A teenage fan’s protest rings wash over her middle school.

Jake Gyllenhaal mockery has swept across the nation ever since the re-release of a Taylor Swift album with a song, “All Too Well,” which is widely believed to be about her brief relationship with the actress. I’ve previously argued that it’s nothing to worry about – it’s mostly a silly game – but that was before I saw the anti-Gyllenhaal earrings that an eighth – grade student in Pennsylvania named Caroline wore to school. in a silent protest. Maybe this is more serious than I thought. Caroline agreed to take a break from her activism to talk to Slate about why she’s mad at the actress, mass-produced earrings and a certain infamous scarf. Our conversation has been edited and condensed.

Heather Schwedel: How long have you been a Taylor Swift fan?

Caroline: I’ve honestly listened to her music, I’m pretty sure since I was born, because my mom’s always been to it. And my grandmother is a big fan of her early country music. So I’ve always been surrounded by it, but I started listening to it on my own, probably when I was around 8.

Were you excited about the re-release of Red? I must note that you were 4 when it first came out.

I was definitely excited about it, and a bunch of my friends at school were excited about it. I feel like if an album were to be re-released, I would definitely have it Red because I just loved the song “Red” itself. And a lot of those songs are so good.

I was really excited about the 10-minute movie of “Too Good” because I love her music, but you can not always see that she films and I like her film skills! I saw it right away. It was so good.

What spoke to you about it?

When I see things, I always have this problem where I just can not get into it and can not feel what the artist is trying to show, but with Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien, it just made me kind right away. uncomfortable. I felt so bad about Taylor. Right away I thought, “This age difference is a little weird.”

How did you know Jake Gyllenhaal was allegedly involved in the story surrounding the album?

I do not really remember how I knew. I knew that somehow Red was about him. I heard a friend talk about him, and then it clicked like. I loved his acting Spider Man, men…. mm-mm.

So you decided to make earrings.

I have always made jewelry, especially in quarantine. As soon as I saw the movie, I do not know how it came to my head, but right away I got this rage against Jake. I was mad. I thought, “Oh, I just want to make something jewelry-like.” I found the basic picture of him and then I just put an X over it and printed it and started laminating it.

How did you choose the image?

I thought this picture matched well with the red one, and then I also thought, I do not know, that he just looked a little mysterious in this. He certainly looks like he did something.

Lent by Caroline

So you have worn them up, like in school?

Oh, my goodness. Yes. Ever since I made them, I’ve had them on every single day.

What kind of reactions have you had?

It’s crazy. It’s a mix of people saying “Who is it?” and then a bunch of people saying, “Oh god, I love Taylor Swift.” So I just made them and handed them out to people. Just like I take five of them with me every single day, just hope someone says something about Taylor Swift and I just want to give it to them. I’ve given them out to my Spanish teacher, my history teacher, and a handful of random girls who mentioned Taylor Swift.

Your teachers?

We were in history. We were working on this spreadsheet about our separation from the UK. My teacher started playing Taylor Swift, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” So I grabbed a couple of people who were wearing the earrings and we gave her a pair. She was so excited.

My other teacher saw my earrings as I walked into class and I thought, “Oh, did you look like the new ‘Too Good’ movie?” And she just started dying of laughter, as if she had her hands on her knees, her head down, and she was just laughing so hard. So I gave her a couple.

Did any of them wear them?

They put them on right away.

If someone asks about the earrings, then do you have a quick way to explain them?

In the beginning, I gave details about the movie and everything that was going on, and the scarf and all that. But I’ve gotten to the point where I’m just starting to say he was just a very bad and toxic boyfriend to Taylor Swift. He did some bad things, so we just do not support him right now.

Have you come across anyone who is pro-Jake?

My cello teacher did not see the X at first and she was really excited because she talked about how she loves Jake Gyllenhaal’s acting. I warned her first. I thought, “If you really like him, I will not ruin it for you.” But I told her that, and the good thing is, she’s a Taylor Swift fan. She is more of a fan of similar Folklore and Evermore. So I do not think she knew, but she said she would stop supporting him. I think that is progress.

So are you officially boycotting him? As if you did not want to see another one of his movies?

I have not really seen much of him to begin with, so I do not know if I will necessarily boycott him, but if he comes out with another film soon, I will not see it unless it has Tom Holland in it.

Do you know who Maggie Gyllenhaal is?

Is it not his sister, and it is the sister, that the scarf was left at her home in the song?

Yes, and she’s an actress too.


Are you also mad at her for her involvement in this?

I did not know she was an actress. I have not dug too deep into her commitment to it. I do not know.

What do you think of the scarf? Does it exist?

I think there is a scarf, but I thought that maybe there was a metaphor associated with the scarf as well. I feel like I saw something that says it could also be a metaphor for her virginity.

Do you think Jake still has it?

I feel like he might still have it, but I feel like after all the hatred he’s got, I would not keep the scarf if I were him.

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