Taylor Swift Calls Media’s Beauty Expectations “F*cking Impossible” To Keep Up With And We’re Glad Someone’s Talking About It
Global country/pop-sensation Tayor Swift has always been a celebrity people love to hate. The self-made Grammy-winning singer and businesswoman has been in the public eye since she was 17 and on the receiving end of intense media scrutiny. From publications labelling her “annoying”, “too skinny”, “bratty” and colourful adjectives used to shamed her for writing lyrics about her ex-partners, Tay-Tay has seen it all. At only 30, Swift is one of the most influential personalities in music, and fashion, and she has amassed over 125 m followers on her social media handles, a big number by any standard.
There is no denying that she is a talented songwriter and much adored by her young fans, there is a darker and more sinister aspect to her success story that we don’t have a clue about. The amount of scrutiny a celeb like Taylor Swift is under on a day-to-day basis can take a toll on anyone, even the woman who is worth over $360 million and can do something about it.
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Directed by Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker, Lana Wilson, Taylor is the subject of a much-anticipated project titled ‘Miss Americana’. A couple of the major themes of this structured film are Swift’s desire to please an ever-demanding audience, and the double standards that exist in the way creative men are judged and the way creative women are judged in the public eye. She has also opened up about struggles with eating disorders and self-deprecating behaviour in order to fit the “good girl” mould record producers put her at the start of her career. She confessed to the time when she had to “go into a real shame/hate spiral” because of this toxic drag-out.
One of the things that hit me personally is when she spoke about media’ dangerously unrealistic expectations of beauty of women. She said in an interview, “If you’re thin enough, then you don’t have that ass that everybody wants. But if you have enough weight on you to have an ass, your stomach isn’t flat enough. It’s all just fuc*ing impossible”. As someone who has been part of the media industry, I can see where she is coming from; and why she’d be furious about it. While I have been fortunate enough to work in environments that do not indulge in “witch-hunts” of young starlets, I have seen it happen very closely. And why does it happen you ask? Because it sells!
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There is an insane amount of thirst in the public today to consume content that directly relates to gossip/ unconstructive criticism and downright meanness. We, as consumers of media, are equally complicit in adding pressure on celebrities to be “acceptable” every single day. A link screaming “Here’s Why Everyone Hates Taylor Swift!” will surely have more clickx than one talking about her philanthropic activities. I have myself fallen prey to reading up in what Tay’s lyrics about the men in her life meant; how it was dangerous to date her because she might write a song about you!
Maybe it is time we become careful about what to consume online because there is someone watching, always. They are taking notes and fuelling further content similar to the first negative article you glanced through over a coffee break. It’s the least we can do because I’d want Taylor to keep putting out her insanely catchy songs, not that she cares about the trolling much anyway!