right by where Taylor first moved to in London.
Taylor’s move to London in December 2016 with the London lover is why the Rep muse (for most songs) cannot be Karlie. Karlie never moved to London. I’ve heard people say “the Lover diary is fake” or “Taylor didn’t actually move to London” but (a) if people can use the Lover diary to prove other things, it can certainly be used for this and (b) Taylor did move to London and so did Lily at the exact same time (if anyone wants to see receipts they are generally covered in the Tily Masterpost/Tily Nation version or just ask and I will be glad to provide them for you).
Could “Karlie, what you want” that many people hear, including myself at times, be Taylor asking Karlie, “what do you want to do” because Lily will move to London with me?
Callbacks to “Call It What You Want” in “Renegade” - “windows boarded up after the storm” and “starry eyes sparking up my darkest night.” This leads to me believe that “Renegade” is about Lily and takes place after Taylor’s “cancelling” in 2016. Also, the sirens in “Renegade” start at 1:27 (Lily’s birthday).
KING OF MY HEART
Model reference - “Now you try on calling me, baby, like trying on clothes.”
British references 🇬🇧 - “Salute to me I’m your American Queen” is sung twice in the song. “Say you fancy me, not fancy stuff.”
Female reference - “Cause all the boys and their expensive cars, with their Range Rovers and Jaguars, never took me quite where you do.” If the song was about a guy, it would have said “cause the other boys . . .”
Queer reference/keeping secrets - “Late in the night, the city’s asleep, your love is a secret I’m hoping, dreaming, dying to keep.”
Plural schoolgirls = two women - “Is this the end of all the endings? My broken bones are mending with all these nights we’re spending up on the roof with a schoolgirl crush.” They both have a schoolgirl crush, not just Taylor. Being up on the roof harkens back to the video of Lily on the roof at Cornelia Street from October 2016, the same month Taylor says in the Lover diary her relationship with the London lover started.
Bonus - Taylor wore the Victoria’s Secret angel ring throughout the Making of a Song video for “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.” (Link) As well as throughout the Making of a Song video for “Getaway Car.” (Link)
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