Taylor Swift may be a polarizing figure, but you can’t deny that she’s created her own space within the music industry’s revolving door.
Point blank PERIOD.
1. Her lyrics.
Who has ever been heartbroken and not cried to a Taylor Swift song? Taylor Swift’s lyrics are always incredibly honest and to the core. She writes about her personal experience and creates songs that everyone can relate to. She is also the queen of bridges. If you doubt me, check out the All Too Well bridge.
2. The Man song and music video.
This song is the feminist manifesto we didn’t know we needed from Taylor. And the music video with male Taylor is ABSOLUTE GOLD. She calls out all the double standards that successful women have to face every day.
3. She invites fans to her house and bakes for them.
When Taylor was about to put out 1989, she was worried about what her fans would think about this full-on pop album. She decided to invite 89 of them to her house and play the album for them in a secret session.
Since then it has become a tradition for Taylor to choose fans from social media and play them her albums before their release date. She even bakes cookies for them! To date, these sessions have never resulted in her songs being leaked, which is a real testament to the love her stans have for her.
4. She filed and won a sexual assault lawsuit – all for a $1 settlement.
If you don’t know the story, this is how it goes: Taylor Swift went to court in 2017 against the Denver DJ David Mueller. Mueller had sued Taylor for defamation and losing his job after the singer had complained to his employer that he had grabbed her inappropriately during a photoshoot. The moment was caught on video and there were witnesses.
He asked for $3 million in compensation. Taylor filed a countersuit in response, claiming assault and only requested $1 in compensation to make a point.
I still get chills reading her testimony, especially in light of the fact that she won.
5. She was a ‘nice girl’ that learned to make her voice be heard, and let’s be real: we’ve all been there.
Her recent Netflix documentary, Miss Americana, is a reflection on how Taylor went from wanting to please everybody and being seen as a “good girl” to learning to be happy despite other people’s opinions.
The documentary — which has already reached critical acclaim, according to review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes — touches on a multitude of issues. And most of those issues aren’t pop star problems. They’re human problems.
6. She flipped the script on the bullying that people put her through, reclaiming the “snake” sign they used for her new signature.
After Kim Kardashian West “exposed” Taylor Swift’s supposed lies in a tweet about National Snake Day, Taylor’s social media was flooded by snake emojis. People used that emoji to call her fake.
Taylor disappeared from social media for a year after that but came back with a whole era based around snakes. She claimed an image that people used to bully her and turned her into her personal brand: there’s nothing more badass than that.
7. When she used the attention from Kanye’s leaked call to ask for donations, instead.
Continuing with the Taylor vs. Kim feud, in 2020, the full call between Kanye West and Taylor was finally leaked. It resulted in proving that she was telling the truth all along. Kanye never mentioned the line “that bitch” in the call.
Taylor then used all the media attention that she was getting because of the leaked call to ask people to donate money to Feeding America and The World Health Organization.
8. The Easter eggs. All the Easter eggs.
If you’ve ever followed the release of Taylor Swift’s music, you know that it is very similar to a treasure hunt. Taylor loves to leave clues and Easter eggs in her posts, songs, and music videos for her fans to find. And we love looking for them!
9. Taylor’s hard-hitting points in her acceptance speech during Billboard’s Women of the Decade Award.
Taylor Swift was awarded Billboard‘s first-ever Woman of the Decade, thanks to the singer’s vast musical accomplishments over the course of the 2010s. During her acceptance speech, she used the opportunity to call out sexism within the music industry.
She spoke out on the barrage of criticism typically accepted around women’s bodies and relationships. She called out Scooter Braun and the role of private equity in the music industry. It was an empowering and honest speech where she spoke out about issues of the music industry that are not commonly brought up.
10. The song Ronan and the story behind it.
One of Taylor Swift’s saddest songs is Ronan. She wrote this song using phrases from the blog of a fan that had lost her 4-year-old son, Ronan, to cancer. Taylor credited the fan, Maya Thompson, as co-writer and donated all the proceeds from the song to cancer charities. Taylor has only performed this song once, during a Stand Up To Cancer gala.
11. She has been honest about her struggle with her body image.
One of the most shocking scenes within Miss Americana is the moment that Taylor confesses that she had an eating disorder. She even pulls out a picture of herself and points out all that she hates about it before stopping herself.
“This would cause me to go into a real shame, hate spiral. I caught myself yesterday starting to do it and I said, ‘Nope. We don’t do that anymore. Because it’s better to think you look fat than look sick.’ There’s always some standard of beauty that you’re not meeting,” she said. “It’s all just fucking impossible.”
It shows that the biggest star on the planet is feeling the same insecurities and pressures that millions of people face. It’s important we reject society’s unrealistic expectations.
12. The “Taylor Swift effect” in voter registration.
In 2018, Taylor Swift broke her long-held silence with a post on her Instagram urging people to vote for the Democratic candidate in the Tennessee primaries. She stated all the reasons why she was voting for this candidate and reminded people to register if they wanted to vote.
In the next 24 hours, 65,000 people registered in what the media called the “Taylor Swift effect.”
13. 13 is her lucky number.
Who chooses the only number that everyone else considers unlucky as their personal lucky number? Only a queen. And she uses it everywhere.
14. Taylor’s Equality Act petition.
When Taylor dropped the song and music video for You Need to Calm Down she was criticized for queerbaiting.
However, many forgot that the song went along a Change.com petition for the Senate to pass the Equality Act, a law against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation that had been approved by the House.
15. She was the sole writer in her third album, Speak Now.
Taylor’s greatest talent has always been songwriting. When people criticized her second album, Fearless, saying that such a young girl could not have written those songs, she decided to write her third album, Speak Now, all by herself. It is a masterpiece and shut up critics everywhere.
16. Taylor does free meet-and-greets for her fans.
Instead of requiring fans to pay for meet-and-greets, Taylor finds them on social media and the audience. Then she spends hours before and after every show hanging out with the Swifties. Know any other mega celebrity that does that? No? Thought so.
17. She calls out sexism.
She actively speaks out about sexism in the music industry, particularly how people criticize her for writing about her love life yet don’t do the same to male artists.
18. The Apple Letter and her defense of artists’ rights.
For years, Taylor’s used her influence to support artists. In 2015, Taylor wrote an open letter to Apple explaining why she was going to pull her albums from Apple Music. She criticized the policy of not paying artists during the free-trial period of the app. Apple changed its policy less than 24 hours after that.
The latest? In Taylor’s recent deal with Universal Records, she included a clause that stipulates that all of Universal’s artists will be compensated if the label sells its Spotify shares.
19. She is a proud cat lady.
Taylor’s cats are almost as famous as she is. Who could resist Dr. Meredith Grey, Detective Olivia Benson, and Benjamin Button?
20. She doesn’t take herself seriously.
Taylor Swift is hilarious. Who else would allow an ad like this one to air?
21. She wrote songs for both The Hunger Games and Hannah Montana: The Movie.
Two movies that symbolized our teenage years feature the musical genius of Taylor Swift. Who could forget about them?
She wrote You’ll Always Find Your Way Back Home for Miley Cyrus, and wrote and performed Crazier. For The Hunger Games, she co-wrote and sang the masterpieces that were Safe and Sound with The Civil Wars and Eyes Open.
22. She made being 22 cool.
Who hasn’t sang along to Taylor’s song 22 on their birthday? Before her song, turning 21 was the biggest highlight of your early 20s. Then Taylor came along and reminded us that you can still party and have fun, no matter your age.
23. She taught Zac Efron how to play the guitar.
Vote for Taylor to star in a High School Musical remake?
24. THAT Miss Americana scene.
During Miss Americana, Taylor shows the moment when she stood up to her team and her own father and decided to make her political views public. It is a very emotional moment and I still cry every time I watch the scene.
25. Taylor is the first youngest woman in history to win two GRAMMY Awards for Best Album of the Year (plus a couple of others!).
The first album was awarded to her when she was just twenty, making her the youngest person to win this award (until Billie Eilish). We love us some successful women.
26. She stalks her fans on social media (in the nicest possible way!).
Taylor Swift recently offered financial help to fans who were left without work amid the COVID-19 pandemic, sending them $3,000 each.
She also has secret social media accounts where she follows her fans and sends them monetary help or concert invitations.
27. She made country music cool and then switched into a whole new music genre.
Taylor was a successful country artist and could have continued being one for years. Instead, she decided to take a leap and switch to pop, teaching us to not be afraid of change.
28. Her self-awareness.
Songs like Blank Space and Look What You Made Me Do are great examples of how Taylor parodies the image that the media has created of her in a brilliant and catchy way.
29. She taught me that it’s okay for people not to like you.
At the end of the day, the only person that needs to like you is yourself.
30. Her constant reinvention.
Any Taylor Swift fan will be able to recognize the year and album it is whenever Taylor posts a throwback photo. Taylor changes her style, hair, and aesthetic for every era she enters.
31. That time when she learned to apologize for apologizing and showed us that it’s okay to be angry.
During the last scene of Miss Americana, Taylor is seen ranting about sexism. Then she stops herself and apologizes for getting angry. A woman behind a camera tells her not to apologize because she is allowed to be angry. At that moment, Taylor recognized her moment to learn and took it to do so.
32. Last, but definitely not least, I’ll always love her for just how imperfect she is.
She hasn’t always used her voice, and she’s been involved in drama. But no one is perfect, and Taylor genuinely is someone who treats her fans and everyone the way they want to be treated — with respect.
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