When I was growing up, I looked up to Britney Spears. I had every CD, knew every word, and followed her every move (through the news on AOL, of course). However, what I idolized about Britney didn’t go far beyond her outfits, dance moves, and smokin’ bod. As far as pop culture goes, she was all us 90’s babes had. Besides Xtina but we all know how that one turned out.
The bright eyed kids of 2015 have a better option. I say “kids” as if my Taylor Swift obsession isn’t 56 times greater than your average 12 year old’s but I guess that’s not the point. Here comes the fan girl…
I left Taylor’s concert last night completely inspired and even more intensely in love with the girl. It started about 10 minutes after she came on stage and her hair had started to frizz from the humidity…so she is a real person! Taylor carried on with class and poise as she, quite literally, always does. Every fan danced along with their light up bracelets, controlled by Swift’s crew. When she spoke about the bracelets, she said the purpose of them was that so she could see every single person who was there for her. Ugh, I can’t.
Her brief breaks for outfit changes were accompanied by video clips of all of her (our) best pals talking about what it’s like to be in Taylor’s posse, amongst many other topics such as love and friendship. It was pretty touching to hear all of the kind words they had about Swift, clearly touched by a friendship that can’t be easy to maintain with all of them being famous and whatnot. They summarized a TSwift hangout as one accompanied by Chinese food, snacks, and cats – AKA heaven. Patiently waiting for my invite.
While she managed to play every single song on her new album in addition to some classics, Taylor also did a great deal of talking. She talked briefly about recognizing that everyone around you is going through a struggle, and to always be kind. But before performing her new song Clean, Taylor gave the speech of all speeches. She talked about what we all face in the current day and age, constantly seeing what is going on in everyone else’s lives and struggling not to compare our complex lives (stress, rejection, drama) to everyone else’s glorified internet lives. “When you start to compare yourself to other people,” she suggested, “please change the channel in your mind to something else.”
She went on to tell all of her audience members, whose ages ranged from about 3-75, all of the things they are not. They are not damaged, worthless, or the sum of the opinions of strangers. They are, she explained, special, capable of being loved, and capable of standing on their own in this crazy world. My sisters who are entering middle school heard this speech, and I couldn’t be happier that they did. I wish that my pop idol told me that when I was their age. Instead, she told her fans that she was a slave for a man. And then this happened:
Whether entering middle school or not, Taylor’s words are ones that we can all learn from. You’re not defined by your mistakes, she explained, “please, be kind to yourself.” She talked about the fact that heartbreak is inevitable and boys can be mean as the mother in front of me rubbed her young son’s back while he listened intently (take notes, bud!). She soon dropped the sentiments and went right back into her nerdy white girl dance moves that are remarkably similar to my own, but her messages were heard. And I am so, so happy that this generation has her to hear it from.
If you are keeping up with the Kardashians or glorifying someone with less than glorifying qualities, I suggest you look up and see Taylor’s army coming through. Also, let me know if you find my invitation to the bestie hangout…chinese food is on me, Tay. You just bring the cats.