The documentary Miss Americana showcases Taylor over the years and the truth behind the scenes of what she was really going though. Besides her feud with Kanye West, she was battling an eating disorder, her mother’s cancer, media defamation, and sexual harassment.
Taylor Swift is the perfect example of how a woman can never win in a man’s world. Taylor explains in the film about how women are trained to say sorry. If you are successful you must apologize for your success, you have to be pretty, but sexy, but not too sexy because you need to still be a role-model. Women must be a model sample size, but not anorexic. You need to have abs while eating a burger. Taylor opens up about her eating disorder in the documentary.
“If you’re thin enough, then you don’t have that ass that everybody wants. But if you have enough weight on you to have an ass, your stomach isn’t flat enough. It’s all just fucking impossible.”
There truly is no winning. The infamous moment of Taylor winning her first VMA was ruined by Kanye West’s unforgettable interruption of “Beyonce had the best video of all time.”
Anyone would have been traumatized by that experience, but a teenage girl…
I remember watching that moment live on TV texting my best friend shocked and confused wondering what just happened here? Award shows have winners, however the VMAs is not about pinning women up against each other. What teenage girl wants to be put up against Beyonce? Taylor described the experience in the documentary as traumatizing. She felt like everyone hated her.
“For someone who’s built their whole belief system on getting people to clap for you, the whole crowd booing is a pretty formative experience.”
From that moment on Taylor no longer had a clean slate; she had a scandal she never asked for. A successful moment in her career was deprived from her and she became a table topic instead of an artist.
Taylor explains in the film that her power is not her voice but her words. She stated numerous times that her success is due to her storytelling. She wouldn’t be here without it. What I have always found truly and utterly disgusting is how the media would rip her apart for her storytelling lyrics. The headlines would poke fun of her ie: “Watch out, don’t date Taylor she will write a song about you.” Yet no one ever says that about Ed Sheeran who is also known for his open book songwriting style.
What makes Taylor different and successful is the vulnerability in her lyrics. Taylor was the girl writing about every young girl’s life. Taylor would open her concerts saying, “I am the soundtrack to your crazy,” and that is what made me a fan. However the media slowly destroyed that uniqueness about her.
“I became the person everyone wanted me to be.”
First she was too vulnerable writing songs like it was her diary then rapidly she became a calculated snake. Taylor is right: “It is fucking impossible.” I do believe she is still a good songwriter, but that openness that vulnerability has been replaced with fear and restraint.
“Everyone is a shiny new toy for like 2 years. Women in entertainment are discarded in elephant graveyards by the time they are 35.”
Taylor discussed the sexism in show business. Women are always expected to reinvent themselves. For a few years she was America’s newest sweetheart, but how long could she ride the same “country nice girl” wave? She had to stay current, she had to stay interesting so people would not get bored of her. She had to reinvent herself. Enter 1989. There is no denying the colossal hit of 1989 (personally I prefer the older albums) but Taylor successfully did it. Now the fear of peaking at 25 and staying on top was at an ultimate high.
She was on top of the world…until the return of Kanye.
The world went wild when Kim released the video of Kanye and Taylor proving that indeed he got permission for mentioning Taylor’s name in his song “Famous.” Instantly the new, number one trending hashtag was #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty.
“I just wanted to disappear. Nobody physically saw me for a year, and that was what I thought they wanted.”
Personally, I get Taylor’s frustration with the lyrics, “I made that bitch famous.” The lyrics are letting Kanye take credit for her success. Yet I understand why Taylor allowed him permission for the song because deep down she is a nice girl and she does not want anybody to hate her.
Taylor Swift is the kind of girl that wants you to like her. That does not make her a bad person, calculated, or a try-hard. She just wants to be loved and accepted by her peers. I believe she saw this as a chance to bury the hatchet and look forgiving. Personally, I would have never given Kanye permission to use my name but Taylor Swift is not that girl. She does not want to be known for holding grudges.
Taylor stated in the documentary that she needed to stay true to that good girl image the media gave her. She always felt she needed to do the “good or right thing.”
“A nice girl does not force her opinions on people, a nice girl smiles, and waves and says thank you. A nice girl does not make people feel uncomfortable with her views.”
She embraced her regret with the election not being against Trump, because at the time she felt “she couldn’t.” Taylor did not want to make that mistake again.
“I need to be on the right side of history.”
This documentary is not just about a popstar’s road to fame. It is about the evolution of a girl becoming a woman. In the beginning of the film she had played it safe, she had stayed quiet. She went from hiding for a whole year to standing up for her political views and standing against sexual assault. She used to be “obsessed about not getting in trouble” but by the end of the film, she does not even care if the president goes after her. This film shows us the freedom of letting go. The power of not caring.
Many people have this newfound respect for Taylor Swift after watching Miss Americana. Regardless of what the media has told me to think about her, I have always been a fan. In all honesty, I did not need to see this documentary to understand her. Her truth was always in her lyrics.
Music is meant to be heard, but I believe Taylor’s music was also meant to be read.