Why You Absolutely Need to Watch the New Taylor Swift Documentary, Miss Americana

Challenge for super-fans: Find all 13 hidden Taylor Swift song titles in this article!

In case you missed it, Taylor Swift just released her first-ever documentary on January 31 called Miss Americana. Named after the seventh song on her newest album, Lover, this film is a gorgeous tribute to the singer’s life and struggles. But on top of that, it is also chock-full of life lessons that every one of us needs to hear, whether you’re a Swiftie or not. As a lifelong Taylor Swift lover and fan, here are just a few of the many reasons that Miss Americana is a must-see.

The entire documentary advocates for women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights and equality for everyone

"There is no such thing as a slut. There is no such thing as a bitch. There is no such thing as someone who's bossy — there's just a boss.”

This statement – among many others – is one of the realizations we see Taylor arrive at in Miss Americana. Fighting against the internalized misogyny that so many people were raised with is a core element of this film, and something that all of us women can stand firmly behind.

We also see snippets about the creation of You Need to Calm Down, Taylor’s single that expresses her support of the Equality Act, as well as her advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights during every moment of its production, promotion and eventually its music video that won a VMA. Taylor describes her desire to understand and respect every single person as fully as she can, and to fight for the equality that everyone deserves. She refuses to let anyone be invisible.

Taylor’s struggles with body image are so important to talk about

If you’ve ever looked at a picture of yourself and immediately started to criticize it, this is a feeling that Taylor knows all too well. Taylor opens up about struggling with getting her picture taken, especially with tabloid articles constantly commenting on her weight. She also reflects on how this self-criticism lead her to develop an eating disorder. Her stories of starving herself as she performs and thinking that it’s normal to feel weak onstage remind us that eating disorders can happen to anyone, and the early signs of struggle are sometimes hard to see.

Thankfully, she has since learned the importance of eating enough food and can now stop herself from going down that spiral. This is so important for girls to hear, and for everyone to know that recovery is possible. We all have the opportunity to begin again, no matter what struggles we face.   

Miss Americana brings to light the dangers of the “good girl” trope

The entire documentary revolves around Taylor working through her own system of values. Throughout her whole life, she describes needing to people-please, be liked and be the “good girl.” These values of “do the right thing,” “be seen and not heard” and “be good” are some of the most problematic ideals that so many young girls are taught as children. Taylor stayed silent and put up with so much unfair treatment to act according to these values, even when it ended up hurting her. People-pleasing comes at a cost and if your self-worth is tied to others, it’s a delicate balance that can come crashing down all too quickly. Taylor teaches us throughout the documentary that there is more to life than worrying about what other people think, and that we deserve to shake it off and love ourselves the most.

It’s incredibly relatable, from adorable moments to family drama

Miss Americana gives us a glimpse into Taylor’s life as a real person, not just a celebrity. We see her at dinner with her childhood best friend, travelling with her family and their new dog and playing piano at home as her kitten walks across the piano. We also learn about her mother’s battle with cancer and what a hardship it was on the family.

She keeps her love story private, but can’t help but mouth “I love you” to her boyfriend Joe behind the camera as she plays guitar on the floor. So many clips are of Swift in sweatpants and no makeup, and we get to see the girl behind the glitz and glamour of her stadium tours. We also see moments of Swift’s prowess as a songwriter, writing the lyrics to her biggest hits in a matter of seconds alongside her producer. She strikes the perfect balance of admirable and relatable. Call it what you want, but you can’t help but be drawn into her life and story.

Swift’s sexual assault trial and venture into politics are unbelievably powerful

After Taylor’s assaulter lost his job, he sued her for millions of dollars. She countersued him for one dollar to fight for justice. Miss Americana beautifully portrays her fight in court through a series of drawings, where Taylor wonders aloud, “what if I wasn’t believed?” She fearlessly stood for women everywhere when she won her trial, emphasizing the importance of believing survivors.

She also posted a major political statement shortly before the United States midterm election, fighting against both her team and her father in doing so. Her support for the Democrats led to a surge in voter turnout and spurred her to speak now, use her voice and fight for what is right.

TAYLOR DROPS A NEW SINGLE

Inspired by her political involvement, Swift wrote a brand new single to encourage young people to get out and change the world. In other words, it’s exactly what we all needed.

Just like Taylor’s music, Miss Americana is beautiful, sensitive and honestly life-changing. Stream it on Netflix as soon as you can – you’re sure to be enchanted by it!