Oh, Taylor Swift, look what you made me do.
Ever since you first strummed your guitar to "Our Song," I became a huge fan of yours. However, I can truly say that I have grown disappointed by the kind of role model you have become for young women. I used to spend time "pinning" your inspirational quotes and singing through long car rides to your lyrics. But, like you said yourself, the old Taylor is dead now — and so is my appreciation for the kind of demeanor you set as an example for women.
Taylor Swift's music solely relies on her love life as a source for inspiration. Songs such as "Tim McGraw" and "Fifteen" helped me during my teenage years to get through my very first heartbreak. Young women look up to her, but as her newer music reaches top hits, her songs' messages are circulating, and it's concerning. I understand, growing up is emotional and carries a lot of weight. I used to think that the way she turned her sour heartbreaks into relatable tunes was touching, but this theme is growing vindictive and it's unhealthy.
Before I receive a profusion of Swift fans denying my claims, I want to recognize a few things that Taylor Swift has done right. I looked up to her so earnestly because of her acts of kindness and thoughtfulness. In the past, she has spent hours ensuring her fans understand her depth of appreciation. From sending gifts personally to making appearances at homes, she has proved that she stands with her friends and fans. That is a wonderful lesson she has taught us — loyalty and consideration.
However, while in that sense she has shown exemplary morals to follow by, her newer music, such as "Look What You Made Me Do," boasts ethics about dealing with heartbreak and people who may or may not have wronged you in the past sophomorically.
One of the most integral lessons that aided my maturity toward rough situations was that "people are not against you, they are for themselves." It put into perspective how to understand my heartaches. I no longer harbored so much anger toward people when I took this saying to heart; people really aren't, for the most part, trying to actively hurt you. People are only attempting to gain something for themselves, and occasionally in reaching something they strive for you get hurt.
Taylor's songs are vindictive. Her morals seem to carry a "me against the world" theme. It always appears that she is trying to "prove" something to the world, when in reality, I'm sure it's her immature way of dealing with pain.
If young women learn to handle relationships — be it friendships, family, or partners — it's a recipe for disaster. This kind of thinking hosts a relationship with zero trust and no understanding. The malicious message her songs are carrying basically state, "if someone wrongs you, publicly embarrass them or retain anger toward them." Her songs do not provide that during times of trouble, there is always an underlying problem that one should really get to the bottom of before lashing out.
Whether we'd like to admit it or not, the media is our main source of inspiration. Let's face it, we live in an age where young women are more likely to click open Twitter than crack open a Maya Angelou tweet. Even if teenagers aren't avidly keeping tabs on Swift, her lyrics ring true on nearly every "hits" station. The message she sends out is going to reach each and every individual involved in the media.
And that's a problem.