Taylor Swift has returned stronger than a 90s trend –– like she sings in her song “willow” from her latest album “evermore” –– and the world has had practically no time to process.
From August 2019 to December 2020, Swift released three albums. Within that same time frame, she released a documentary titled “Miss Americana,” and a live recording of her album “folklore” on Disney+. Not to mention, she’s in the midst of re-recording her old albums.
As someone who has been in the spotlight since she was 17 years old, Swift has seen her fair share of praise and criticism. She has experienced “reputation ruining” scandals like her bad blood with Kanye West, alleged serial dating schemes and more.
One paramount scandal was made public when her former record label sold her masters, which include six of her albums from “Taylor Swift” to “Reputation.” It once belonged to Swift’s long-term record label, Big Machine Records but were sold to Scooter Braun last summer for an estimated total of $300 million to $350 million with Swift receiving none of the profits. A year later, her albums were sold once again to Shamrock Capital for more than $300 million.
All of Swift’s hard work, time, love and effort were traded off as if the albums didn’t contain a lifetime of her own personal stories. To simply witness six of Swift’s record-breaking albums be tossed around by rich men negotiating the worth of her work was upsetting at the very least.
While this is a unique experience to Swift, her actions promote a deeper message of knowing your worth and standing up for yourself.
Swift can be the example that many need, especially as motivation and self-esteem runs low amid this year’s uncertainty. Like many of us, she has faced her fair share of failures, yet she has never backed down. Even after her albums were sold away, Swift immediately announced that she was planning on re-recording each one because she knows what she is capable of which is a lesson everyone can take from her.
Swift has played a significant part in my own life and how I view myself with her resilience alone. As a young girl, it was easy to listen to the idea that females could never accomplish what males could and that our femininity wasn’t enough. But Swift, with her music and work ethic, taught me and so many other girls that we are innately powerful.
With so many scandals, Swift has constantly been able to regain her footing, whether it would be disappearing for a year and then dropping an album about her past grievances or releasing two unanticipated albums in the span of four months. Her fortitude to push forward encouraged me to “shake it off” and move on from tribulations.
With her new albums “folklore” and “evermore,” she has proven that even though her old records were stripped from her, her creativity and brilliance remains twofold. Some artists could have disappeared after the never-ending criticism, and yet she stands tall, in charge of her career as if she owns the music industry.
It’s inspiring to see how she started and where she ended up but most importantly the steps it took her to get there. Every person undergoes hardship, heartache and days where they’re not feeling it, but Swift’s music has shed light on multitudes of issues that women face such as mental health, insecurities, societal norms and even guy problems.
Her powerhouse stance in the world should not be intimidating, it should be motivating.
Her persistence and strength during the album ownership scandal, the pandemic and throughout her career has given me, and hopefully others, an energizing jolt that we can accomplish anything we set our mind to. As I always like to say, “if Taylor Swift can do it, I can do at least half.”
Swift continually finds ways to provide for her fans. Many people care for her because she treasures them. She has become an advocate for individuals that have been mistreated and whose voices aren’t as loud. Her song, “You Need to Calm Down,” called out the profound injustice, homophobia and negativity in our society. She even encouraged her fans to write to their senators to pass the Equality Act, which accepts gay rights. While she has received a lot of criticism, Swift uses her platform to stand up for humanity.
Time after time, criticism after scandal, Swift has kept her powerful position in the spotlight while breaking music industry records along the way.
For people afraid to take control of their careers or unable to see their own potential, Swift has and will continue to lead by example, demonstrating that it’s possible to ignore harsh criticism and be our own champions.