This February 12th Taylor Swift was featured in a movie about love and relationships, called “Valentine’s Day”. One thing that is undeniable about Taylor Swift is that she loves her music. She also loves the experience of love. Her love for music and her love for romance comes through in every song she sings.
“People haven’t always been there for me but music always has.”
“You can say that I love ‘Love’. It fascinates me.”
“Today Was a Fairytale”, a song Taylor wrote for the Valentine’s Day soundtrack, dropped the third week in January. It quickly became the most downloaded single for any female artist, shattering the record previously held by Brittany Spears.
But in spite of her amazing success, it seems that Taylor has remained a very down-to- earth girl. Recently, on January 26th, she tweeted: “I didn’t notice until now that the person who made my coffee today wrote ‘you’re wonderful’ on the cup. It made my day.”
In 2008, Taylor Swift’s album “Fearless” topped the charts, selling more than 10 million copies. Swift has received more than 50 major music awards to date, including one at the Video Music Awards in 2009.
Everyone remembers that during that acceptance speech she was interrupted by Kanye West who felt a need to tell the world that he thought Beyonce Knowles actually deserved the award. In a moment of humility, the world saw Taylor show self control, kindness, and respect for the rapper who was saying humiliating things in what should have beenher shining moment.
Taylor Swift’s describes what was going through her mind during the encounter with Kanye West at the Video Music Awards:
“Wow I can’t believe I won… This is awesome… Don’t trip and fall…
I’m gonna get to thank the fans…This is so cool…
Oh, Kanye West is here… Cool haircut… What are ya doing there… Ouch…
I guess I’m not gonna get to thank the fans…”
After that moment, she went backstage and tried hard to hold back the tears, because she had to perform again. There was an outpouring of anger from other artists who called on Kanye to apologize for his behavior. Later on, Kanye personally called Taylor and apologize. She accepted.
“I think allowing yourself to cry on the bathroom floor is fearless. Letting go is fearless.
Then, moving on and being alright, that’s fearless, too.”
From a very early age Taylor has shown herself to be Fearless. Her pre-teen singing talents were discovered through performing karaoke songs locally at fairs and events. By the age of 10 she was an award-winning poet. At age 12 she started playing the guitar. She practiced for many hours every day. She learned to combine her talents for writing poetry with her passion for music.
Her family was very supportive of her talents and dreams. They even moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to provide more opporunities for their daughter’s singing career.
By the time she was 13, Taylor Swift had a contract with RCA Records but Taylor left when the company tried to force her into a predetermined stereotype of a teen singer.
Swift had a strong sense of self even as a young aspiring artist, and she wanted to sing and write her own songs. Scott Borchetta, of Big Machine Records, heard her singing at the Bluebird Café and sensed she could become a powerful artist . He gave her the chance to write her own music with his record company. At just 16 years old, Taylor’s debut song, Tim McGraw, vaulted her into the music spotlight.
Taylor Swift, like all teenagers, is learning to navigate the world of love. That can be even harder for Taylor because she is a celebrity. One tool that Taylor Swift uses to protect her heart is self respect. Taylor believes in herself. In her music you can hear that her heart is full of ideas, hopes, dreams and heartbreak. She understands what its like to feel like you are invisible, and she understands what it feels like to have her heart broken by unrequited love.
“When I was a little girl I used to read fairy tales. In fairy tales you meet Prince Charming and he’s everything you ever wanted. In fairy tales the bad guy is very easy to spot. The bad guy is always wearing a black cape so you always know who he is. Then you grow up and you realize that Prince Charming is not as easy to find as you thought. You realize the bad guy is not wearing a black cape and he’s not easy to spot; he’s really funny, and he makes you laugh, and he has perfect hair.”
— Taylor Swift,
Rolling Stone Magazine
And through her music Taylor is able to express these feelings to her fans. Rather than needing to express herself by wearing tight or ridiculously revealing clothes, putting up an over-sexed image, or getting into & staying in immoral relationships with guys who hurt her, she chooses to move on and let go. In her songs, we can often find something of ourselves to identify with.
“My goal is never to write songs that my fans can’t relate to.”
– Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is leading a very special revolution. It’s not a rebellion based on fighting parents and injuring herself through the same old predictable Hollywood patterns of self-destruction. Instead, she’s revolting against Hollywood’s demand that she destroy her mind, body, and soul in order to fit in with all of the other celebrities. Swift tries to live out her belief in herself and takes care of herself.
“I rebelled against my record label when they wanted to shelve me, and I’ve rebelled against people trying to push me around in the recording studio. To me, that’s always been much more exciting than going out and getting drunk. I remember at high school trying to cheer up my girlfriends who were crying in the bathroom after some party when they couldn’t remember who they’d made out with the night before. You see, I don’t ever want to be that girl in the bathroom crying.”
– Taylor Swift to the Brittish magazine, Seven
Even though she rebels against the studio, Taylor hasn’t had the desire to rebel against her parents.
Taylor’s parents have worked hard to teach her about what is really important in life. On her 18th Birthday Taylor’s parents threw her a party in Nashville with 200 guests:
“This is our gift to her,” said Taylor’s mother, Andrea Swift. “She knows the real gifts in life are relationships.”
Taylor has written about the love she feels for her family in her music.
“I have an excellent father
His strength is making me stronger
God smiles on my little brother
Inside and out, he’s better than I am.”
– “The Best Day”
written and produced
by Taylor Smith
She also rebels through her music when she says that the guy who she’s dating and loves needs to treat her with respect. The idea of being a “princess” is frowned upon in our society at times. Women are told by modern society that being treated like a “princess” by a guy is a sign of weakness, and that they need to give that up if they want a success in their career. Taylor shows us that we can challenge those assumptions.
In her songs she says that she wants the fairy tale society tells her to reject:
“You’ll be the prince
and I’ll be the princess
It’s a love story
baby, just say yes”
– “Love Story”
written and produced
by Taylor Swift
Swift works hard to show through the way she lives her own life that a real fairytale is possible by choosing to respect herself and by rebelling against society’s demand for self-destruction.
Taylor Swift is an example of someone who reflects confidence and inner happiness. In her songs we see the many rejections, not being cool & not fitting in; she fearlessly shows vulnerability.
“When all you wanted was to be wanted
Wish you could go back and tell yourself what you know now
Back then I swore I was gonna marry him someday
But I realized some bigger dreams of mine
And Abigail gave everything she had to a boy
Who changed his mind and we both cried
‘cause when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you
You’re gonna believe them”
– Taylor Swift, “Fifteen”
Taylor Swift wrote this song about her friend who let go of her self-respect to feel a moment of “love” from a boy and lived to regret it. Taylor saw her friend’s pain and vowed to herself that she wouldn’t let that happen to her. So instead of depending on others to make her feel loved, Taylor Swift has chosen to passionately pursue a music career and develop everything she has in her self – all of her talents.
What talents do you have? What are your passions?
“The lesson I’ve learned the most often in life is that you’re always going to know more in the future than you know now!” – Taylor Swift
So what have you done this week to build your fairytale future?