Breaking Down Hiddleswift — Who Really Used Who?

A long, long time ago (on June 15), the internet was given a gift. A wonderful, blond, publicity-driven gift.

That gift was the unofficial union of cat-lover and international superstar Taylor Swift to fellow cat-lover and not-nearly-as-famous actor Tom Hiddleston. Their spur-of-the-moment relationship took their fans, their exes, and everyone in between by surprise. It seemed too good to be true, and quickly transformed into a (suspiciously) perfect summer romance. There were Italy trips, meet and greets with the parents, and countless pictures of them kissing.

Unlike most celebrities, who usually strive to keep their PDA away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi, the two seemed to perk up when the cameras were around. They even sat near windows at restaurants, giving photographers a better view. And let's not forget the time they spent on the day of our nation's birth, romping around Rhode Island with an exclusive crew of famous friends, who were all eager and willing to document, and legitimize, their relationship.

This joint venture propelled them into the headlines of every low-brow and high-brow publication. Suddenly, the public imagined Hiddleston as the next James Bond. We stalked Swift's social media pages for clues about her love affair. Hiddleswift had us under their awkward thumb.

Then they hit a road bump, and their full-steam-ahead romance screeched to a damning halt, where it remained idle.

They officially called it quits on September 6. We eulogized the relationship here. After months of speculation, their lovey-dovey facade has crumbled, and all that's left is the anonymous claim that Hiddleston wanted to take the relationship (even more) public, while Swift thought it would be just too much publicity.

So now the question remains: Who, if anyone, won in this summer fling gone sour?

Was it Hiddleston? His name recognition has gone from "Who?" to "Taylor Swift's boyfriend?" to "Oh, he's in that new movie!" — all in less than three months. That's some pretty decent free publicity. He has two big 2017 blockbusters in the works — Thor 3: Ragnarok and Kong: Skull Island. He has also amped up his social media game, going from 2.8 million Twitter followers to 3.8 million. He created an Instagram account, and within weeks reached 1.1 million followers. (He's only posted five pictures.) Pair those millions of new followers with his upcoming movie roles and instant notoriety, and you might think that Hiddleston turned out on top. But you'd be wrong.

You see, Swift is not a sore loser. Simply because she never really seems to lose. Despite that whole "Famous" situation, her already massive fan group has only grown larger. Since July, her Twitter followers have gone from 79 million to more than 80 million and her Instagram followers have continued to increase, nearing the triple digits. In March, 69.2 million people were following her. Now, in September, that number has grown to 90.6 million. Not to mention that Swift walks away from this with splendid material for a new album, in which she can address everything from her Kanye West drama to the madhouse that is the celebrity rumor mill.

In the end, who really wins in this type of situation? The answer is: They both do.
Many felt their relationship was all staged, while others are brokenhearted that their two vanilla favorites couldn't find a way to stay together. There's no clear winner in this uncoupling, which has been deemed "amicable" because they amicably used each other.

Their's was one of the most boring celebrity matchups of all time, so why shouldn't their breakup be, too? In the end, I feel the most used of them all.

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