Not even the solar eclipse could overshadow Taylor Swift this week: The star reemerged from her musical hiatus with some mysterious, scaly clues—later to announce she was taking the whole being a snake diss and using it as a form of empowerment instead of an insult.
Considering haters have taken it upon themselves to hate (hate, hate, hate, hate) and use the past year as an opportunity to turn Swift’s social-media feed into a snake den with more slithering, green emojis than we can count, it only makes sense that she’s hissing right back with a vengeance. Swift’s releasing herself of that bad-blood negativity by reclaiming her reputation (in the wake of, *cough*, that whole Kanye-Kim thing, *cough*) with an aptly named new album.
Ahead of the release of Reputation‘s first single (the full album drops November 10), let’s reminisce about how fierce T. Swift was before she channeled her inner reptile.
Keep reading for 5 lessons Taylor Swift taught us about confidence.
1. She smacks down sexual-assault victim blamers
While Swift was fighting back against former radio host David Mueller in a sexual-assault trial earlier this month, she used her time on the stand to give a powerful reminder to sexual-assault victims everywhere.
Making a point that victim blaming is never okay, she had the perfect response when she was asked how she felt about Mueller losing his job over the incident: “I don’t feel anything about Mr. Mueller. I don’t know him.” Then when asked a second time, she said, “I’m not going to let you or your client make me feel in any way that this is my fault. Here we are years later, and I’m being blamed for the unfortunate events of his life that are the product of his decisions—not mine.”
2. She rejects the cult of busyness
While the world is so worried about being constantly productive, Swift isn’t afraid to take a second to add a little blank space into her life—hence the three-year gap from her last album, 1989.
When Vogue asked what her life goals are, she said, “I have no idea. Honestly, I never relax, and I’m excited about being able to relax for the first time in 10 years.”
So take a tip from this superstar and clear your schedule every now and then. You don’t to have a million things on your to-do list to be happy.
3. She can make fun of herself
Being able to have a good laugh at your own expense is always a good thing, and Swift is the queen of shaking it off—especially when it comes to herself.
In her Apple Music ad released last year, she did a solid face-plant on a treadmill after getting a little too excited about her favorite Drake song. She tweeted that the incident was based on true events, so keep that in mind the next time you embarrass yourself at the gym.
4. She looks superhuman when she leaves the gym (though we have an inkling as to why that is)
It takes a certain skill to leave the gym looking better than you did when you entered, but of course Swift has mastered the challenge (times a billion).
Don’t get too down on yourself, though. Her secret to looking so flawless post-workout might be due to the type of workouts she’s doing. Opposed to steamy spin sessions or boot camp-style workouts, she has tended to spend a lot of her time at ModelFIT, a studio known for helping ladies tone up sans sweat. Um, sign me up!
5. She’s never afraid to speak her mind (especially through song)
Whether it’s about an ex or a former friend, Swift has never hesitated to tell it like it is. Sure, her lyrics might get her in trouble sometimes—but you have to appreciate that honestly is her intended policy.
Considering she’s taking full advantage of the snake thing for this album, we have a feeling this is only the beginning of Swift speaking up. And we’re all listening.