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The Sexist Similarities Between Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo

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

Olivia Rodrigo is the next Taylor Swift, which isn’t bad, but it isn’t completely good. 

As soon as Olivia Rodrigo made her breakthrough with the release of the song, “drivers license” the public knew she was going to be the next big thing. But it only took about a month before the Internet started sharing its opinions. And unfortunately, not much good can come of that. When she released her second single “deja vu,” it was clear that Rodrigo’s music was going to be influenced by her young love life. The public and confusing drama of her breakup with her co-star, Joshua Bassett, and the possible love triangle with Sabrina Carpenter didn’t help Rodrigo from being the subject of the Internet’s trolling of teen girls– a situation Taylor Swift faced for years. 

Olivia Rodrigo is a young artist. At only 19 years old, she has starred in several television shows and won three Grammy Awards. But, while she’s proven herself to be a name in the industry, she’s still got a lot of life experience yet. Hence, why her music seems so juvenile to some. For now, Rodrigo writes music about learning to parallel park, being insecure, and liking boys. As she grows up her music will reflect that. One of the Internet’s biggest critiques of the singer is that her music is only about breakups. But why is that a problem? Unfortunately for Rodrigo, the public seems to expect a complex divorce album like that of Adele’s 30

Here’s where Taylor Swift comes into play. Since Swift began releasing music in 2006, the biggest issue people had was that it was all about her breakups. Anyone who keeps up with music in any capacity knows that Swift has been endlessly attacked for writing music about her exes. For a long time though, that’s what made sense from Swift. Almost everyone faces heartbreak during their teens and young adulthood, so why is writing songs about it so wrong? 

History repeats itself in the way that it treats both Swift and Rodrigo. Both women are young and facing the same milestones of life that the rest of us are. The hate that these artists face stems from a sense of misogyny towards teen girls. Typically, anything adored by teen girls is shredded to pieces by sexist and hateful acts. Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift write about what everyone feels but cannot go without facing the wrath of trolls. 

It’s understandable that not everyone is going to enjoy the music of Taylor Swift or Olivia Rodrigo and that’s okay. But before you go to critique the content of their music, think exactly about what they– and you– are trying to say. 

Jeanne Burge

Temple '24

Jeanne is a sophomore Journalism major at Temple University. She is from Wallingford, PA.