Brazilian Swifties Want to Literally Make Taylor Swift as Big as Jesus

Brazilian Swifties Want to Literally Make Taylor Swift as Big as Jesus

Taylor Swift is exactly as big as Jesus—or at least she will be if Brazilian Swifties have their way. Over the course of The Eras Tour, we’ve been following the way each tour stop scrambled to express deference and devotion to the conquering pop star. In the U.S., she was declared mayor of certain cities, she had streets and stadiums named after her, she had fountains lit up in her honor. Now, on the Latin American leg of the tour, Brazil might one-up all of those paltry gestures by projecting a Swift tribute on the statue of Christ the Redeemer.

Christ the Redeemer (or Cristo Redentor) is Rio de Janeiro’s famous monument of Jesus Christ, voted in the early 2000s as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. The statue has seen lights or projections used for other purposes; in 2020, a projection to make Jesus look like a doctor was displayed on Easter Sunday as a tribute to frontline healthcare workers during the pandemic, and the landmark was lit with pink this past October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So there’s precedent for projections, but probably not for a visiting concert tour.

The idea proposed by Brazilian fans is to project a version of Swift’s “Junior Jewels” shirt, a costume which first appeared in her “You Belong With Me” music video back in 2009. A fan mock-up of Jesus in the Junior Jewels shirt seems like the stuff of memes, except it’s a real thing that could happen, because the mayor of Rio has expressed his support. “Dear @taylorswift13 fans, I’m going to ask dear Father Omar to see if we can get this honor,” Eduardo Paes responded to the campaign on Twitter/X. “He’s the guy who runs the projections at @cristoredentor! In the meantime: his Instagram is @padreomaroficial.” (“I don’t have tickets for the show @taylorswift13,” he tweeted later. “For your attention, thank you!”)

Siccing Swifties on poor Father Omar feels unfair, but even the monument’s rector was receptive to the scheme. “@taylorswift fans, we received your comments with great joy and await contact from the singer’s advisors,” Father Omar posted on his Instagram Story, according to USA Today. In an interview with Anthony Roberto Justus, who runs a Brazil-specific Swift fan account on Twitter/X, expressed that they don’t want to “violate Taylor’s copyright” by projecting the Junior Jewels tee. So now Brazilian Swifties have shifted their petitioning back to their idol, begging her to let them worship her. “Taylor please priest Omar email about the Cristo Redentor,” one fan pleaded with sobbing emojis in the replies to a completely unrelated post from the singer. Swift’s team has not responded to The A.V. Club’s inquiry about whether the projection will indeed be approved.

“Jesus is a Swiftie” sounds like a semi-ironic bumper sticker you could get from a niche Etsy shop, but the fact that it could become enshrined upon one of Catholicism’s largest monuments (physically, at least) is a surreal indicator of Swift’s current level of adulation. The monument would be a monument to her fame, which somehow keeps climbing to unprecedented peaks of cultural ubiquitousness. From Midnights to The Eras Tour to The Eras Tour movie, she is the year’s greatest success story and probably the U.S.’s biggest cultural export; her relationship with Travis Kelce, attendance at NFL games, and cheeky lyric changes (“Karma is the guy on the Chiefs”) has only indoctrinated people further into the cult of Swift. “Why am I so happy for these strangers????” commented one new fan on a TikTok following Kelce’s attendance at one of the shows. “I went from ‘Taylor Swift is a success, but just not for me’ to ‘OMG AND THEN HER DAD PUNCHED HIM IN THE ARMS CAUSE HE’S THE GUY ON THE CHIEFS,’” wrote another.

When John Lennon said The Beatles were bigger than Jesus, it was met with intense backlash. But it seems fair to say that in some ways, Swift has become a religion unto herself. Devotees in Argentina camped on the streets for months just to get a good spot at the concert. Fans filled stadiums and theaters to live and relive The Eras Tour like places of worship (Holy Ground, if you will), giving not just their money but all their energy to their fandom. They pore over signs and symbols searching for meaning. Her joys are their joys, her enemies are their enemies, her successes, which are quite literally monumental, are a reflection of the Swifties as much as Swift.

And when the Grammy winner gets to Brazil for the next set of shows on November 17, she may just be greeted with the latest proof of her power in Jesus wearing the faux-high school tee she donned more than a decade ago for a pop song about kids falling in love. Christ the Redeemer “is often used to highlight significant elements of culture,” Justus explained to USA Today. “Christ represents a point of reflection, where we find peace, and is one of the greatest beauties of our country. It’s an honor to host Taylor.” Amen.

Image: Taylor Swift; Christ the Redeemer. Marcelo Endelli/TAS23; Wagner Meier (Getty Images)

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