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

After carrying the music industry for nearly two decades, Taylor Swift is no stranger to unsolicited and undeserved detestation from the brutal media of our society, and we owe her a genuine apology.

After nine original studio albums, Swift faced every hurdle possible. Shortly after stealing the hearts of country music fans in 2006, she was quickly thrown into immense pressure and sexism after becoming the genre’s shiny new toy. In an interview with Vogue, Swift expressed that at first she did not see the sexism of the industry, then she stated, “I realized that was because I was a kid. Men in the industry saw me as a kid. I was a lanky, scrawny, overexcited young girl who reminded them more of their little niece or their daughter rather than a successful woman in business or a colleague.”

Following the release of her fourth studio album “Red,” she began to be ridiculed by the world of country for being too “pop,” but was not fully welcomed by the kingdom of pop due to her previous ties to country music. The media did not believe she could do both, so she proved to them that she could in fact do both and everything in between.

She was also ridiculed for her roaring success, and in the previously mentioned Vogue interview she expressed that, “It’s fine to infantilize a girl’s success and say, How cute that she’s having some hit songs…but the second it becomes formidable? As soon as I started playing stadiums — when I started to look like a woman — that wasn’t as cool anymore.” Women in our society have targets on their backs no matter what we are doing and it is no different in the music industry.

In her 2020 “Miss Americana” documentary with Netflix, Swift explained the difficulties of being not only a woman in todays world, but the pressure of being a woman in the world of music. She stated that “Everyone is a shiny new toy for like two years. The female artists have reinvented themselves 20 times more than the male artists. They have to or else you’re out of a job. Constantly having to reinvent, constantly finding new facets of yourself that people find to be shiny.” Men in the music industry can stay popular for years, doing the same gig, while women become boring quick, due to the patriarchy of our society that forces women to fight to be recognized and respected.

In 2016, following the release of a private phone call between Kanye West and Taylor Swift, the #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty was birthed. In the conversation, West and Swift were discussing a provocative mention of Swift in West’s song “Famous,” which was a mention to an even earlier scandal between the two at the 2009 VMA Awards. The hashtag spread like wildfire and in no time nearly every person on every platform was using it. This prompted Swift to go into hiding for a year and once she returned, her 6th studio album, “Reputation” was produced. The “Reputation Era” was all about being unfazed by the preset notion others have of you and sometimes embracing your so called “bad reputation.”

Taylor Swift has taken the hate and discrimination thrown against her and used her platform to advocate against it and expose the injustices of the industry. She has been used as a prop by the music industry. They use and praise her when they choose, then feed into scandals and rumors pinned against her when it is useful to them. Taylor has and continues to rise above it all, and deserves a long heartfelt apology from the music industry, the media and the world at large.

Summer Deciucis is a Journalism and Fashion Merchandising student at Virginia Commonwealth University, and an HCVCU editorial member. She has interests in pop culture, current social issues, fashion, and true crime.