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shake it off
October 4, 2016

Serena Williams won her first U.S. Open in 1999, and since then she has gone on to tie Steffi Graf's record of 22 Grand Slam tournament wins. Williams is unquestionably nothing short of legendary, and as she once corrected a reporter, she is not just one of the greatest female athletes of all time, but one of the greatest athletes, period.

But the road to making history hasn't always been smooth: Williams has been criticized in terms both racist and sexist throughout the duration of her career. In an interview with The Fader, she explained how she copes:

How did you deal with people commenting about your body when you were younger, and how do you deal with it now?

I've purposely tuned people out since I was 17. At the time, it was basically newspapers and maybe a website article. Maybe if the web was up back then. Since the day I won the U.S. Open, my very first Grand Slam, I never read articles about myself. If I saw my name mentioned, I'd look away. I looked at the pictures, but that's pretty much it. I didn't want to get too cocky, and at the same time I didn't want to have that negative energy. I don't know why I did it, but I did it. Ever since then I've been really low-key.

People have been talking about my body for a really long time. Good things, great things, negative things. People are entitled to have their opinions, but what matters most is how I feel about me, because that's what's going to permeate the room I'm sitting in. It's going to make you feel that I have confidence in myself whether you like me or not, or you like the way I look or not, if I do. [The Fader]

Read the entire interview with Serena Williams in The Fader, here, and watch her speak, below. Jeva Lange

November 12, 2015

A copyright lawsuit against Taylor Swift resulted in what may be the best dismissal order ever written. After a judge decided musician Jessie Braham had insufficient factual evidence in his case claiming Swift had stolen lyrics from his song "Haters Gonna Hate" for her song "Shake It Off," the judge decided to get creative with delivering the bad news.

The result: A judge's order comprised of lyrics from Swift's hit songs "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and "Blank Space."

Braham had said he'd copyrighted his song "Haters Gone Hate" back in 2013, which included the lyrics, "Haters gone hate, playas gone play. Watch out for them fakers, they'll fake you every day." Swift's lyrics are, "'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play. And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate... And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake."

The case is not necessarily "never, ever, ever" going to be back in court, but for now it looks like Swift can shake it off — and say, "It's gonna be all right." Becca Stanek

August 9, 2015

It's probably been minutes since two pop superstars had public beef. Miley Cyrus spoke out about what she sees as a double standard in the industry. She is often criticized for dressing in a racy manner, so she doesn't think Taylor Swift should get a free pass for the violence in her "Bad Blood" music video.

"I don't get the violence revenge thing," she told Marie Claire. That's supposed to be a good example? And I'm a bad role model because I'm running around with my titties out? I'm not sure how titties are worse than guns."

Unsurprisingly, Cyrus said she is perfectly comfortable with who she is.

"I don't really stress too much about being out there," she said. "There's nothing left to catch me doing."

Of course, Cyrus isn't the only one who has taken shots at Swift lately in conversations about feminism. Julie Kliegman

February 11, 2015

Have Kanye West and Taylor Swift finally shaken off the baggage of his infamous interruption at the 2009 VMA Awards? In a Wednesday interview with Ryan Seacrest, West revealed that he and Swift plan to record music together sometime in the near future.

"Yeah, [Taylor Swift] wants to get in the studio and we're definitely going to go in," said West. "Any artist with an amazing point of view, perspective, fan base, I’m down to get in the studio and work."

West went on to list other artists he'd like to offer "advice in the studio," including Beyonce, Jay Z, and Beck — so maybe interrupting people on stage is just his way of making an introduction. Jack McCormick

February 4, 2015

Rep. Aaron Schock doesn't think his colorful new office decor should come as a surprise to anyone, as he's "never been an old crusty white guy."

The Illinois Republican ditched his navy walls for red, and added black candles, gold-framed paintings, and a chandelier for a look that a staffer told The Washington Post was based on the dining room in Downton Abbey (a show Schock told ABC News he's never even watched). He is defensive of his office's new look, and explained that he's "different" from the typical congressman. "I came to Congress at 27," the 33-year-old said. "When I go take a personal vacation I don't sit on the beach, I go do active things. And so, I'm also not going to live in a cave. So when I post an Instagram photo with me and my friends, as Taylor Swift said, 'haters gonna hate.'"

The investigators are also gonna investigate, as the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics on Tuesday, requesting that they look into Schock allegedly accepting free services from an interior decorator and paying for new furniture with campaign funds. Schock said that once the designer is finished with the office, he will receive an invoice and pay. Catherine Garcia

November 3, 2014

For better or worse, Spotify has revolutionized the music industry — but a single artist can still bring the subscription-based music service to its knees. This morning, Taylor Swift quietly removed all her music from Spotify, prompting a blog post in which the Spotify team openly begs her to return.

"Taylor, we were both young when we first saw you, but now there's more than 40 million of us who want you to stay, stay, stay," says Spotify. "It's a love story, baby, just say, Yes."

Spotify also compiled a playlist with a none-too-subtle message for the pop star:

Swift hasn't issued a formal statement explaining why she pulled her albums, but fan reaction on Twitter has been widespread and intense. Scott Meslow

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