Taylor, I'm sorry that the world made me hate you. I can't wait to listen to Red...
Dear Taylor Swift,
I am sorry. I am writing with my heart in my hands and throwing my knees on the pavement, humbly begging for your forgiveness. I am sorry for rejecting you. I am sorry for pulling you down with me when I felt low. I am sorry that I let the world convince me to hate you.
Truthfully, you raised me. The birth of your career propelled the birth of my childhood. ‘Taylor Swift’ was catapulted into the world and as your fireworks shot off, I stood in awe watching you boom and sparkle. You created the soundtrack of recesses and car rides, school dances and pool parties. You told me to love fearlessly and I did. I wrote your lyrics on the back of my math tests and my heart shattered every time yours broke.
America’s sweetheart sang songs dripping in honey and smelling of apple pie, it was impossible to fathom ‘rebellion’ was in your vocabulary. It was easy to take the image of you in Tiger Beat and put you on a pedestal right next to Hannah Montana, Katy Perry, and every Disney princess.
I apologize, Taylor, that I didn’t understand the hand you had been dealt. I didn’t see the strings pulling at your arms, making you dance. I didn’t know you were Pinocchio, longing for humanity, I assumed all of your wishes on stars had already come true. So when you cut your strings and acted on your own, I let the world tell me you were something to hate.
When you released ‘Reputation,’ I was already well into my mid-highschool-contrarian phase. That album was the last thing I needed to cement my resistance to girl-pop. I hated Justin Bieber. One Direction was long gone in my eyes, and I could never be brought to tolerate Ariana Grande.
You were now singing in black and white in front of snakes and fire and I couldn’t stand the display of angst that felt so manufactured - despite it being the manifestation of everything that I was feeling. I didn’t understand why you, the substance of every little girl’s dreams, were now attempting to shed your cloak of light. I didn’t understand what made you turn “bad” and I didn’t understand why I was ever expected to like you at all.
I’m ashamed to say, but I didn’t figure it out on my own. You needed to tell me what had happened. You shared your story with the world on Netflix in 2020 and I finally started to get it. You were the latest victim of pop culture, and I wasn’t the only one to blame for your hurt. You were expected to be and do the impossible. You were supposed to be pretty, smile nice, and we should only hear you when you sing. Any discourse on your relationships, friends, political views, were for us to discuss - but please feel free to listen.
Adolescent girls run the economy. They have harnessed an insane amount of cultural capital, bringing about the successes of The Beatles, Twilight, and TikTok. Teenage girls decide what is going to be popular and what is going to be successful. The paradox of it all, is that while teenage girls decide what is big, society labels those same things as having poor quality. The Hunger Games got big because millions of girls watched and read the series, So, The Hunger Games is bad. Pop music is predominantly streamed by teenage girls, so pop music is bad. Teenage girls love Taylor Swift, so Taylor Swift is bad.
Taylor, I am sorry. I didn’t know that we were both put into a system with me as the killer and you as the target. I am sorry that I didn’t let myself always love you the way that I was born to do. It took me a while to find what was keeping us apart, but now that I have, I won’t let it hurt us again. I love you Taylor.
With my deepest apologies and all of my love,
Your #1 fan