Why Everyone is a Swiftie (Taylor’s Version)

Moira Weinstein, Contributing Writer

Before Taylor Swift, there was country, pop and a sad, miscellaneous genre of acoustic guitar and piano. When she emerged, Taylor created a new mixed genre that belonged to the heartbroken youths who felt lost. 

Our teenage years are remembered by never ending emotions that define everything. Hormones and weird changes inevitably lead to confusion and frustration. When relationships are added to that lovely concoction of emotional turmoil, all hell breaks loose and Taylor Swift is there to sweep up the mess. Her music became a relatable, emotional outlet that was unlike anything before her time. 

In 2012, Swift released “Red” through Big Machine Records. Her manager at the time, Scooter Braun, then sold the rights to her music without her consent. Thus, a decade later, on Nov. 12 Taylor re-released her “Red” album—calling it “Taylor’s version.” She took back what he stole, and did it her own way. 

Swift’s reclamation of her album was extremely on-brand. She is a strong young woman who refuses to be used and manipulated by big executives. Swift makes the same power-move in her music, as she reclaims all of her past romantic relationships. She learned, and she grew. This “reclaiming” has inspired many young women to alter existing power-dynamics, a reason why Swift has made such a big impact on our generation. Teenagers, specifically young girls, sympathize with the experiences in her music as well as strive for her resilience and power. 

Swift has continuously been broken down by the public for sharing details of her dating life. People viewed her as a naïve young girl who was simply too sensitive when describing her relationships. Eventually, she had her breaking point in the late 2010s, leading to her release of “Reputation”. She felt she needed to make it clear that her career was ever-changing, just like her. She had grown from her high-school debut, but was determined to prove she had not lost that courageous power. In her song, “Look What You Made Me Do,” she acknowledges the impact of the public eye, social media and the rumors that attempted to tear her down. 

The last event that has since been labeled her tipping point was when Kanye West interrupted her speech at the VMA’s as she received the award for Best Female Music Video. People speculate that the song was in direct response to the incident, but her anger and frustration about outside perspectives was felt by everyone. Taylor was singing to the people that walked all over her, that diminished her accomplishments, and she did it for the women that found solace in her words.

Swift’s impact began when she normalized the naïve, innocent mistakes we make as kids and adolescents. At 17, she took those confusing feelings that teenagers feel and created catchy, beautiful music. We felt seen. She understood the cries on the bathroom floor, the mascara on the pillows and the yearning to be the ideal girl. The feelings people told us were trivial were now hit songs, and everybody had an excuse to sing their hearts out about breakups and jealousy.

There is no denying Swift is a lyrical genius that can mesmerize an audience with only a guitar. She led the way for powerful young women in the music industry. She merged country and pop and was able to capture every ounce of heartbreak and frustration that haunts teenage girls. She gave us hope and broke barriers, no matter who labeled her a drama queen or an immature high-schooler that dated everyone she could. She never batted an eye at those who put her down. She was, and is forever “fearless”.

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