The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
It’s 2008 and I’m out on a random Walmart shopping trip with my mom and little sister. I’m about five or six going through the store, paying close attention to whatever I could convince my mom to put into our cart. Both my sister and I noticed two cds on display that immediately caught our attention. The first two albums of up and coming country girl, Taylor Swift. My sister and I were young disney channel enthusiasts. Having a love of watching Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place, rocking out to the High School Musical soundtracks in my mom’s Trailblazer, or reading juicy “mature” articles in Tiger Beat and J-14 Magazine we loved the celebrities and the music that would someday become a source of heavy nostalgia. Taylor wasn’t controversial, which made her a hit with parents, mine included I presume. While we weren’t really concerned about her tours, we got her dolls and I’d listen to my sister sing another rendition of “Teardrops on my Guitar” as she told us she’d be a singer one day.
Favorite songs from these albums: “Stay Beautiful,” “Picture to Burn”, “ Forever and Always”, “Come in with the rain”
Taylor continued to be a voice of my childhood. I was too busy playing outside in the dirt to seriously worry about crushes and boyfriends, but like with everything in the media I dreamt of becoming a cool popular teenager on the cheerleading team (Despite having no coordination whatsoever) dating some type of athlete one day. That couldn’t be far from the truth of my teen experience but Taylor’s music at this time caught my attention with tales of teenage heartbreak and fairytale romances. I wanted to be her, well just her level of celebrity. The hardships of fame aren’t fully grasped when you’re seven years old and all you see is the success of many a disney star.
Favorite songs from this album: “ Enchanted”, “Ours”
I fell out of love with Taylor for a while, as did the media. I too am guilty of pegging her as the girl who always wrote songs about boyfriends instead of anything new. Despite listening to male artists talk about the same exact thing. It wasn’t until I was older that I really tapped into my writing prowess and I too wrote of teen angst and heartbreaks and disappointments. I finally understood the healing catharsis that is expressing your emotions creatively. I’m so sorry Taylor, for letting the media make me feel like I had to dislike you. I admire you more now that I’m living what you went through as a teen and young adult. Writer Lyz Lenz said it best in her tweet,
Favorite songs from these albums: “New Romantics” “Don’t Blame Me”
This album caught my attention only for my love of Brendom Urie at the time. So when I found out he and Taylor were collaborating on the song “ME!” I of course had to check it out. The album’s aesthetic was very pastel and lovely and after vaguely listening to Taylor the past few years, I slowly got brought back into the artist that so fondly made up my childhood.
Favorite songs from this album: “ Paper Rings” “The Man”
When Quarantine hit us, while other artists were canceling shows left and right, we gained comfort in Taylor’s desire to give us new albums. As over the years I had grown used to Taylor’s pop transformation so to see her go back to her roots was a nice change. Hearing about her struggles with Scooter Braun and getting the rights to her songs, I empathize with her. As there are few things worse to a creator, than having their joy, their work taken from them. But Taylor hadn’t given up. She released these new albums all on her own, and even found love in the process.
Favorite songs from these albums: “Invisible String” “Champagne Problems”
Red/ Red Taylors Version
Taylor is continuing to reclaim her music and herself. At 31, she has been an inspiration to women all over the world for many years now and she seems to have no plans on stopping. She still writes songs about her exes, and some may hate that. But it’s her life, and it’s real and that’s what makes her music powerful. She’s expressing herself freely and unapologetically. Sorry Jake Gyllenhaal, I have full intentions to keep jamming out to “All too well” (Ten minute version) for the foreseeable future. Thank you Taylor for never giving up and being an inspiration to us women everywhere,