Taylor Swift's Reputation

Taylor Swift's Reputation

Her new album AND her literal reputation
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Let me talk about something that is a very relevant topic at the moment: Taylor Swift. Her new album Reputation came out last week and instantly broke the 2017 record for reaching the highest amount of albums sold in the shortest amount of time (700,000 copies in the first day). Ever since her transition from innocent country to this new mysterious pop, her reputation (pun intended) is very controversial. I am here to explain why even though “the old Taylor Swift is dead," Taylor Swift still needs to be recognized for her extreme generosity and kindness towards her fans.

Taylor Swift is known for stalking her fans (dubbed tay-lurking) on social media and leaving comments, liking photos, and retweeting. People are constantly freaking out over the fact that she will take time to respond to them or randomly keep up with her fans.

Once in awhile, Taylor Swift will receive fan mail or find someone special and go above and beyond the expectations. She has shown up to the weddings she has been invited to, she will send personalized Christmas gifts to her most dedicated fans, will show up to a fan’s door for a dance party, or do anything to brighten a fan's day

On tour, she is known for creating the best experience for fans by personally picking out or recruiting her mom and staff to find enthusiastic fans in the audience. Those people get passes to meet Taylor backstage after the show! These secret meetings that have been named after her or her album,T-Parties, Club Red, and Loft ‘89, and they are more than a quick photo. The lucky fans get special merchandise, a look backstage, and free food. Then the moment of truth...they get to talk to Taylor, meet her, hug her, take a picture with her and of course get her autograph!

For the past two albums, she has also found her most dedicated fans and invited them to her Secret Sessions. Fans are brought to one of her apartments or houses to hang out with her, get a tour of her house, meet her cats, eat her famous cookies, and best of all...listen to a live private concert of her new album before anyone else! What celebrities invite fans to their HOMES???

And of course, like most celebrities, Taylor Swift is known for doing good around the world with her charitable donations and visiting organizations like children’s hospitals to give back to the community, which she should be doing, considering the fact that she has made an extreme revenue from her music and brand.

Believe me, I am not oblivious to the unnecessary Twitter drama she sometimes gets involved in or her multiple boyfriends she has been known to dump and write songs about (which by the way...literally every artist writing about love is doing anyway). When "Look What You Made Me Do" came out, you know that she was not trying to hide the several stabs at the people who wronged her. Honestly, she is a genius of a business woman for making her opinions known and creating curiosity about her upcoming album, even if it does contribute to the drama. I know many people would disagree, but I think that she gets too much crap sometimes for things that most celebrities do anyway! The occasional stupid-celebrity-drama aside, she is a genuine, humble celebrity that many people look up to.

Yes, I am bias in the fact that I have been a fan for over a decade (or a Swiftie as we are called). She could become a rapper or make an objectively awful album, and I still probably would love her and her music. You don’t have to agree with me about her music, but everyone should know that although she might be putting on this “I don’t care” and “snake” persona for her album, she is still an extremely caring and smart celebrity who deserves more credit than most people are aware of.

And by the way, if you have not been one of the millions of people to listen to her new album, I suggest you give it a try. There are some very catchy songs, and I was pleasantly surprised. My personal favorites so far: "Call it What You Want," "New Year’s Day," "Gorgeous," and "End Game" (featuring Ed Sheeran and Future).


Cover Image Credit: usatoday

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10 TV Shows that were Canceled Before Their Time

They should have been given a real chance.
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Television shows have been a staple in many homes around the world for almost 100 years. During that time, multiple shows have come and gone without being given the opportunity to really get on their feet.

Some were of low quality and could have just been pulled because of it; while many others were excellent...but due to low ratings, were canceled by their network. I asked TV junkies on Tumblr and Oh No They Didn't which shows they thought were undeserved victims of such an injustice. Here were the top 10.

1. "Pushing Daisies"

pushing daisies

This was overwhelmingly named as the top show that got treated dirty by the network, ABC. It was bright and colorful, literally, and had a gripping story of Ned, a piemaker (Lee Pace), who had the ability to bring dead people back to life with just a single touch. He used this talent to help solve murder cases. Throw in dynamic characters, such as the private investigator, played by Chi McBride; and Olive, portrayed by the amazing Kristin Chenoweth, it's a shame this show didn't make it past three seasons. It was canceled in 2009.

2. "Selfie"

Selfie ABC

This sitcom was another casualty of ABC. It was a modern-day version of "My Fair Lady." Granted, neither its title, nor its pilot, were very appealing, but it really hit its stride on the third episode. Plus, John Cho as the romantic lead? Yes, please. Sadly, the ratings did not improve by midseason. ABC pulled it in 2015 after airing only 13 episodes.

3. "Don't Trust the B**** in Apartment 23"

Yet another show that ABC canceled (it's not intentional, I swear!). Starring a pre-"Jessica Jones" Krysten Ritter, it centered around Chloe, a party girl who intentionally tries to scare off her roommates. Featuring a fictionalized version of James Van Der Beek (yes, that James Van Der Beek), the series received much praise from critics, but its ratings did not agree. ABC canceled it midseason in January 2013.

4. "Freaks and Geeks"

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Moving over to NBC for this one, "Freaks and Geeks" starred young Linda Cardellini, James Franco and Seth Rogen. It followed brother/sister duo Lindsay and Sam Weir as they befriend different groups in their new high school, the "freaks" and the "geeks." Low ratings only allowed NBC to initially air 12 of the 18 episodes in the fall of 1999. Fan outcry caused the network to air the remaining six episodes on the Fox Family Channel in September 2000.

5. "Galavant"

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Back to ABC, "Galavant" was campy, fun and musical. With the music and lyrics co-written by Alan Menken (known for conducting much of the Disney songs we know and love), the show centered around a knight called Sir Galavant and his rivalry with King Richard. Comedy and songs throughout made it a fun story, which began airing in the 2015 midseason. Its second season kicked off with an episode poking fun at its low ratings and precarious status before ABC canceled it in spring 2016.

6. "Better Off Ted"

better off ted

Another ABC sitcom and this is a show that I had never actually heard of, but its title came up a lot in the polls. It was a satire about a single father (Jay Harrington), who was the head of the research and development department at a large corporation. Costarring Portia de Rossi, the series premiered in March 2009, but its ratings dropped each week, forcing a cancellation in Jan. 2010.

7. "Kings"

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Not to be confused with a Canadian show with a similar name, "Kings" was on NBC for a mere 12 episodes in 2009. It starred the always terrific Ian McShane in a futuristic version of what was eerily similar to the Bible story of King David. NBC aired the first five episodes in March 2009, then concluded airing its other seven episodes that July before announcing its cancellation.

8. "Firefly"

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I was surprised that this one did not make it higher on the list. Even today, fans still talk about the unfair treatment it received from Fox Network. The story took place in the year 2517 on various planets and star systems in space. It centered around a crew aboard the Serenity, a "Firefly-class" spaceship, captained by Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion). It premiered on Fox in September 2002, but then the network announced its cancellation after only 11 episodes were aired. Fan popularity and fan campaigns led to a movie, "Serenity," released in 2005, followed by a fan-made documentary in 2006.

9. "Rome"

rome

The only cable show on this list, "Rome" was a historical drama set in first century BC during the time when Ancient Rome was transitioning into an empire. The characters were loosely based on real people from history, but the protagonists were two fictional soldiers by the names of Lucius Vorenus, played by Kevin McKidd, and Titus Pullo, played by Ray Stevenson.

It ran for two seasons on HBO, as well as the British Broadcasting Company, from August 2005 through March 2007. Unlike the other shows on the list, its reason for the cancellation was not because of low ratings but because the show was very expensive to film. Allegedly, there is currently a movie script based on the show being shopped around to different production companies.

10. "My So-Called Life"

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Ending this list with, of course, another show canceled by ABC. Though, this one was a drama, not a sitcom. It premiered in August 1994 and starred Claire Danes as Angela Chase, an insecure teenager who encounters hardships in her social circle. The show dealt with heavy issues such as child abuse, homophobia and school violence. It received acclaim from critics, as well as a Golden Globe win for Danes. However, it succumbed to its low ratings in 1995, after only 19 episodes were aired.

Do you agree with this list? What other shows do you think should have made it on here? Do you feel like going back and watching any of these shows, and then screaming at the unfairness of its network for taking them off the air?

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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We Can't Choose Our Born Appearance, But We Can Choose Our Tattoos

For the first time in my life, I felt beautiful and comfortable in my own skin.
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On a Saturday afternoon, I received my first tattoo. Not in an act of rebellion or consummation of my newfound privileges as an adult, but rather in a calculated decision to take ownership over the aesthetics of my own body.

Without an appointment, I walked into the tattoo parlor with my friend Rachel. The musty, carpeted staircase and dim lights created an atmosphere of suspicion. I nudged her, “This is where I die, right?” “Yeah, definitely.”

There was a collection of bold artwork hung on the bright yellow walls, everything from demonic warrior bugs to naked skeletal figures, the screamo music a real punch to the ears – I’m more of a classical music fan. The women at the front desk walked me through the process and assisted me in choosing a final design.

Nothing too extravagant, I thought. Music is life–a cliche, I know, but true nonetheless. I remember playing the piano alongside my American Girl Dolls, pressing single C and D down in succession, with my thumb and index fingers.

Twelve years later, I whipped around the keyboard playing Chopin Polonaises and Scriabin Etudes. To this day, I cannot prevent my fingers from tapping away on desks and countertops, the music perpetually flowing through my body. Music made me who I am – I wanted to commemorate that. And I wanted to express who I am inside on the outside.

I laid down on the table. The tattoo machine buzzed and shocked my skin at first: “Are you alright?” the tattoo artist asked. “I’m fine.” I was momentarily in shock, but the machine felt more like a deep tickle.

We have no choice in our born appearance. However, we do have the agency to style our hair, choose our clothes, tattoo our skin, pierce our ears and various body parts, etc.

The empowerment I felt when I first took off the bandage is an unmatched experience. I looked at my body in the mirror and saw someone closer to my true self.

For the first time in my life, I felt beautiful and comfortable in my own skin.

Cover Image Credit: Christine MacKenzie

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