Have you ever listened to the song, “The Man” by Taylor Swift? Three days ago, I found myself explaining the meaning of the song to my eldest son. He asked me if Taylor wants to be a man. I told him about the patriarchy and how women have been kept down for so long; we have not had the privileges that men have had since the beginning of time, but FINALLY we are rising up and saying NO MORE, speaking our minds and showing the world what we are capable of. Taylor is the epitome of this.
When she accepted her thirteenth Grammy a week ago, she reiterated her love of that number (which of course her fans are well aware of) and how it has proven lucky for her. While some have criticized her for “bragging,” what I saw was a confident woman merely stating a fact that she is proud of - AS SHE SHOULD BE. Let’s just think back to the moment when Kanye (I refuse to call him Ye) attempted to steal her thunder because he believed that Beyonce deserved her award instead. You could see the shock and embarrassment on Taylor’s face, as she was much younger and new to the scene. Since then, she has grown and developed a thicker skin, showing the world what it means to “shake it off.”
Despite the fact that Tay Tay is now in her mid-thirties, she still struggles (as we all do) with the way that the world perceives her. Just take a listen to her biggest song of 2023, “Anti-Hero.” In it, she describes the pendulum on which she swings, between a “sexy baby” and a clumsy giant (after all, she is famously tall AF and still wears heels like a total goddess), making her human just like the rest of us.
Yes, celebrities are all just regular human beings being constantly scrutinized and held under an enormous magnifying glass. Many state that these folks ask for the attention and even the criticism since they chose their career paths. Here I would strongly disagree and say that no one, absolutely NO ONE, deserves the level of media frenzy, chaos, and vitriol that come their way just for being famous. In fact, I just listened to Spare by the incredibly brave and painfully honest Prince Harry, who spoke/wrote at length about his family’s near-death run-ins with the press because of their obsession with the royal family (and of course, the actual death that befell his dear mother Princess Diana because she was just trying to get away from the insanity).
That being said, Taylor Swift has come a long way from her country roots. Here again, we have the naysayers who argue that Taylor “sold out” by making the calculated switch over to pop music. Who is to say that she didn’t struggle with that decision or that it didn’t organically happen? The truth is, we can never know what is going on in someone’s head unless they share it with us like Prince Harry so graciously did (although I would argue that he likely felt that he didn’t have a choice in the matter). Before we make judgements about celebrities, just as we would anyone, let’s put ourselves in their shoes and imagine what it must feel like. I guarantee you it’s not all acceptance speeches and awards.