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Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston: Is their relationship an elaborate hoax?

Ever since the couple made their auspicious debut on a rocky Rhode Island shore on June 15, the Internet has been fixated on a single, pressing question: What, precisely, is up with Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston?

Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston are seen in Rome on June 28, 2016.
Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston are seen in Rome on June 28, 2016. (KGC-294/STAR MAX/IPx)

On the surface the pair, anointed “Hiddleswift,” is just another glitzy Hollywood super-couple, brought together by the shared experience of crippling fame and fortune. Yet from its inception the relationship has been shadowed with doubt, with some people going so far as to construct elaborate conspiracy theories as to what’s really going on between the strangely demonstrative couple.

Part of what fuels rumors about Hiddleswift is the alarming rate at which the relationship appears to be accelerating. Swift and boyfriend of 15 months Calvin Harris broke up in late May, just weeks before Swift and Hiddleston made their very public debut. 

It’s not so much that Swift moved on from Harris so quickly (the heart is a lonely hunter, after all) but rather that Hiddleswift’s romance has escalated at such an alarming rate.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BHcGbFAgtb3

Since the origin of their relationship mere weeks ago, the couple has been spotted jet-setting about Rome, meeting each others’ parents and frolicking in the surf with Swift’s celebrity squad over the Fourth of July. Swift’s beach party was made infinitely more awkward by Hiddleston’s I [heart] T.S. tank top, which only served to make him look like a British prisoner of war, forced against his will to celebrate the independence of the most belligerent of England’s former colonies.

https://twitter.com/aidybryant/status/749955564692799488

So what are some of the most prominent theories about what’s really going on between Hiddleston and Swift?

Taking a surprising lead in the speculation game is the idea that the entire relationship is a piece of performance art, a la Joaquin Phoenix or Shia LaBeouf, the ultimate goal of which is the surreptitious filming of a music video. 

Buzzfeed offers a good overview of the theory here, but at the heart of it is the idea that Swift is due for an album to drop this fall, right around the time that Hiddleston may or may not be campaigning for an Emmy for AMC’s “The Night Manager.”

Related to this theory is the idea that Hiddleswift is a manufactured relationship concocted as a ploy to further any number of agendas, including a push to see Hiddleston replace Daniel Craig as James Bond. 

So malleable are these rumors that they’ve already shifted from a ploy to get Hiddleston cast as Bond to a smokescreen to distract from the fact that Hiddleston is (according to UK tabloidsnot going to be cast as Bond.

https://twitter.com/NickJWReilly/status/749878776234991616

Other popular theories include:

Maybe Tom Hiddleston is in a hostage situation

https://twitter.com/PaulRudnickNY/status/750015574382608388

Maybe Ryan Reynolds is in a hostage situation

His face in this photo from Swift’s Independence Day extravaganza: priceless.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BHfbTikDYx5

Maybe Tom Hiddleston is in a ‘Little Mermaid’ situation

https://twitter.com/LeavittAlone/status/750418083236483073

Okay, those are maybe a bit farfetched.

The reality of the situation is that people are upset not because Swift has another new beau or even that that beau happens to be one of Tumblr’s favorite boyfriends, but rather that the couple’s rapidly intensifying relationship gives off a stench of something false.

But even worse than the thought that Hiddleswift may be an elaborate prank is the idea that Hiddleston and Swift’s relationship is the real thing and that they’ve gone from zero to 60 like a junior high couple who just discovered tongue-kissing. 

Hiddleswift is probably the real deal. At the very least, everyone involved is fully committing to the facade. Love is strange. Love that inspires elaborate conspiracy theories even stranger.

libby.hill@latimes.com

Twitter: @midwestspitfire

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