When Lucy woke up today, first words out of her mouth: “She wears short skirts, I wear blue jeans. She’s cheer captian, I’m in the bleechers.”
Whatever is going on with Taylor as far as feminism is concerned, she has accomplished an impossible feat: getting my ornery six year old leaping out of bed this morning, singing. My current plan of action is now to download Taylor’s music, turn it on first thing, and get Lucy finally making her 7:40 am school start time with no tears or fighting (actually singing and dancing)
Comments on this blog, Twitter, and my Facebook page are also basically pro-Taylor. Melissa Silverstein just happened to start a thread about how she just realized a song she likes is a Taylor Swift hit. Taylor does have a pretty voice and she plays guitar, and, as noted earlier, writes her own songs. She doesn’t have the depth of Fiona Apple, who was also very young and talented, but it isn’t necessary to be miserable and tortured like Fiona to be empowering (and she’s not scary skinny writhing around in her underwear as Fiona famously did in her Criminal video.) Taylor tells us it’s okay to be happy, smart and blonde.
I admit, it’s somewhat challenging for me to get past Taylor’s barbie doll look. While Taylor isn’t half naked in her videos, she’s often in a prom dress with the flowing blonde locks and sparkly blue eye-shadow of any barbie doll, appearing to be the quintessential “good girl.” But I think Taylor uses her look with some irony and carefully to her advantage. Elsa comments on this blog that Taylor re-creates the Cinderella fantasy, but her version seems to be a commentary on the prevalence of the fairy tale in girls lives and her own take on it, as Madeline comments– that you don’t have to be the glamorous girl to get the guy. (Her video being debated here is a story of two girls, both Taylor, one in glasses, who want the same guy. To get across her pretty trite message– you can be homely and loved by a hottie– Taylor uses another over-repeated lame prop plot device: the “ugly” Taylor wears glasses. I just saw this done AGAIN in the movie Jennifer’s Body on blonde, beautiful– sorry, dweeby and unattractive– Amanda Seyfried. Ugh, so sick of it. But Lucy, my daughter, is only six, saw it for the first time last night, and witnessed the “smart” girl get the guy.)
In the extensive On Demand section on Comcast featuring Swift’s songs, there is a text description about why she wrote each one, including “Picture to Burn” where she explains: “Before I sing this song, I always tell the audience that I really do try to be a nice person, but if you break my heart, hurt my feelings, or are mean to me, I’m going to write a song about you. Haha.”
I love this. There’s something intrinsically empowering about any angry/ joyful break-up girl anthem (Courtney Love, Gloria Gaynor, Alanis Morisette, Joni Mitchell etc) Taylor is telling us she looks like such a nice girl, even tries to be a nice girl– don’t we all– but underneath that sweet princess persona, she has other thoughts and passions, and even more importantly, she enjoys having the power, the microphone, to speak the truth about what happened to her. Every girl should aspire to acheieving that kind of amplified voice.
Some how Taylor seems just so much better to me than Miley Cyrus. Am I just prejudced because of her dad and his Achey Breaky heart days? MC seems like a manufactured Disney product whereas Taylor seems like her own person with the talent, ability, and audience to write about her own life. That’s girl power. I’m giving her ***GGG*** unless you all can give me good reasons to rate her otherwise.