The saying "Do you listen to Girl in Red?" is trending, and you can thank Taylor Swift and her (amazing, may we add) album, Folklore for that. If you're wondering what (rather, who) Girl is Red is, let's break that down first. Girl in Red (stylized "girl in red") is an indie singer from Norway who's known for her single, "I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend," which came out in 2018. Girl in Red (whose real name is Marie Ulven Ringheim) doesn't have any full-length albums yet, but you can listen to her songs on Spotify.
So, what does it mean when people ask "Do you listen to girl in red"?
"Do you listen to girl in red" is basically just code for "are you, as a girl, attracted to other girls?" As in, if you listen to certain music, it automatically labels your sexuality, which cannot be further than the truth and is obviously really problematic. Girl in Red herself actually responded to this saying back in March 2020 on her Instagram account, calling out people for labeling her music as "queer music." While Girl in Red is, in fact, queer, she believes her music can (and should) be enjoyed by everyone.
Girl in Red shared a tweet she wrote, which said, "'even tho i'm not gay, i like this song a lot,' bitch thanks, but that's like saying no homo and tbh it's so annoying cause it's like u feel the need to distance urself from the music in fear of being associated with something remotely queer as that would be a bad thing whoops tea :)."
She noticed that some queer folks also had the same mindset, though. Some queer fans became annoyed when they saw straight people listening to her songs and using them as backdrops to their TikToks. Girl in Red added, "also recently I've noticed a lot of queer ppl being like 'lmao why is this straight couple using ur music in their TikTok?' CAUSE feelings are universal. Music does have a sexuality. YES I like tits but jeez MY BOPS ARE FOR EVERYONE."
In her Instagram caption she elaborated more on her tweets, stating, "i hope one day we can all chill the f**k out and just vibe. it’s so weird how some people feel the need to distance themselves from a minority, while those who don’t, are being excluded by the minority? not painting everyone with the same brush here, but this is a recurring thing and [it's] so strange."
So, what does Taylor Swift have to do with Girl in Red?
If you've listened to Folklore, then you know there's been a lot of speculation over who "Betty" is about. The song is told from the perspective of someone named "James," but people believe that it's really Taylor (Taylor was named after James Taylor) and "Betty" is Karlie Kloss (whose middle name is Elizabeth, and Betty is a nickname for Elizabeth). So, if that were true, is "Betty" about how Taylor broke Karlie's heart? Who knows! But now instead of saying "Do you listen to girl in red" some are joking that you should actually ask, "Do you listen to Taylor Swift?" (Or some variation of that.)
no more “do you listen to girl in red” now is “do you listen to folklore by taylor swift”— ؘ (@florencpughs) July 24, 2020
the new “do you listen to girl in red” should be “do you listen to betty by taylor swift”— Alana Winn (@phoebebridgers5) July 30, 2020
petition to make “do you like betty by taylor swift” the new “do you listen to girl in red”— dani (@mspettyyy) July 24, 2020
how did you feel about folklore is the new do you listen to girl in red i can feel it— Sandra Oh's bitch 🍃✨ (@crisisdyke) July 24, 2020
Although it's totally okay to use whatever it is you want to say "Hey, I'm queer" if you're not ready to actually say that, know that you can listen to Girl in Red or Taylor Swift without it meaning anything, too.