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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

I probably do not need to explain to any of you who Taylor Swift is. Singer-songwriter, global superstar, and Grammy award winner, just to name of few of her many titles. I grew up listening to Taylor’s music. I can still remember dancing around my room while I listened to her songs on my CD player. It got me through some difficult times in my life. My first crush and my first heartbreak, bullying, the fear of growing up. She has a song for all of them. Although she was, and still is, a super popular artist, I grew up being embarrassed to tell people I was a fan. The few people I did tell would laugh at me and say things like, “She dates too many men” and, “She’s crazy!” “She only writes songs about her ex’s”. I am now learning that other people have had similar experiences when talking about their favorite female artists. Even though we have seen lots of progress in the way women are treated by society, they are still often not taken seriously by not only other artists but even those living a normal life.  

Dating

Taylor’s dating life has always been at the forefront of the media, and from a young age, she was criticized for the men she dated. Then, when the relationship ended, she was criticized again for writing songs about her sadness, anger, or regret. It seems as if this judgment is only received by women since there are so many male celebrities who date around and receive no backlash. There are also male artists who often use these relationships as inspiration for their music. No one bats an eye when this is done, and they are even given praise for their venerability and emotion within their writing. 

Being a Woman in the Music Industry

Within the last few years, Taylor began to talk about what it is like to be a woman in the music industry and what it is like to have to work twice as hard as men to be successful. Swift’s early contributions to the music industry were country songs mostly about love or heartbreak and featured her iconic southern accent. As she became older, that accent disappeared, and her music became more mature. At this point in her career, many began to question whether she could still be considered a country artist. She was then immediately placed in the pop category. A male country singer would be praised for the music that Swift was releasing, calling it “trying something new” or “thinking outside the box.”

Kanye West

The events of the 2009 VMA’s is something I remember very well. I was so excited that Taylor had won an award and would have the opportunity to give a speech. Seeing Kanye interrupt and bash her on live TV was a disappointment to not only me but women everywhere. Even though I was young, seeing men take credit for the work of a woman was not a new idea to me. I thought if Taylor is a huge celebrity and still can’t get respect, what does that mean for me?

Later in the night, Taylor was asked by Beyonce to return to the stage to give her original speech. This moment helped relieve some of the stress. Knowing that there were other women there to defend and help Taylor in such a difficult time helped show me that I was not alone. 

#MeToo

Swift has always been open about her thoughts on women in not only the music industry but also everyday life. She testified in court a few months prior to the #MeToo movement when a DJ accused her of getting him fired for sexual misconduct. Even after she won her case, Swift continued to stand with and support the victims of the movement.

Politics

Within the last couple of years, Taylor has become more public about her political views. In 2018, she posted on her social media platforms who she would be voting to join the House of Representatives and encouraged fans to vote. This statement surprised many, including Donald Trump, who said this made him like her music 25 percent less. Swift responded to this by having a 25 percent off sale on her merch store. This call to action from her and other celebrities led to an increase in the polls. Swift continued to be active in politics during the 2020 election with a tweet tagging Donald Trump that read, “We will vote you out in November.” Ever since, Taylor has continued to share a different side of herself that was hidden from the public for so many years. She also encouraged fans to write letters to their state senators in 2019, urging them to support the recently passed Equality Act. This led to the release of her hit song, “You Need To Calm Down,” which called out those protesting the movement. At the end of her music video for the song, Taylor encourages people to sign her petition to support the Equality Act, which received over 800,000 signatures.

The Re-Recordings

Recently, Taylor Swift has been re-recording and will continue re-releasing her music that was made under Big Machine Records. In 2019, this company was bought by Scooter Braun, with whom Swift had issues in the past. He refused to sell her the rights to her previous six albums. This meant that these records no longer belong to Swift, and she that she would receive none of the profit from the songs. Her hope with the re-recordings is to take back the parts of her life that have been stolen by men in the industry and surpass and replace her old music.

Taylor has been very open about this experience and has given her fans insight into the many aspects of the music industry. This is something that has not been commonly done in the past and is an interesting experience for fans of her music. The releases of “Fearless” (Taylor’s Version) and “Red” (Taylor’s Version) were both huge successes, and Taylor will continue to release her albums over the next couple of years.

Hi, I'm Delaney! I'm a freshman at St. Bonaventure and a Sports Media major. I enjoy spending time with friends and family, playing sports, and reading.
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