Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Taylor Swift fan. I was lucky enough to go to the Eras Tour, I listen to her music, and I appreciate what she has done as a woman with a lot of influence. It is empowering to see a woman stay true to herself and advocate for what she believes in. I know that many others feel the same way, whether a casual fan or one with merch from every era—it is impossible to deny the effect Swift has on society.
So, I ask: why, when her music brings joy to so many people, is it so impossible for that same society to allow people to simply enjoy something they love? There is a constant stream of complaints about her current popularity, and Instagram comments and other social media outlets are full of remarks claiming all of her music sounds the same, that people should find other things to listen to, or that she hasn’t done anything special. While one may feel these things are true—you may be reading this right now and agreeing with those comments—the amount of negativity towards someone who is a largely positive public figure who pleads people to focus on her music and enjoy their passions without shame seems unnecessary.
It may be related to the fact that we are discussing a woman who holds a lot of social power. With a fan base who will listen to what she has to say, whether it be a story she puts to music or an encouragement to vote or engage in the political system, the things that Swift supports will undoubtedly gain a lot of traction. As a society still somewhat unused to seeing a woman hold that kind of power while remaining an inspirational and unproblematic figure, it is easy for people to lash out. Is it because she is a woman with so much influence that she receives hate as much as she receives support?
I would go so far as to say that Swift has a huge amount of prestige within the music industry, exploring several genres within her discography and maintaining a career that is 17 years strong and counting. Although I am a fan, I do not push this opinion on others, and I would appreciate if every time I mention liking her music, I am not met with comments telling me it makes my music taste unoriginal. Remember two things: it is possible to listen to more than one artist, and, perhaps most importantly, my and many others’ enjoyment of Taylor Swift is not an attack on your personal music opinions.