Taylor Swift

Let’s get this straight: The similarities between Taylor Swift and myself are uncanny. We both love Christmas, and we both named our cats after characters from Grey’s Anatomy. Well, I tried to. My cat ultimately decided that George O’Malley was not fitting enough for a wild thing like him, and refused to answer to anything but “Kitty.” We have both had what people class as “too many” exes in a society where numbers seem to matter, and we have both been devastated by the realities of adulthood.

We are kindred spirits, if you really want to know. Well, probably not. But it’s what I like to think.

When I started thinking about it, I realised we all possess a little Swiftian ideology. We’re all a little bit Swift, except we can’t master that damn hair flip. I also do not possess the ability to wear red lipstick without smudging it, which Taylor seems to be an expert in avoiding.

Taylor Swift is the absolute example of a relatable young woman in an overzealous and colourfully confused popular culture. Less concerned with how many clothes she rakes over her body or much flesh is on show, she’s the best friend you wish you had. Her less sexualized image interests me, actually. In an age where sex sells, we’ve bought into the purest of hearts and we’ve rejected the “bad bitch” and traded her in for a kitten with long limbs (seriously, how does one get legs that long?). For the most part, we don’t want breasts in our face or bullies in the ring- we want someone we can root for. We want someone who has their friends’ backs, and someone who understands the problematic things they may have said before.

At 17 years old, I read Taylor’s Myspace page several times (back in the days where one would actually use Myspace for musical purposes). Her page was one that admitted to crying for two days after Denny died on Grey’s Anatomy, and one that revealed that she grew up on a Christmas tree farm.  There was always a bright and unapologetic honesty attached to her, and to critics that condemn her for the truth that is stamped in her music, maybe that’s who we are, at least to an extent.

We all want to make it through, and we all want to find a way to manipulate pain into something understandable- something bearable. We want something solid, that won’t slip through our grasp like grains of soft sand. We want something to hold on to. For Taylor, it’s her music. For me, its found within writing. Perhaps I don’t truly understand what I even think, or what I know, until I write it down. It’s kind of the same deal, except you won’t be singing my words after too many glasses of cheap Rosé.

The same could be said for artists and all creatives. Whether it’s with a pen, a paintbrush or the with the melodies of guitar strings, we all mould our histories into something manageable and something less wretched, and we turn the world’s ugliness into an object of beauty. We glorify our pain.

I know what’s coming, and you’re about to tell me that Taylor’s moved on to bashing men and onto bashing women. With rumors circling about “Bad Blood,” a track from the forthcoming 1989 album, which many speculate is directed towards Katy Perry. In all honesty, I don’t know what happened, yet I would probably do the exact same thing.

In fact, I have done it on my blog. So I’m no one to judge on what she chooses to sing about. As much as we all support each other, and as much as we want to further the successes of other women, if a woman does us wrong then we want to have our side heard. The old war game of, “She said this, she said that” should have stayed within the playground, yet we still play it.

The Red era catapulted into my life at a low and confusing time. With every album release, it feels as though Taylor herself has experienced the exact same things that I have. We are both 24, and we are both finding our way. This is why I turn to her, and despite the fact her cats probably live a more glamorous life than I do, I certainly don’t find myself detached from Taylor’s success.

In an uncertain world where life can both jolt you to the highest serenity and throw you into the coldest waters, there is certainty in music. We know how the song is going to make us feel, and we know it has to end. With Taylor, I know that she gets it – and that she gets me.

Twenty-somethings all understand each other, we have a mutual respect for the hardships that we endure and we find solace in the experiences of one another.

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In the November issue of Vogue, Taylor admits to a Vogue journalist that a relationship is an unrealistic pipe dream. She tells them, “I can’t picture how it would work with the way my life is.” Like the rest of us, she doesn’t seem to believe in having it all. Taylor believes in living a life that we chose, and putting ourselves first.

Even if the consequences of these decisions manifest themselves into fleeting pangs of loneliness, and are masked by Instagram filters and the fresh smell of cinnamon cookies that we bake even when it’s not Christmas.

That’s not to say that Taylor isn’t perfectly happy being on her own, as I’m sure that she is. I was happy when I was alone, too. I was perfectly content, and to be honest I didn’t want any more complications to burn their way through my life. Twenty-somethings are accustomed to making do with what they have. We really don’t think we can have it all, at least not yet. Taylor seems to have washed the remaining romance out of her rose tinted glasses, and her past has left her hindered in a way that only propels her career. I don’t consider her to be “alone,” and I doubt that she does either. She has great loves that exist outside of those that men can offer.

As for the rest of you, the ones who can’t stand another song by a woman who has had “too many boyfriends,” maybe you will never quite get what the fuss is about, and maybe you don’t need to. Because her music isn’t for you, it’s for the rest of us – the ones who have felt all of the same things as her. The ones who never had their voice heard.

As for us, we’ll shake it off. And we have Taylor Swift to thank for giving us the courage to laugh at ourselves, in a world that tries to laugh at us before we even have the chance to.