About That Time Taylor Swift Pet The Weeknd

The latest Rolling Stone profile of formerly-enigmatic pop star The Weeknd purports to pull back the curtain on Abel Tesfaye, the man behind that song you hear at the grocery store while browsing squash.

Tesfaye has been an indie darling for a while now, but he got a very essential co-sign from walking Anthropologie sale section, Taylor Swift, when she trotted him out as a guest at her show in New Jersey this July. But they first met at a Grammy afterparty, which happened to be during a month when Tesfaye wasn’t drinking. Cool, cool. Sometimes we all need a break from the sauce. In his words, here’s what went down:

“She actually schooled me on my own shit,” Tesfaye says. “She was like, ‘I’ve been listening to ‘The Morning’ [from House of Balloons] for years — it’s one of my favorite songs ever!’ I mean, she might have just Googled it. But she seemed genuine.”

Tesfaye says Swift went on for about 15 minutes. “But the whole time she was talking,” he says, “she was kind of, like, petting my hair? I think she was just drawn to it — she must have been a little gone off a few drinks. And of course I’m not going to be like, ‘Hey, can you stop?’ I mean, it felt good! But when she started petting my hair, that’s when I was like, ‘I definitely need a drink.'”

Here’s what seems to have happened. Taylor Swift, self-professed fan, Swiftsplained one of Tesfaye’s earlier songs to him while petting his hair. Taylor Swift pet The Weeknd as if he were a curio her grandmama pulled off the shelf and put on the table in front of her. Taylor Swift pet The Weeknd without asking for permission to touch his hair. He notes that he didn’t say no and that it “felt good.”

One imagines that being pet by someone who has enough power to get Apple to change its policies based on a letter she posted on Tumblr probably does feel good. Hair petting in general can feel great, if that’s what you’re into. But let’s be clear: It is never okay to touch someone’s hair without permission. It’s never okay to touch someone’s hair with curiosity, even if you think you’re being harmless. Don’t touch his hair. Don’t touch that woman’s hair over there. Hey! Put your hand down. I said don’t do that.

Taylor Swift, America, the world, one more time: Do not touch people – their hair, their bodies, whatever – without permission.

[Rolling Stone]