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Taylor Swift is one of the most successful women in the music industry with over 50 million albums sold. So many people my age grew up listening to Taylor; however, I have to admit I was not one of those people! Yeah, I knew the popular songs like "Love Story" and "You Belong With Me," but I was, embarrassingly, one of those people who was like, "No, I listen to like, unpopular music, you wouldn’t know it." I know, gross.

I was so quick to dismiss Taylor’s music as a pretween because it was popular and I wanted to be different. I spent so much time not listening to Taylor as the years went on, and I just never thought to search her up on Spotify. However, in quarantine I had plenty of time to catch up on what I missed all of these years.

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Taylor tells stories in her songs and while listening to her music in my twenties, I feel so much nostalgia for my teenage years. Her music is so personal, yet it speaks to so many experiences we’ve all had. It’s admirable how she opens herself up and is so honest in her work.

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In addition to her heart warming and heart breaking music, Taylor is an amazing role model. She’s an active women’s rights activist, she is extremely generous when her fans are in need and she freely shares her experiences with body image and acceptance. Taylor may not speak to these specific topics exactly in her music, but she projects this strength through her lyrics.

Taylor has a documentary on Netflix titled Miss Americana that tells her story of being in the spotlight, and it truly reveals the strength that comes with being vulnerable. She speaks to her struggles with seeking other's approval rather than finding self-validation and she describes her music like it’s her fans reading her diary. She explains her journey with finding her voice amidst all of the noise that is the music industry and how important it is to stand up for what you believe in. Watching it made me feel like she was the big sister I never had.

As a person who studies political information and how it is spread, I admire Taylor for her eagerness to share her political views despite people around her trying to keep her silent. In my opinion, it is so important for celebrities with a following to share what they think is important, especially when it comes to politics. Taylor managed to get tens of thousands of Americans registered to vote in a single day simply by her encouragement.

[bf_image id="q7kkxd-9qev14-80lrfr"] I’ll leave you with one of my favorite lyrics of Taylor’s from her song "Mirrorball": "I'm still a believer but I don't know why / I've never been a natural / All I do is try, try, try.”

This is the honest and realistic message Taylor spreads through her music. I am proud to say she is someone I wholeheartedly look up to.

Elizabeth Webler

U Mass Amherst '22

Elizabeth studies Philosophy and Political Media Communications at UMass Amherst. Her favorite topics to write about include politics, personal growth, and current events. She loves reading, watching SNL and exercising in her free time!
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