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Why You Should Watch Taylor Swift: Miss Americana on Netflix

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

It is rare for me to get so invested in a story that I get chills. A story so grasping, that I can’t stop watching and contemplate real things that are happening in my own life. This is what happened when I watched the new documentary Netflix released, Taylor Swift: Miss Americana.

            The name, Taylor Swift, is often controversial. I feel like there are two reactions to when you bring her name up in conversation: people love and respect her or absolutely loathe her. I happen to love and genuinely admire everything she has managed to accomplish in her career. This documentary cemented my opinion.

Taylor Swift Selfie
Taylor Swift / Instagram

I first felt the goosebumps rise on my arms about twenty minutes into the documentary. It was when they were detailing her journey, starting at when she was just a child. Netflix’s use of the Swift family’s home videos made the experience more endearing to watch and humanized her. I loved watching how she went to singing small gigs in bars in Nashville to selling out arenas on a world-wide tour. Even if you don’t particularly like her work, you must admire her determination and far she has made it in the music industry. While watching, I found myself in awe. It showed what she was doing when she was nineteen years old, the same age as me. At that age, she was winning Grammys. I am in my dorm room writing this article.


            What I particularly enjoyed while watching this documentary was the information, they brought to light that the media has failed to pay attention to. After the Kanye West VMA debacle in 2009, Taylor was left feeling hopeless and ashamed. Taylor talks about how when starting her career, she always wanted to follow the rules and be a “good girl”. She wanted to make everyone proud of her. When Kanye stormed the stage, she felt the eyes turn to her but not in the way they should have been. Instead of being praised for the award that she had just won, the spotlight shifted to someone who had no business being involved in the first place. As the crowd started booing him, Taylor said she thought they were directing that to her. She says in the documentary that from a young age she was told by label executives and managers that she had to please people and stay out of trouble. She held that with her for years, and in doing so kept her name out of situations and conversations that society felt she shouldn’t be allowed in.

Lover Album Cover
Taylor Swift / Instagram


            Taylor also talked about her struggles with an eating disorder which caused her to starve herself. In the documentary, she said that she thought it was normal that she would feel like passing out after doing a show, and that that’s how you know that it was good. She realized later that it’s not normal to have no energy and be constantly tired. Comments about her weight really hurt her and led her to form unhealthy eating habits.


            This documentary also shows what Taylor was working on during the year break she took after the world turned on her. After Kanye West released a song with questionable lyrics about Taylor Swift, the media turned on her and claimed that she was aware of what he was going to write. She was coined as a snake. Taylor stepped out of the spotlight and developed her personal relationships and spend time with her family amongst her mother’s diagnosis of cancer. When talking about this time in her life, she said, “I was happy, but I wasn’t happy in the way that I had been trained to be happy. It was happiness without anyone else’s input.”

Netflix made a parallel between Taylor Swift and the Dixie Chicks, a famous country trio of women, when talking about her recent immersion into politics and getting involved in her home state, Tennessee. The Dixie Chicks made headlines in 2003 after a comment made by their lead singer, Natalie Maines. While performing at a concert, Maines said, “We’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.” She was talking about former president, George Bush and his then decision to enter war after the tragic events of 9/11. After saying this, the band received backlash and even death threats. Taylor said that when she was starting out in country music she was told, “Don’t be like the Dixie Chicks.” Her involvement and activism led her to write her song, “The Man”, which battles misogyny and the unfair treatment women.


            Whether you love her or hate her, you must above all respect her, and this documentary does an excellent job of telling you exactly why you should.

Andi Baker is a Campus Correspondent and Senior at Purdue University, majoring in Actuarial Science and Applied Statistics with minors in Management and Art and Studio Design. Originally from Manila, Arkansas, Andi loves to drink sweet tea, read, and make art. You can follow her on Instagram @andibaker
All the way from Phoenix, Arizona, Janice attends Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where she is currently a bioengineering major. Spending her time daydreaming Janice can be found jamming out to any song, watching netflix, or studying for the terrifying tests she has around the corner. You can follow her adventures @janichan on instagram.