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Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce: The true cost of becoming the world’s most powerful couple

You can barely get to the end of each day at the moment without hearing two names – Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce.

From social media to news websites, on the radio and television, one of the world’s most influential power couples is making headlines 24/7. One is the biggest pop star on the planet and the other is a back-to-back Super Bowl champion and they just happened to have met and fallen in love. They’re the modern-day love story we think about and sing about every time we hear one of Swift’s songs.

In the past few days, the commentary around both the GRAMMY winner and American football player has exploded. We’ve seen people fall in love with the pair even more, but we’ve also seen their every move scrutinised.

From Taylor chugging a beer in her Super Bowl suite, to Travis’s angry outburst at his Coach Andy Reid on the sidelines, to partying in Las Vegas and singing Taylor’s hit song ‘Love Story’ to each other before a 5 am chicken fingers meal. It seems everything about the couple is now up for discussion. Anyone who has an internet connection can join the conversation.

Taylor and Travis are being called the modern-day Posh and Becks.

Victoria Beckham and David Beckham were the British celebrity super couple when they started dating in 1997. The media and the world couldn’t get enough of the two. One was a feminist-anthem-slinging girl group star and the other was a ground-breaking soccer hero.

They had questionable outfits (but didn’t we all in the 90s) and they would go on to be a power couple who – still decades later – have a huge impact on the world, as seen recently with the success of their Netflix special: Beckham. Everyone had an opinion on what they did, where they went, what they wore and how they raised their children. As we heard from them both in the docu-series, it was relentless.

Surprisingly, the couple were able to survive the craziness of the British tabloid press and the pressures of their high-profile jobs and will celebrate 25 years of marriage in 2024. Will Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce get to do the same one day?
Expert describes relationship as ‘a phenomenon’
Dr Georgia Carroll, a researcher who specialises in fan culture, spoke to Yahoo Lifestyle about the global fanfare around Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce and how we’re seeing the couple not treated as individuals anymore, but as global brands.

“I think it’s really interesting, especially, because it’s still a new relationship. I wouldn’t go so far as to call them a modern-day Posh and Becks because we have no idea how long they’ll last, but it’s definitely now a phenomenon,” she said.

“They are both being held to different standards, but I think they should be. Celebrities are powerful and they have influence, so my argument is that they should be held to a different standard because they are in a position of power.”

She said there’s a fine line between valid critique of their actions and tabloid gossip that trashes the couple.

“Most people loved Taylor chugging a beer at the Super Bowl. We all would do it if we were there, but then you look at how she’s been attacked afterwards in the public eye. Compare that to Travis’s brother Jason taking his shirt off and drinking, and everyone goes ‘Oh he’s so funny,’ it’s interesting to see the difference.”

However, Carroll does agree Travis needs to be called out for his behaviour towards his coach Andy Reid. The Chiefs tight-end lost his cool and screamed into Reid’s face on the sidelines of the Super Bowl.

“He should be called out. No one deserves to be screamed at in the workplace. I’m not surprised by the commentary. I saw it and thought, ‘oh this is going to be story’, but now it’s been turned into a meme and everyone is joking about it, which is a whole other conversation.”

There’s no denying the couple have become one of the world’s biggest brands and will now have to navigate life together under such public scrutiny. Dr Carroll also notes it’s interesting to see the backlash on Taylor’s former boyfriend Joe Alwyn, who Swifties assume her new album The Tortured Poet’s Club is about. Dr Carroll says we shouldn’t be commenting on their relationship because we really don’t know anything that goes on behind closed doors.

“As much as I am also a critic of power structure, at the end of the day – they’re people. Social media definitely makes everything more global and immediate and we no longer have to wait for paparazzi pictures because everyone is updating their platforms or live feeds.”

“Taylor already had an awful time in 2019, when she disappeared from the public eye for a year, but now people have a direct line of access to their families, including tagging them on social media. Her fans could turn on Travis if they break up, but he is a football player so would be used to getting criticism.”

There’s no denying the global brand that is Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce isn’t slowing down anytime soon, especially with Swifties gearing up for her Australian leg of her Eras tour. The pair also employ people to keep themselves, or their “brand” in check, so we’ll have to watch this space to see just how their love story plays out.

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