Magic, madness, heaven, sin! Taylor Swift's new Vogue cover dropped Thursday, April 14, and the pop superstar looks completely unrecognizable, with a shaggy-chic lob and bleached eyebrows. "Who's that girl?" Vogue teases in the headline. "Taylor Swift as you've never seen her before."
In the cover shot (taken by legendary duo Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott), Swift confidently stares down the camera with her piercing blue eyes. The 1989 hitmaker, 26, looks lean in a sequin spaghetti-strap dress and leather boots. A swipe of her trademark red lip color matches the crimson background of the photo.
The accompanying interview was conducted by sports writer Jason Gay in Swift's hometown of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. At the time, the superstar was in town to serve as maid of honor in the wedding of her childhood best friend, Brittany Maack. While in the area, Swift decided to make a stop at the home where she grew up, among other local haunts from her upbringing.
In addition to reminiscing about her past, Swift speculated about her future and what's next for her career. "This is the first time in 10 years that I haven’t known," the Grammy winner said of life after her epic 1989 World Tour. Currently, she's relaxing and taking a much-needed break from the hullabaloo that followed the release of her fifth studio album in October 2014.
"I just decided that after the past year, with all of the unbelievable things that happened … I decided I was going to live my life a little bit without the pressure on myself to create something," she told Vogue. "I’m always going to be writing songs. The thing is, with me, I could very well come up with three things in the next two weeks and then jump back into the studio, and all of a sudden the next record is started. That’s an option too."
The star also discussed her future with Calvin Harris, her boyfriend since March 2015. "I’m just taking things as they come," Swift said of her romance with the Scottish DJ, 32. "I’m in a magical relationship right now. And of course I want it to be ours, and low-key. … This is the one thing that’s been mine about my personal life."
Swift has certainly grown since her early twenties, when she very publicly dated Jake Gyllenhaal, Harry Styles and other high-profile hotties. "You know, I went out on a normal amount of dates in my early twenties, and I got absolutely slaughtered for it," Swift reflected. “And it took a lot of hard work and altering my decision-making. I didn’t date for two and a half years. Should I have had to do that? No … I’ve had people say really hurtful things about me, and so I’ve kind of learned how to gauge it: ‘This is, like, low-to-medium-level hurtful.'"
“There are a lot of really easy ways to dispel rumors,” she continued. “If they say you are pregnant, all you have to do is continue to not be pregnant and not have a baby. If the rumor is that you have fake friendships, all you have to do is continue to be there for each other. And when we’re all friends in 15 years and raising our kids together, maybe somebody will look back and go, ‘That was kind of ridiculous, what we said about Taylor and her friends.'"
One situation that she directly addressed was the 2016 Grammy Awards. While accepting Album of the Year, Swift memorably sniped at Kanye West after he claimed in his song "Famous" that he was responsible for her success.
“I guess what I wanted to call attention to in my speech at the Grammys was how it’s going to be difficult if you’re a woman who wants to achieve something in her life — no matter what," she told Vogue. Later, she said of the contentious situation: “I think the world is so bored with the saga. I don’t want to add anything to it, because then there’s just more."
This is Swift's third Vogue cover.
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