Taylor Swift is everywhere at the minute. If she’s not talking about her album 1989 on TV or popping up before your YouTube video loads then she’s all over the gossip websites followed by speculation on who she’s dating, who her latest songs are about and gushing paragraphs about what she’s wearing.
With a gradual transition from her country music roots into all out Pop Princess Taylor Swift has amassed a legion of die hard fans (“Swifties” and )even had the 40 year old skinhead bloke in my office admitting that he dances along to the so catchy it hurts Shake it Off in his car on his drive to work. She’s crossing musical borders, taking on the head honchos at Spotify and has led the fashion hair pack by sporting this seasons short hair chop, is there anything that TSwizzle can’t do? (except for dance like Beyonce?) Why can’t I stop listening to/watching her new video for Blank Space? Why do I covet her style so much? Why do I want to fly to New York and hang out with her, her friends and forget about my cat allergy? Why is she just “da bomb”?
I’ll try to explain.
She’s relateable. I’m 27, I live in a city in the UK and I work in administration. Taylor is not 27, she lives in New York, she’s worldwide famous – there’s a bit of a difference there. Yet when you watch her in her interviews or listen to her music there’s just something about her that makes me want to hang out with her or think “she’s just like me!” I put on her record and I feel like she’s extracted one of my heartaches and put it to music. If she’s had her heartbroken, there’s a chance that a million other girls have had their heartbroken or been the victim of idle gossip and rumours. When you can listen to a song and think “this girl has been through what I’ve been through” that’s a special kind of something.
She’s actually a nice bloody girl. Read about the time when she turned up a fans bridal shower? What about what she sent a fan a bundle of moving presents? Taylor Swift has a pinch of this “too good to be true” niceness about her which in return can make some people dislike her – isn’t it ludicrous and telling of the negative world we live in that when faced with a person who we seems genuinely down to earth, sweet, humble and nice we are instantly suspicious and doubting of their character? Almost as though there really can’t be a truly nice person. It’s a nicety, not Santa Claus – it exists. Taylor is representative of this. She spends a lot of time on Tumblr, Instagram and the like stalking keeping an eye on her fans and communicating with them. She could be out rolling around in a pile of diamonds, dollar notes and half naked dudes, but instead she’s sat with her cats and logged on to her computer scrolling through the internet…. just like us.
She’s got class and doesn’t rely on twerking or getting her arse out for attention. After bumping into Swift on the street while shopping with wife Sharon and daughter Kelly, Ozzy Osbourne described Swift as having this Grace Kelly/Audrey Hepburn vibe about her. Her skirts may have gotten shorter (along with her hair), she might be flashing a bit more flesh but it’s never trashy. She’s the sort of artist who I’d be happy for my daughter (if I were to have one) to idolise and want to emulate. When there’s a plethora of scantily clad singers with their arses out, posting p0rn style Instagram snaps andgrinding on anything that stays stationary for longer than two seconds, Swift is a breath of fresh air, infact, shes pratically pure oxygen. For example, remember the time Kanye interrupted her on stage while she picked up an award to say that Beyonce should have won? Did Taylor go all Mean Girls on his ass and call him out for it like most people would have been? No. See, class.
But that doesn’t make her boring. It’s an illusion to think that if you’re a nice girl you’re going to void of personality. I suffered from this throughout school being a bit of a nerd, having the desire to learn and having your head on your shoulders doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to be HASHTAG boring. She’s goofy, she pokes fun at herself, she doesn’t take herself too seriously. What’s boring about that?
Yeah she dates. I date. You date. Even THE QUEEN must have dated. We’ve all gotten our hearts broken and if we all had the musical ability to write a song about it and make a million bucks about it then I’m sure we would. I don’t buy the people who slate her for writing so candidly about relationships – the greatest music of all time is written about love and longing and breakups. From Taylor through to Ed Sheeran, Ozzy Osbourne, Freddie Mercury, John Mayer, Elvis Presley, The 1975… they’ve all written about heartache, heartbreak and relationships and they’ve not been vilified or faced criticism for writing about whoever made them feel they way they felt in the moment of writing that song. Look at Adele. She wrote an entire album about a guy who broke her heart and she received critical acclaim for it. Taylor does it and she’s accused of not being able to keep a man or glorifying men being disposable? It’s hypocritcal, and even Taylor’s famous ex Harry Styles said so when asked how he feels about his once beau writing songs about him.
Her music may well be all about da boyz, but she puts a lot of emphasis on the fact that having a guy isn’t everything. You never see her moping around and taking trips in her pyjamas to the shop to buy wine and sob over how lonely she is. I’m sure if Taylor Swift really wanted a boyfriend, she could have a million. Heck, I’d even give her MINE. But she seems pretty ok in being by herself (note that being “by yourself” is different than being alone). Yes she gets a lot of her fame from writing about da boyz but she also puts a lot of emphasis on friendships and surrounding yourself with a group of friends who inspire and drive you because that’s what life is about, having a passion and going after it. Hoes before bros and all that.
She’s talented. In an age where auto tune and electronic backing tracks and wishy washy songs are fed to popstrels and sung without a hint of feeling or understanding, Taylor Swifts self written lyrics which channel her personal life is what I think has set her aside from other artists. Her music isn’t pretentious or riddled with hidden meanings or full of complexities, it’s straight up pure emotion poured into a song which is what makes it relateable. No, it may not be to everyone’s taste, music is not a “one song fits all” situation, but its catchy, relateable and it isn’t forced or faux.
She has a wardrobe I’d like to roll around in and wear for the rest of my life. Vintage dress, cigarette pants, glitz, glam, crunge, twinsets, shorts, midriff bearing, sweaters, sparkle, Audrey Hepburn esque – for me Taylor is constantly getting it right when it comes to her wardrobe but it never seems forced. She has her own “style” but she isn’t afraid to mix it up or introduce a bit of “something something” (remember when she pulled a “Sandy” at the VMA’s?) She’s famed for her feline liner flick and red lip and just recently she’s been bringing the crop back into the limelight after chopping off her rapunzel rivaling locks. Lead the style way T-Swizzle (and maybe send some of your unwanted threads over to me).
In a recent interview with the view she addressed how her snooping on her fans online made her realise that it’s not just her who gets this critical jealousy and people talking bullshiz about her all the time. We all get it, male or female, but we experience it on different levels. Professional jealously, rumors in the hallways at school, the friends of the your boyfriends ex who judge you when they don’t even know you…. Taylor just has a larger audience, like, millions of people larger.
She doesn’t dwell on heartache, relationships, splits or view it as a mistake. She recently said that ‘as much as I would really like to have saved myself heartache, embarrassment or gossip, I also know that my biggest mistakes have turned into my best lessons and sometimes my greatest career triumphs’. That can apply to anyone of us, whether you’re still at school, work in a chippy, in an office or are a multi million dollar popstar. Mistakes make us human, they teach us lessons that we need to learn from. The mould our personality and instill humility and empathy in us. Yes, life would be easier if we didn’t get hurt or we didn’t make the wrong choices, but wouldn’t life be boring and you’d be lacking of passion? To hurt is to prove that you tried for something, and Taylor isn’t afraid to admit that. Which I find important for her younger and more impressionable fans *covers up I heart Taylor Swift* tshirt. The number of young girls or boys who beat themselves up or give themselves a hardtime over doing badly at school or because their boyfriend/girlfriend dumped them is horrifying – I’ve lost count of how many Tumblr posts I’ve seen where girls are writing suicidal posts because they split up with a guy. Yes, heartache hearts, but take that hurt and channel it into something good or learn from it, don’t let it defeat you. Y’know?