When full-time egotist and even greater musical icon Kanye West grabbed the mic from her at the 2008 Grammy Awards, it became the saddest day in America since 9/11. The doe-eyed beauty was left struck and dumbfounded with the eyes of the world watching, and we felt for her. Rather than let it slide as another rant from the artist later to be known as Yeezus, the world rallied behind her and shamed the jerk until all he could do to restore his honor was disappear from public life and banish himself to Hawaii where he holed up in a studio for months. Through the fallout Tay-Tay never faltered or stooped to Ye’s level but remained resolute and gracious despite the bully’s misplaced gesture. Through this dark time she taught us a valuable life lesson: Don’t let the hater’s hate into your heart; just see it for what it is and shake it off.
Before she had even turned 21 she had won more awards for country music, topped charts and sold more records than most of her peers in any genre. She became the Beyoncé of country music and continues to slay to this day while your fave chokes on dust in her wake. When it seemed like she had reached the ceiling in country music, she looked down from her throne and set her sights on pop music. For years, she had been blurring the country/pop barrier, but this time she consciously made an effort to annex the land of sequined leotards, auto-tuned repetitive one-word choruses, sultry pouts, and less-than-tasteful innuendo. With the help of the lead single Shake It Off, the album 1989went to number 1 with sales in the excess of 1 million within the first week. The single just might eclipse Pharrell’s “Happy” as this year’s so-undeniably-good-you-can’t-resist-busting-a-move jam. Nine times out of ten your mom, girlfriend, dog, or all of them combined love it.
For someone as successful as she is, it is astounding that she is so levelheaded and hasn’t let fame get to her. While some artists get inflated heads and pumped-up chests from their achievements, Taylor is exceedingly gracious; for some strange reason she still has the happy-go-lucky sunny disposition. Both her award speeches and interviews are a joy to watch because she always seems to be genuinely happy to be there and thankful for the recognition. She is known to treat interviewers like normal people and talks openly without feeling the need to keep them at arm’s length, which is pretty cool.
No living female singer, save for Drake, writes a confessional on a past relationship like Taylor Swift. All the men in her past have songs dedicated to their faults, sleaze, and hang ups, and this is secretly what every girl would love to do if given the chance. She is unlucky in love and the tentative answers to that question are as countless as the stars. Maybe the problem is with her or maybe it’s the men she is attracted to. Maybe they’re so scared they’ll never be the man they think she deserves because she’s too good for them. Some people say she’s just vilifying them all and we’re only getting one side of the story. All the same, it is blasphemous to even suggest T. Swift isn’t who she says she is.
T. Swift is the ultimate feminist. She made it OK to have a waif body in 2014, the official unofficial year of the booty. While Beyonce, Iggy Azalea, J. Lo, Nicky Minaj, Meghan Trenor, and the rest are within their rights to celebrate their fat derrieres, T. Swift singularly made a play for Team Petite. This year and others past, she became the poster girl for the not-so-thick and helped millions of girls worldwide find acceptance and comfort in the knowledge that whatever shape and frame you’re in, you’re still awesome. Instead of keeping the current status quo of polarization of women along waistlines and body mass indexes, she became a unifying force through the Shake It Off montage; a celebration of all body types, races, and colors.