Taylor Swift‘s been having a major moment of clarity. She’s cutting the cord, she’s moving on, she’s calling the shots, and she’s doing it loudly — she’s doing it big. Like, monster-size stage at Staples Center big, with millions of people watching, at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards.
Her appearance Thursday night (September 6) was her fourth time performing at the VMAs (we, like you, really like Taylor Swift), and while she performed her runaway smash single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” (also known as the unequivocally most resolute breakup song ever written) from her upcoming album Red, the subtext here was “no more bullsh–.”
But of course, Taylor wouldn’t put it quite that way. Because she’s Taylor Swift, and her brain works in far cuter and more colorful ways. She doesn’t get mad, she gets even, and she gets adorable. Which is why Taylor’s VMA kiss-off was a mashed-up menagerie of the same furry friends found in her “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” video combined with the esprit de corps of a “Bye Bye Birdie” dance sequence. Because breakups don’t have to be bitter when you can put on a pair of Wayfarers and throw a dance party with your closest — and fuzziest — friends.
There wasn’t a princess frock or sequin, nary a ukulele or pair of cowboy boots in sight when Taylor, turned out in a daring pair of super-short black hot pants and a very Brigitte Bardot Breton-striped shirt (paging Godard!), channeled French New Wa,ve Audrey Hepburn and Ann-Margret as she led her dancers (dressed in casual separates worthy of a Gap commercial) in a cheeky, charming, cheerful and sarcastic salute to the single life, air quotes, eye rolls, hair flips and all. And it ended in a stage dive (because the good little country girl’s got a little anti-authority punk in her, after all).
It was a performance that threw a wink and a nod to the timelessness of classic girl gangs like the Pink Ladies from “Grease,” with Taylor kicking ass and taking names as the leader of the pack. Because even with a little help from her friends, Taylor Swift still runs things.
Her 2012 VMA performance was goofy, it was geeky, it was girlie — it was gorgeous. In other words, it was everything we love about Taylor Swift.