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What Taylor Swift’s “Red” Means To Me Nine Years Later

~Everything has changed.~

It was a scorching August day in 2013 when I attended Taylor Swift’s Red Tour at Soldier Field. I was a die-hard superfan, and I was determined to make the concert the best night of my little thirteen-year-old life. I planned my outfit weeks ahead of time: a knotted Speak Now tour T-shirt (to prove my loyalty), a bright red tutu that lit up, red Taylor Swift Keds and to complete the look, Taylor’s signature red lipstick.

Now, with Taylor’s 2021 re-record of the iconic Red album, I can’t help but think about how much I’ve changed since the original album was released. Back then, the lyrics didn’t mean much to me, because I was too young to have ever experienced a real relationship. But now as a junior in college, I’ve experienced my fair share of “All Too Well” moments, my “Stay Stay Stay”s and “Begin Again”s. Now, screaming out the album’s lyrics on the car ride home from work feels more meaningful than they ever did before.

Yet, while I can now relate to the lyrics on a more personal level, I love that Taylor’s music will always feel classic and timeless. Taylor has the unique ability to feel relatable and make music that truly allows one to feel something. When I’ve needed her most, Taylor’s albums have felt like a familiar companion. As I’ve shifted from childhood to adulthood, Taylor’s music has been there for me through every heartbreak, crush, triumph and challenge.

Red will always hold a special place in my heart. Taylor’s words have felt like a warm hug on these crisp fall days, and I love that I have been able to find a greater appreciation for the music as time has gone on.

Nicole Herzog

Wisconsin '23

Nicole is a junior majoring in journalism with a double track in Reporting and Strategic Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is additionally obtaining certificates in Digital Studies and Art History. Nicole is passionate about feminism, art, fashion, and most importantly, Harry Styles. Follow her on instagram @nicoleherzog!
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