A heel turn wouldn't be completely out of character for her, either. The 1989 release cycle included two videos, "Bad Blood" and "Blank Space," with darker, more sardonic themes than the sun-speckled, aw-shucks clips for older hits like "You Belong With Me" and "22." At this year's Met Gala, she dressed like a character out of a William Gibson novel. Her new bleach-blonde hair has a Bond-villain quality. And she's been doing preliminary work establishing herself as a villain for years: just ask John Mayer, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Carrie Underwood, Ed Droste, Bob Lefsetz, and whoever killed her in that one episode of CSI.
Plus, in the Kardashians, Swift has the perfect foil. The Kardashians are skilled at playfully acknowledging, subverting, and poking fun at the artifice of celebrity life. They tell you how to eat a Kit Kat bar. They release coffee-table books filled with selfies called Selfish. They thrive on the chaos of social media. While Swift's previous controversies have often hinged on public embarrassment and relationship drama, thereby making it easy for her to position herself as a victim, these recent scandals stem from backroom deals, media manipulation, and gigantic egos: the stuff of villainy. Embrace it, Taylor!