Why I unreservedly and unapologetically adore Taylor Swift
You don't have to like Taylor Swift but you certainly can't hate her
My other idea for a headline was '10 reasons why Tay is Bae' but I thought that might have been a bit too 'internet' for those of you just being introduced to Taylor Swift.
I am 26 years of age (I really need to stop telling people that) and I categorically, unreservedly and unapologetically adore Taylor Swift.
The only difference between me and her adoring teenage fanbase is that I have loved her longer – since she was a country singer, in fact.
Taylor started out singing catchy country songs that transcended the gap between country and pop, and 18/19 year old me used to belt along to her songs while churning out some last-minute assignment and wondering why he wasn't texting me back.
I've strayed from Taylor here and there since I was 19 during brief flirtations with Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, but I keep coming back to Taylor again and again.
Only yesterday I told my other half that I wanted Taylor’s new album for Christmas only to be met with an amused snort and a jovial “you’re such a teenager”.
Sick of having to defend my “childish” love for Taylor Swift and blue WKD, I’ll get one of them out in the open right here, right now.
1. She's relatable
The number one thing about Taylor is that she's relatable. She sings about things that make sense - love, relationships, breakups, parties, fun, friends. If you can honestly say that none of Taylor's vast repertoire of songs relates to your life in any way, then you're a robot who has never been in love, never been hurt and never felt 22.
2. She makes mistakes
Taylor's has lived her early twenties - the years of dating mishaps, breakups and wild romances - in the spotlight. She's suffered every breakup in the public eye and come out smiling. In her resulting lyrics and interviews she lays it all out in the open - there's something so honest about the way she lives her life that's truly inspiring.
She doesn’t always take the high road either - One Direction fans were outraged when she made an outright jab at Harry Styles during a performance at the VMAs. I, on the other hand, only loved her more, because screw you, ex-boyfriends.
Let's not forget the time the disappointment visibly showed on her face when she didn't win a Grammy. Did I say she was relateable yet?
3. She's hilarious - and very self-aware
Not only is Taylor 100% aware of how she is viewed in the media, she has no problem completely taking the mick out of it - and herself in the process. Her latest video, Blank Space, was all about replacing one boyfriend with another and featured the line "Got a long list of ex-lovers, they'll tell you I'm insane" - parodying her 'reputation' as a 'serial dater'.
Most importantly, when a Vine of her 'awkward dancing' went viral, she tweeted it with the lyrics from her song 'Shake It Off'.
4. She's all about female empowerment
“My hope for every young girl I meet... is that they realize their worth... and ask for it”.
5. She cares about her fans - and not just when the cameras are on
Taylor often serenades young fans, has lunch with them or visits sick fans in hospital, but she never boasts about her good deeds to her 48m Twitter followers. Instead, the only way people find out is if the family of the child share it on social media – which they inevitably do.
Some could argue that maybe she knows this and it’s part of her strategy – but watch this video of her singing to a sick child and tell me that’s a cynical ploy, you heartless non-believer.
6. She is the ULTIMATE millennial
Taylor has a Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram accounts which are managed directly by her – a feat for any modern celebrity.
Not only that but to celebrate her album selling 1.2m in it's first week, she posted a lip dub video to Instagram. I cannot even.
Let's not forget ALL THE POP CULTURE REFERENCES.
7. She couldn't figure out Tumblr at first either
Every first time on Tumblr is a confusing experience until you get the hang of it, and Taylor dived right in, posting 'what's a reblog'? Unitl her fans showed her to 'how to Tumblr'.
8. She reblogs GIFs of herself
If someone went to the trouble to create moving pictures of you, wouldn’t you ‘reblog’ or retweet them? Don't lie, of course you would, and Swiftie is unapologetic about reblogging gifs of herself and even posts from her own blog. #Respect.
9. She 'fangirls'
Not only does she 'fangirl' when she meets her idols the way I would 'fangirl' if I ever met her but she tweets her love for Vine stars who then fangirl back. It's too much for one millennial heart to take.
10. She's incredibly smart
Say what you want about Taylor, she’s one savvy businesswoman. Her decision to remove her entire back catalogue from Spotify just before the release of her new album was possibly the most business-savvy move in the history of music. This move drove fans from the free streaming service to buy her album on iTunes, catapulting 1989 to the best selling album of 2014. It had the largest first sales week since Eminem's 'The Eminem Show' in 2002 and Swift is the only female to have TWO albums sell over a million in their first week.
By the way - she's also the first ever female to knock herself off number one in the Billboard Hot 100.
“By going out an investing in albums you’re saying you believe in the same thing that I believe in: that music is valuable, and that music should be consumed as albums, and albums should be consumed as art and appreciated”.
11. She puts on a hell of a show
Watch this and tell me that you don’t have shivers.
12. She's stylish
Taylor tops off her intelligence, authenticity and affability with a killer sense of style – ticking all the boxes for a variety of ages. Lately she’s branched out from the classic cream and gold dresses and been rocking the crop top with a washboard vengeance.
13. SHE. GETS. IT.
“People are still buying albums, but now they’re buying... only the ones that hit them like an arrow through the heart or have.... allowed them to feel like they aren’t alone in feeling so alone”.
14. She's grounded
She knows the difference between ‘haters’ and criticism - unlike most people in the public eye.
“If it’s from somebody I respect, I really do take it into account because ‘haters gonna hate’ only applies to people who are simply criticizing you because their life sucks”.
15. She dances so awkwardly
Taylor's dancing is so awkward, there's a whole Tumblr dedicated to it
16. The thought of going to her show makes children this happy
17. Her music makes news anchors do this
18. She completely reinvented herself.
It was only a few years ago Taylor Swift was a budding country singer that looked like this.
Now she is one of the best selling female artists of all time with over 48m followers.
This was more than a Madonna-esque reinvention though, this was Swift discovering herself in her early twenties. Everyone going through can relate to this - and we're back to #1.
19. She's got a work ethic you jut can't argue with
She played the KIIS Jingle Ball - with laryngitis.
20. She loves her besties
Here she is with Victoria's Secret model BFF Karlie Kloss.
21. Last but certainly not least, her music makes me happy.
Like, jump around the room, throw my hands in the air like I just don't care, shivers up my back kind of happy.
How can that be bad?
In other words, this article could be called "20 reasons I won't be of any use at work on Monday from 9am until I 'refresh' my way to a Taylor Swift ticket".