Caroline Muniz ’23
I am a big Taylor Swift fan…now. My desire to write about her comes from a place of love and admiration for her music and career. However, this was not always the case. I remember that I liked a few of her songs and I would enjoy them whenever they were on the radio. I never sought out her music and I never went out of my way to listen to anything of her music. Throughout most of my childhood and through highschool, Taylor Swift would release her albums and she was merely a name I would hear on the radio every now and then. Taylor swift has dominated the music industry, yet it took me so long to see that in a positive manner.
It cannot be denied that Taylor Swift has become a great success. However, it must be acknowledged that the press has created a very specific image of her that is not always positively perceived. She is known for having been in many relationships and has built a career off of that heartbreak. This has many negative connotations to it because a woman cannot necessarily build a music career in the same way that a man can.
When a woman builds a music career off of her past relationships and heartbreaks, it can be seen as desperate or wrong. If a man were to do this, he could be seen as simply a player. In the past, when she wrote a song about an ex-boyfriend, she was often attacked by the media. She was often portrayed as an artist who wrote songs for women against men. Therefore, the media portrayed her as somewhat villainous. The idea that Taylor Swift will write a song about any guy she will date became a joke that created a narrative that subtly revolved around sexism.
As a child who despised things that were typically considered “girly” such as pink and dresses, Taylor Swift slowly became part of that same category. By becoming a woman who wrote songs against men, she was placed in a narrative in which she was strictly for girls. As a child who wanted to go against what was expected of these norms, I did not seek out any of her music because it seemed as though I would give into these norms.
It was not until the end of high school that I was able to look further into her work and truly experience her music for the first time. Seeing her in this new light made me question why it took so long in the first place. It was around this time that I also learned about the term, “internalized misogyny” and I also learned that I was a victim to it’s toxic behavior. In an attempt to appear stronger than her, I ignored what was considered weak, while unknowingly encouraging those sexist appearances to continue.
In an effort to be different, I accidentally showed my preconceived judgments towards what Taylor Swift represented, which is feminine power and strength to speak your truth.