Taylor Swift has been associated with snake emojis for several years now, and decided to explain how that's affected her during the opening night.
Taylor Swift referenced her feud with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West as she urged fans to stand up to bullies during the first night of her Reputation Stadium Tour on Tuesday (08May18).
The 28-year-old singer took to the stage at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, to kick off her highly-anticipated tour. And while the eight costume changes, impressive choreography and guest appearances delighted fans, it was Taylor's decision to address her long-running feud with Kim and Kanye that surprised audience members the most.
Referencing the snake images that littered the stage throughout the concert, Taylor explained: "You might be wondering why there are so many snakes... A couple of years ago, someone called me a snake on social media and it caught on. And then a lot of people called me a lot of names on social media. And I went through some really low times for a while because of it.
"I went through some times when I didn’t know if I was gonna get to do this anymore and I guess the snakes - I wanted to send a message to you guys that if someone uses name-calling to bully you on social media and even if a lot of people jump on board with it, that doesn’t have to beat you. It can strengthen you instead."
Taylor was first likened to a snake during her feud with ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris, in which they disagreed over whether or not the singer had co-written the Scottish DJ and Rihanna's hit This Is What You Came For.
The metaphor then gained momentum during Taylor's disagreement with Kim and Kanye, which stemmed from the rapper's track Famous, in which he referred to the Shake It Off star as a "b**ch". While she insisted she had never agreed to be referred to as that, Kim then shared a video on social media which appeared to show Taylor agreeing to the lyrics - leading to Kimye fans peppering Taylor's Twitter and Instagram feeds with snake emojis.
Elsewhere on her opening night, Taylor was spotted dedicating her tune Gorgeous to boyfriend Joe Alwyn, pointing at her beau in the audience as she belted out the track. The pop veteran also performed some of her other biggest hits, such as Bad Blood and Love Story, support acts Camila Cabello and Charli XCX joined her on stage to belt out Shake It Off, and actress Tiffany Haddish made a surprise appearance in a pre-recorded video in which she said the "Old Taylor can't come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, cause she's dead" line from Look What You Made Me Do.
Taylor posed with supporting artists Charli XCX and Camila Cabello, two of the hottest up-and-coming singers in pop music. She captioned the shot “STADIUM TOURMATES” with heart emojis.
Charli XCX also gave a shout-out to Taylor with this throwback pic of the pair in 2014. “I’m so excitedddd! Flying to Arizona right now!!!! Aghhhhh I can’t wait! Shout out 2 legend @taylorswift for having me!!! This is gonna be fun,” she wrote.
For her part, Camila Cabello showed off some of the backstage magic fans can expect to see on the reputation tour. The two videos in this post (taken by Taylor Swift) show her being carted below stage and rising up to stage level on a mini-platform.
The trio seems to be relaxed and having fun… This should be a great tour!