And no, I’m not talking about the bird species. Funnily enough, What a Mood hasn’t become a bird fanatic blog since you (or I’ve) been gone… yet anyway.
I’m talking about the all round icon of our generation that is Taylor Swift. I don’t wanna be that girl, but I’ve liked her from day dot. Although that being said, I do remember myself losing the enthusiasm towards her at one point. I was mad for her country music and ways of storytelling in pop, and if I try and pinpoint exactly when I lost the hype for her, it was probably her Reputation area (yeah it must have been cos I was front row at her Red tour lolsss).
Why was this? It’s blurry, but I think I know why.
It can’t have been the music because some of my favourite songs of hers are from that album. I think I probably began to consume the messaging about her more than I consumed her as an artist. And if that was the misogynistic music industry and human society trying to get in my ear, they did their job brilliantly. Another girl hating on Tay for no reason.
It wasn’t until I returned to binging her songs, hanging off every word she said, that I realised: this woman spins gold into words and her music is less ‘instruments’ and more layers and layers of hope, pain, desolation and love.
To put it lightly, she is an artistic masterpiece, and she doesn’t deserve any of the negative press she gets. She deserves a frikkin lifetime achievement award for the way she has re-invented music - she made country cool* and pop poetic - and if that doesn’t qualify for a whole load of praise and an army of girl and guy supporters, I don’t know what does.
*country music has of course always been cool, but Taylor definitely helped to mainstream it.
Taylor represents that girl who you “just don’t like but you can’t put your finger on why” and unfortunately for Taylor she can’t do anything about that because it’s her unearthing magic that is the very reason why. Or should I say her unnerving magic.
She makes people feel uncomfortable because she is just too much of an all rounder. Too much success for a woman, someone’s got to knock her down a peg or two right?
The word I probably hear most to describe Taylor is “annoying”.
She annoys you because she lived a normal womanhood growing up (dating not too little neither too much - she just DATED).
She annoys you because she chooses to sing all genres because well she can.
And she really annoys you because she has never ever squeezed herself into a category or box that would be less offensive or more palatable despite everyone wanting to believe she is the type of girl that would be both malleable or apologetic for herself.
You think she’s a slut, well she’s a slut for her art. You think she causes unnecessary drama with people, when in actual fact it’s them putting her in the centre of the drama always (you’ve only got to see Kanye dragging her live at the Grammys for legit zero reason), and you think she’s a fluffy tweeny pop artist...well… *takes a sip of drink to compose herself*...she gave you All Too Well for starters, but seriously take the time to read any of her lyrics in any one of her songs and come back to me on that one.
Cash me outside how bout nowwww bish.
Despite not pinpointing why you dislike her so much, she ends up on your radio station, your TV screen, the tip of your tongue. She’s the roaring music success of the millennial era and she’ll go on to influence Gen Z too.
I really can’t help but have the sweeping judgement that everybody who dislikes her isn't so much anti her music or even anti successful women, it’s even less complicated than that.
It’s because you have been taught to dislike her.
She might not be your taste of music, but you can’t deny her music is really, really good. Like exceptional. And she’s a good person, which is actually, like er, the only important thing about a person. From being polite to interviewers, to fighting for social reform and using her music to make real political change, she’s as human as she is genius.
What people think Taylor Swift is:
“I knew you were trouble when you walked in woah-oh.”
What Swifties know Taylor Swift is:
“Spinning like a girl in a brand new dress, we had this big wide city all to ourselves. We blocked the noise with the sound of, 'I need you,' And for the first time I had something to lose.”
I could have picked a million of her lyrics that are as vivid as images, the ones where all the words linger with such poetic grace, but the marvellous thing about Taylor is even when she uses simple words she conveys such feeling (the stuff I personally can’t get enough of) and that’s why I picked the above excerpt from Holy Ground, it’s one of my personal faves.
The thing is though, I’m not denying the talent of her pop music, and I’m not for a second saying that she isn’t also those first words in Trouble. That’s the beauty of it, she’s both.
I feel like so often as women we’re forced to choose - and I’m not just talking about marriage and family or a career, I’m talking about how we feel like we have to fit into the one personality genre. Are we going to be ditzy or deep, pretty or philosophical, caring or cutting, happy or hopeless?
But can’t we be all of it at once? Taylor is that artist, she’s not just multi-genre in a music sense, she puts all the emotions into her music too - the good, the bad, the ugly. And when she’s not baring her soul on to the writing page, she’s telling the story from somebody else’s point of view and creating a magical world for that person to continue to live on in. And then we get to live in that magical world too.
She’s a versatile musical legend, and every human’s heart and emotions are somewhere wrapped up in her words and her production.
Fearless being her first album pretty much sums her up as an artist. We love a cyclical moment, queen! I mean have you ever seen a bigger middle finger to the music industry (*cough* Scooter Braun *cough*) that screwed you than those bracketed two words “(Taylor’s Version)”? I aspire to have that same energy with the guy who lost me in life. Bet you wish you were cashing in on all this babes, don’t ya?
Go tell us your version of it all Tay Tay and keep up with the music that just makes my life a whole lot better. I’m backing you the whole way. And so should you.