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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

This might seem silly but as a lifelong fan of Taylor Swift, seeing how the internet has treated her in her month-long hiatus of her record-breaking “Eras Tour” has been incredibly healing. 

In no way am I trying to gatekeep Swift— she’s the most famous person alive. But I think some younger fans might not remember how the media and the public used to talk about Swift.

Think about this last month. 

Swift didn’t even perform at the MTV Video Music Awards and was by far the most talked about person in the room. While she was the big winner of the night, taking home nine of the 11 awards she was up for, she was mostly praised for her support of other performers and how much fun she looked like she was having. 

I remember seeing young Swift be ridiculed for her “awkward” dancing at these events. They claimed her reaction to winning awards was fake, that her kindness was calculated. 

People even cite an event that occurred at the VMA’s over a decade ago as the reason Swift had any notoriety in the first place. 

But now Swift gets to throw back a few drinks and dance next to Ice Spice, not caring that this award show had a camera on her in the audience the entire time. And the public likes it.

While Swift had often been reduced to her relationships in the past, seeing her and Travis Kelce’s public courtship is refreshing. 

Kelce is one of the most beloved “guy’s guy.” He’s an incredible athlete and Super Bowl champion with the personality of a frat guy (in a good way).

The public pining over Swift, who has dated men who appeared embarrassed to date her, is something almost unseen in her time in the public eye. The fact that he’s a future Hall of Fame NFL player makes it even better. 

There’s time being taken up on sports radio to discuss whether or not Kelce and Swift are dating. Bill Belichick, who famously doesn’t crack many jokes, said that despite Kelce’s many great catches if he can get Swift, that would be the greatest catch of his career. 

That kind of rhetoric surrounding Swift has shifted. When people joke about Swift, they don’t state that she “can’t keep a boyfriend” anymore. Instead, they joke about her insane easter eggs and intense and massive cult-like following. 

And Swift does have an intense fanbase.

One that sent Ticketmaster into a Congressional hearing. One that she has to tell not to attack anyone they think a song may be about before she re-released “Speak Now.”

Swift has always been a creative powerhouse, a once-in-a-lifetime talent and a true artist. It’s been frustrating to grow up and understand that but still see her success and talent be undercut by the public opinion of her. 

I noted the change in conversation around her when “folklore” and “evermore” albums were released. Her songwriting was praised on a new level, which was perfect timing for her to re-release her old albums so people could be reminded that she’s always been a talented lyricist. 

As a girl who grew up with Swift as her favorite artist and role model, it was hard to see her be the butt of jokes. Seeing her talent be second-guessed or dismissed because of what she and her fans looked like hurt. 

Coming out of the summer when the movie “Barbie” as well as Beyoncé’s and Swift’s tours boosted the nation’s economy and into what I deem a “Swiftember,” I’ve felt that insecurity that society created in me because I adored Swift had somewhat healed. 

Maybe it is because I’m getting older, or because I don’t have to defend Swift like I did in 2016. But to grow up with Swift has been a true blessing, and to see the world finally appreciate her in a way they haven’t before is a confidence booster. 

I think of her young fans who won’t have to hear about her “serial dating” or that someone “made her famous” but only about her talent, work ethic, artistry and business-making skills. 

The way we talk about Swift is more than just giving a once-in-a-lifetime talent her flowers. It’s about the girls who look up to her, hear how we talk about Swift, and think about how the world may talk about them.

I am Sophia D'Ovidio, a third-year majoring in digital and print journalism with a minor in media studies. When I'm not writing for Her Campus @ PSU I am watching TV, at the gym, making TikToks or with my friends. During my time at Penn State, I also am the director of the Arts and Entertainment department at Commradio, Penn State's student-run, web-based radio station affiliated with the Bellisario College of Communications. I oversee and contribute to articles, talk shows, podcasts and live coverage events for my department. Additionally, I am a volunteer for THON, the largest student-run philanthropy event where Penn State students raise money to combat childhood cancer. I am from Allentown, New Jersey, and I love spending time at home with my family and down the shore. My other interests include comedy, film, women's soccer, hiking and music.