I took my 16-year-old daughter and her friend to a Taylor Swift concert this week. There were 13,000 fans…mostly girls younger than my daughter. The girls sang every song with Taylor; it was like a huge singalong. They screamed! They danced! The four 12-year-old girls in front of us danced like something straight out of MTV. That was a jaw-dropping experience for us.
Taylor put on a great show. She even went out in the audience to play a couple songs then proceeded to hug 100-plus people (most girls cried). That was a really nice touch.
I like Taylor Swift; don't get me wrong. My favorite Taylor Swift song is "Fifteen." http://tinyurl.com/yjn5rok Every mom should play that over and over with her daughter.
I have to tell you, though, Taylor's show and lyrics raise concerns for me. For all her lyrics, go here: http://tinyurl.com/qsn5nr
I thought that maybe instead of this being called her "Fearless" tour, it should be called the "Angry" tour. She's got bad issues with guys, lots of displays of anger. The joke is that she writes a song about her exes. When asked if that might keep her from dating in the future, she answered, "They shouldn't do bad things." That was then pasted all over the stage as she sang. She also said that she doesn't believe in fairy tales and that in real life there are no happy endings. In her song "Picture to Burn," fire raged on the stage. She drummed angrily; she head banged dramatically. In other songs, she threw furniture.
Now, of course, this sweet girl wasn't acting angry all the time. And I get that it was a show. But I want people to help me understand: What's it mean that Taylor's lyrics resonate with young girls so much? Does being an empowered woman these days imply man-hate? Are all boys bad and just waiting to break your heart? What consequences are there if girls come to believe that?