By Kim Kalunian, WPRO News
Just over a week ago, Clara Beyer went from a normal 21-year-old to an internet celebrity, all thanks to a single tweet.
A rising senior at Brown University, Beyer has been busy splitting her time between friends and activities in Providence, and a summer internship in Boston.
But Beyer had an idea last week while walking from the train station to her apartment that brought her an onslaught of attention practically overnight.
Beyer is a huge Taylor Swift fan, a fact she makes no secret of. It was while she was listening to the 23-year-old pop star that an idea occurred to her: a feminist parody Twitter account of Swift’s lyrics could be pretty funny.
She took to Twitter:
Idea for a single purpose twitter: feminist Taylor swift— clara b (@clarabellum) June 12, 2013
Her phone rang. It was her friend Kevin, who told her the idea was “genius.”
He was right. Beyer launched the account on June 12 and just over a week later it has more than 96,000 followers.
“It’s kind of crazy,” said Beyer in a telephone interview Thursday. The northern Virginia native said she was most excited when the Washington Post picked up on the new Twitter feed. She’s also been written up by Buzzfeed, Rolling Stone, ABC News and USA Today.
“It’s completely mind blowing,” she said.
The recipe for the feed, @FeministTSwift, is pretty simple: Beyer takes Taylor Swift lyrics and alters them to be feminist mantras. They’re clever, really clever, and people have noticed.
We've got bills to pay / We've got nothing figured out / But you and I can both work to pay those bills / And regard each other as equals— FeministTaylorSwift (@feministtswift) June 17, 2013
You cry / But you don't tell anyone / Because women's sadness is often trivialized / And men's sadness is downright condemned— FeministTaylorSwift (@feministtswift) June 17, 2013
She wears high heels / I wear sneakers / We're each expressing our gender identities in ways that make us feel comfortable / Date me— FeministTaylorSwift (@feministtswift) June 14, 2013
After Photoshopping an image of Taylor Swift’s face onto Rosie the Riveter, Beyer scheduled a series of tweets for June 12. That was a Wednesday. The next day she had 500 followers. By Friday, she had 6,000 followers and a story on Buzzfeed.
Now that she’s nearing the 100,000 followers mark, Beyer is hopeful she can continue to come up of good material. She thinks of all of the tweets herself, and will occasionally re-tweet followers if they craft a great one themselves .
She’s not afraid to admit she’s nervous about running out of good ideas.
“Oh my gosh I’m terrified,” she said. With a limited number of Swift songs to pick from, Beyer said she hopes she won’t find the well of creativity running dry.
“[Swift] will just have to put out a new album,” she said.
For Beyer, a huge Swift fan, a new album would be nice, but what she really wants is to meet the pop star.
“That is my ultimate fantasy,” she said. “Taylor Swift and I get on a talk show together and we become best friends… and we ride home on our unicorn.”
Beyer has a quick wit, and a sharp sensibility about pop culture. She’s combined two hot topics: Swift and feminism, into a neat, 140-character package.
“It’s crazy I am just blown away by how many people are following this,” she said. “There’s a lot of other funny stuff out there, so this must have someone really struck a nerve.”
For Beyer, the Twitter account is a way to have fun, but also teach people that “feminism is not this inaccessible weird thing.”
“Feminism can be fun!” she said.
So why is Beyer, a woman who has taken to Twitter to poke fun at Taylor Swift’s songs, such a big fan of the singer?
“This is kind of ironic,” she said. “But her lyrics are so on point.”
You can see all of Beyer's tweets for @FeministTSwift here.
An award-winning journalist and theater critic - and a performer at heart. Kim covers everything from politics and breaking news to food and theater.