At seven years old, I remember sitting in the back of our minivan watching the trees fly past my window. My sister was asleep beside me and my mom was searching through static, trying to find a song to listen to. Music finally broke through the incessant white noise, and her hand left the dial. The melody took me to another place, as I lived out the story the artist was telling. I had never heard the song before, but I was completely captivated. As it turned out, this would be a moment that changed me forever: the moment I was introduced to Taylor Swift.
Since that day, Taylor has gone on to release seven more albums. Two of these albums (“folklore” and “evermore”) were released last year in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. They were a beacon of hope to her fans and something to hold on to during uncertain times. Taylor has rejected the “norms” of society and fought for equality for women, part of which was achieved by making one of the biggest changes in music history. Her jump from country to pop music was criticized by many and it was thought that it would end her career. Taylor did not let the critics bring her down, however. She released her first pop album and exploded on the charts.
Taylor’s success has made her a target—whether she is being judged for her decisions in her romantic life or being taken advantage of in the music industry. This went so far that Taylor does not even own the music on her first six albums. But once again, Taylor would not allow anyone to control her story. This led to the recent announcement that Taylor would be remaking her first six albums.
Last month, “Fearless” was rereleased as “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” and Taylor is back on top once again. Fans have been loving the pure nostalgia this album has brought them, including my inner seven-year-old self. The album also includes never-before-heard songs that are just as good as the original music, starting with “Mr. Perfectly Fine.” And with five more albums to go, I think it is safe to say that Taylor Swift is not stopping any time soon. As it turns out, the “old Taylor” is not dead after all, she just reclaimed herself. Taylor will not let anyone define her, and there is no telling what she may have in store for us next.