- Addison Aloian
Miss Americana Review: I Hated Taylor Swift an Hour Ago…Now I Love Her
This film is so powerful, my mind did a 180 in approximately 90 minutes.
Okay, okay, okay. Before y’all start hating on me for the title, let me explain myself. I’ve always loved Taylor Swift’s music and thought she was a brilliant singer-songwriter.
But over the years, I’ve gotten lost in the media’s portrayal of her as a “victim” who always starts drama, never taking the blame for any of it. If I’m being honest, I was also just looking for reasons to dislike her. Needless to say, I was hesitant to watch Miss Americana…but I don’t think any other film has changed my perception of someone as much as this one did.
We all know T. Swift is one of the most talented songwriters of our generation (this is fact, not my opinion), but throughout her years in the spotlight, she has grown to be so much more. Not only is she a great performer, but she has managed to stay relevant since 2003 and has released albums consistently every 2-3 years since then—something a lot of artists can’t or don’t do.
Miss Americana captured the whole of Swift’s career, from her very first songs written as a teenager to her greatest decade yet as a 30-year-old. The overarching theme of the film pertained to the fact that Swift has lived the majority of her career just for the approval of other people—a topic to which a lot of us can relate.
“A nice girl smiles and waves and says thank you. A nice girl doesn’t make people feel uncomfortable with her views.” She recalled of her first few years of fame.
The movie outlined her struggles with body dysmorphia and disordered eating habits—Swift has always been fit, but she went through stages where she would see an unflattering picture of herself, then eat very little, if at all, and lose a noticeable amount of weight.
This component of the film was strikingly important to include, as more people than you’d think struggle with eating. It was comforting to know a celebrity experiences the same things—she’s as human as we are.
Besides her struggles with eating, Miss Americana also covered the media’s attacks on Swift—at the forefront, their habit of slut-shaming her.
Multiple clips were included of Swift being interviewed by men, and more surprisingly, women, who suggested she was involved with several men and shamed her for it. This is absolutely inappropriate to imply, as it is Swift’s personal life, and I’ve noticed Swift dealing with it way more than other female celebs.
Because of these comments, she’s kept her most recent relationship with Joe Alwyn a secret. It’s been successful, as the couple has been together for a few years now with the media not knowing much about their relationship, and therefore making no judgment.
Of course, the film also thoroughly captured her feuds with Kanye West. The drama began at the 2009 Video Music Awards when West, uninvited, hopped onstage to state that Beyoncé should have won the award (we all love Queen B, but c’mon).
Swift explained in depth in the film what was going through her mind at this moment—she was shocked that Kanye was even on the stage and spoke those words, but when he left, people were booing him. However, as a scared 19-year old, she thought they were booing her, which really affected her mental health.
She beefed with Kanye again in 2016 when he notoriously called her to ask if he could mention her in one of his songs (quite explicitly, I might add). When she approved the specific lyrics, he asked if she would help promote it.
Kim Kardashian was illegally recording this call, and it was clear in the video that Swift was tricked into agreeing because Kanye added different lyrics later (“I made that b*tch famous”) that he made no mention of during their phone call. #KanyeWestIsOverParty
Amidst those hardships she bravely overcame, what many people don’t know about was the pivotal moment in her career to use her platform to speak out politically. During the Red tour in 2014, she was sexually assaulted by David Mueller, who can be seen in a photo groping Swift.
After Swift’s team rightfully had him fired, Mueller filed a lawsuit for $3 million, so Swift savagely countersued for $1. Believe it or not, the case did not close until 2017, when Swift won (Thank God).
All of that led up to her decision to use her platform to raise awareness for political change, something so many artists fear. The movie showed her journey of deciding to share an Instagram post denouncing Marsha Blackburn in the 2018 midterm elections for the Senate in Tennessee.
Swift wrote that Blackburn voted against equal pay for women and the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, and that she believes businesses have a right to deny service to gay couples.
Swift stressed the fact that in order to move forward in society, we must vote for candidates who support human rights, especially LGBTQ rights. For the first time, in her most recent album Lover, Swift released songs that express these feelings such as “The Man,” and “You Need to Calm Down.”
All in all, Swift is a genius songwriter, performer, and now, speaker for political change. Artists claim they want to inspire change in the world, but then stay out of the media with their views while they could be inspiring people to vote like Swift.
I admire Taylor Swift for many reasons, but most of all, for the fact that she’s been bullied by the media for years but was courageous enough to then step out and publicly share her political views. Watch Miss Americana—I hope it changes your view of her like it did for me.