A teen fan’s protest earrings sweep her middle school.

The scorn of Jake Gyllenhaal has been sweeping across the country since the reissue of a Taylor Swift album with a song, “All Too Well,” believed to be about her brief relationship with the actor. I’ve previously claimed that this is nothing to worry about, it’s mostly a silly game, but that was before I saw the anti-Gyllenhaal earrings that an eighth grader from Pennsylvania named Caroline has been wearing at school in protest. silent. Perhaps this is more serious than you thought. Caroline agreed to take a break from her activism to talk to Slate about why she’s mad at the actor, the mass production of the earrings, and a certain infamous scarf. Our conversation has been edited and condensed.

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

Caroline: Honestly, I’ve listened to his music, I’m pretty sure since I was born, because my mom has always liked it. And my grandmother is a huge fan of her old country music. So I’ve always been surrounded by it, but I started listening to it on my own probably when I was 8 years old.

Were you excited for the reissue of Red? I should point out that you were 4 years old when it first came out.

I was definitely excited about it, and a group of my friends at school were excited about it. I feel like if any album were to be reissued, I would definitely want it to be Red because I loved the song “Red” itself. And a lot of those songs are so good.

I was very excited for the 10 minute “All Too Well” movie, because I love her music, but you can’t always see how she films and I like her filming skills. I saw it immediately. It was very good.

What told you about that?

Every time I see things, I always have this problem where I just can’t get in and I can’t feel what the artist is trying to show, but with Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien, right away, I felt kind. uncomfortable. I felt so bad for Taylor. I immediately thought, “This age difference is a bit strange.”

How did you know that Jake Gyllenhaal was supposedly involved in the history surrounding the album?

I really don’t remember exactly how I knew. Somehow i knew Red it was about him. I heard a friend talk about it and then it just clicked. I loved her performance in Spiderman, but …. MMM.

So you decided to make earrings.

I’ve always been making jewelry, especially quarantined. As soon as I saw the movie, I don’t know how it came to me, but right away, I felt this rage against Jake. He was mad. I was like, “Oh, I’ll just do something jewelry-wise.” I found the base image of him and then I just put an X on it, printed it out, and started laminating it.

How did you choose the photo?

I thought this photo went well with red and also, I don’t know, I thought he looked a bit mysterious in this one. It definitely looks like it did something.

Caroline with the earrings.
Courtesy of Caroline

So have you spent them, like in school?

Oh my God. Yes. Since I made them, I have been using them every day.

What kind of reactions have you had?

It’s crazy. It’s a mix of people saying, “Who is that?” and then a bunch of people saying, “OMG I love Taylor Swift.” So I’ve been making them and handing them out to people. Like I brought five of them every day, hoping someone would say something about Taylor Swift, and I’ll give it to them. I gave them to my Spanish teacher, my history teacher, and a bunch of random girls who mentioned Taylor Swift.

You teachers?

We were in history. We were working on this worksheet on our separation from Great Britain. My teacher started playing Taylor Swift, “We will never be together again.” So I grabbed a couple of people who had the earrings with me and we gave them a pair. She was so excited.

My other teacher saw my earrings as she walked into class, and I said, “Oh, did you look like the new ‘All Too Well’ movie?” And he began to die laughing, as if his hands were on his knees, his head was bowed and he was laughing so hard. So I gave him a pair.

Did any of them use them?

They put them on right away.

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

At first I was giving 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 starting to say that he was a very bad and toxic boyfriend to Taylor Swift. He did some bad things so we don’t support him right now.

Have you met someone who is in favor of Jake?

My cello teacher didn’t see the X at first and she was so excited because she was talking about how she loves Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance. At first I warned him. I was like, “If you really like it, I don’t want to screw it up.” But I told him, and the good thing is, he’s a Taylor Swift fan. She is more of a fan of like Folklore and Increasingly. So I don’t think she knew, but she said she would stop supporting him. I think that is progress.

So are you officially boycotting it? As if you didn’t see another of his movies?

I haven’t really seen much of it to begin with, so I don’t know if I’m necessarily boycotting it, but if it comes out with another movie soon, I won’t see it, unless it has Tom Holland in it. .

Do you know who Maggie Gyllenhaal is?

Isn’t that your sister, and that’s the sister who left the handkerchief at home in the song?

Yes, and she is also an actress.


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

I did not know that she was an actress. I have not gone too far into its involvement. I do not know.

What do you think of the scarf? Exists?

I think there is a scarf, but I was thinking there might be a metaphor related to the scarf as well. I feel like I saw something that said that could also be a metaphor for her virginity.

Do you think Jake still has it?

I feel like I could still have it, but I feel like after all the hate he’s received, I wouldn’t want to keep the handkerchief if I were him.

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