The “Roar” singer shared a photo of a plate of chocolate chip cookies bearing the phrase “PEACE AT LAST” in red frosting. She tagged Swift and captioned the shot “feels good” followed by a heart emoji. It’s safe to assume that Swift probably baked the cookies—she enthusiastically reminds people of her love of the domestic pastime whenever the opportunity arises. The plate was also decorated with rainbow sprinkle-adorned peace signs. If we somehow still didn’t get the message, the photo’s location is tagged “Let’s Be Friends.”
The post marks the end of a five-year feud between the pop stars that began with a messy dispute over backup dancers. Basically, Swift hired dancers for her Red tour who had previously danced for Perry. Those dancers allegedly left a few months into the tour to join Perry on her Prism tour. Swift told her side of the story, without naming Perry, in a Rolling Stone interview in 2014. “She did something so horrible,” Swift told Rolling Stone. “She basically tried to sabotage an entire arena tour. She tried to hire a bunch of people out from under me.” Until that point, they had been friends, or at least friends in the sense that they posed for pictures together at awards shows.
Perry’s post (to which Swift replied with a barrage of heart emojis) has given fans reason to believe they have finally buried the hatchet. But the saccharine reconciliation feels a little too familiar. In fact, the famous frenemies had already reconciled, on Instagram no less, when Perry sent Swift a literal olive branch on the opening night of her Reputation tour last May.
So why post about their renewed friendship now, a year after the feud supposedly ended? Well, both Swift and Perry are in the process of releasing new music. In April, Swift released the single “Me!” and corresponding music video, a colorful collaboration with Panic! At the Disco’s Brandon Urie. The video was packed with Easter eggs teasing her upcoming album. Perry also released a single, titled “Never Really Over,” in May. Both releases essentially flopped; “Me!” is the first lead single from a Taylor Swift album not to hit No. 1 on the charts in its first week, according to Vulture. And “Never Really Over," touted as Perry’s comeback, failed to inspire any buzz. The timing of the friendship cookie picture, guaranteed to leave the internet reeling, is, uh, interesting.
This wouldn’t be the first time Swift’s heavily publicized feuds with fellow celebrities aligned with the release of new music. She first spoke about the backup dancer dispute in Rolling Stone while promoting her album 1989, describing it as the inspiration behind the song “Bad Blood.” The “Bad Blood” music video featured Swift’s roster of supermodel BFFs (and, for some reason, Mariska Hargitay) clad in dominatrix apparel and dangling nunchucks. It was an immediate hit when it premiered in 2015.
For the release of her Reputation album in 2017, Swift once again embraced drama, this time targeting Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. The Taylor Swift/Kanye West feud is Shakespearian in its length and complexity, but essentially, it came to a head in 2016 when Kardashian, in defense of her husband, accused Swift of being a “snake.” Rather than brushing the insult off, Swift decided to make it a defining aspect of her brand. She released Reputation’s lead single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” as a petty, spiteful declaration that the “old Taylor” was dead and the new Taylor, apparently, was very into reptiles. In the single’s music video, she sits in a throne wearing diamond-encrusted serpentine jewelry as live snakes slither around her. Of course, her merch was all snake-themed, and at the climax of her Reputation concert, she was joined on stage by a gigantic inflatable cobra.
As for Wednesday’s reconciliation Instagram post, maybe there is a collaboration between the two pop stars in the works. Or maybe Swift is finally ready to put catty celebrity feuds in her past. She is 30 now, after all. But knowing Swift, it’s probably the former. Subtlety may not be her strong suit, but she sure has powerful marketing instincts.