Miss Americana Review

Taylor Swift has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, so naturally, when it was announced a documentary about her life was coming out, I was super excited. Although I will admit that the initial trailer that was very focused on her political activism worried me, I was extremely happy with the film. 

The title and the initial trailer made it seem like it was going to be all about Taylor Swift finally finding a political voice, but the film covered so much more. As a fan, I really appreciated seeing almost every aspect of her life. The reason the initial trailer worried me is because, as much as I understand the tough position she was in to speak out, a documentary dedicated to a rich white woman finding her voice wasn’t the most appealing idea. I think the documentary did a great job of giving a holistic view of Taylor’s life and career that formed a much more complex narrative. When that moment did come, it was addressed in a way that showed the audience the true passion she felt and the push back she received before posting about the 2018 midterm elections in Tennessee. The post denounced Marsha Blackburn and her stances on gay rights and women’s rights. We also see the context surrounding why she was finally able to speak up comfortably. 

Taylor Swift on stage singing in a gold sequin dress

We see the events that led up to that first political post in a way that really allows us to understand her, and it really shut down my concerns about how it was going to be addressed. She had dealt with a sexual assault trial the year before and had truly reached a point where it felt imperative to use her platform as a successful woman in today’s political climate. This was a time after the mass cancellation of her on the internet, her disappearance for a year, and her finding happiness in a new relationship. The moment Taylor finally spoke out was a moment in her life where she truly was the most comfortable in herself than she had been ever before. 

Something I really appreciated about the film was the personal insight we got into her life beyond music. Although she is very private about her current relationship, we saw clips of her with her boyfriend, British actor Joe Alwyn, and her speaking on the relationship publicly for the first time. We got to see her talk about her mom’s cancer which was an especially touching part to me. I also loved that she talked about body image. It’s so important for someone of her level of fame to acknowledge disordered eating and struggles many young people including her fans deal with. It’s important for people of all sizes to acknowledge that they have insecurities, especially celebrities that are often viewed as perfect, and it was nice to get that from her. Taylor Swift is not a perfect person, and I appreciate the ways this documentary showed us that. We got to see her very human moments of rejection, disappointment, fear, and happiness. 

Taylor Swift on stage in colorful jacket

I think my biggest takeaway from the film is that Taylor is truly happy at this moment in time despite everything she’s been through, and that is honestly the best feeling for me as a fan. The film made me cry multiple times because, as cheesy as it might sound, Taylor Swift has changed my life. She has helped me through the darkest moments of my life, and I would not be who I am today without her. Miss Americana shows us that Taylor is becoming who she wants to be and not who others think she should be, and I think that’s something we should all take to heart.