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OPINION: Taylor Swift: Her evolution is inspiring

The artist’s impact on her fan’s lives proves her success is more than awards and popularity
KentWired Illustration by Mia Marino

I’m lying on my back in my purple bedroom, and Taylor Swift is blasting from my stereo as I scream sing along to her second album, “Fearless.” The song “Fifteen” was my personal favorite.

I used to prance around my room imagining I was Swift in a music video. Little me felt so connected to Swift and every single one of her lyrics. From the first time I heard Swift’s voice, I fell in love with her storytelling. 

In her Netflix documentary “Miss Americana,” Swift explained how she believes her success and popularity would not be possible without her songwriting. She continues by expressing the idea that her personal ability to tell vulnerable stories is what ultimately connects her with millions of fans. When Swift releases a new album or song, she gives her fans a piece of her heart, allowing them to bond with her in ways no other pop star has achieved. 

Swift has crafted the soundtrack to my life on multiple occasions. No matter what stage of life I’m in, she always finds a way to write the perfect song that describes exactly how I’m feeling. Whether I’m crying over a breakup to “All Too Well” or giggling and dancing with my sister to “Blank Space,” she’s always been there. 

The specificity and vulnerability that floats throughout each one of Swift’s songs is what makes fans like me feel so intrinsically connected to her as a person.

Swift has 277 million followers on Instagram and is in the midst of a multi-billion dollar world tour, yet a college student from Ohio can feel like her best friend on a random Tuesday night. This is the power of Swift. 

For years, Swift has been criticized and questioned for her choice of songwriting topics, dating history and singing abilities. In spite of this, she has continuously brought home 12 Grammy Awards, 40 American Music Awards, 39 Billboard Music Awards, 23 MTV Video Music Awards, four IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year awards and 111 Guinness World Records.

Her success, validity and character are constantly viewed under a microscope, but Swift’s one goal has never changed: to connect and be honest with her fans. 

Christmas 2014 was the day one of my biggest dreams came true. I know it sounds silly, but it’s true. My family and I had opened all our gifts, and my mom and sister had left the best for last. As I ripped away the Santa-themed wrapping paper, I quickly realized that it had finally happened: I was going to see Taylor Swift. 

I realize my Christmas story is a complete cliché, but the connection Swift has built with her fans starts at a young age, and it only grows stronger as her fans get older.

The night of the concert was sparkling for 12-year-old me. My sister and I are 16 years apart, and Swift is a way we have always been able to connect with each other. Even though we each are constantly in different stages of our lives, I know we can invariably sing in the car to “1989.” 

My experience is just a minuscule example of Swift’s success. Swift uses her storytelling abilities to give her fans an outlet to feel less alone in their experiences. She releases her music in order for her fans to interpret it in any way that best fits their lives.

Swift exposes elements of her personal life that people may judge her for just so the people who support her can get to know her a little better, one album at a time. 

Swift has been with me throughout my whole life. She’s been there when I’m laughing, and I’ve leaned on her as I gasped in between sobs.

Whether I was performing “Mean” at my fifth-grade talent show or singing “Never Grow Up” with my best friend at our high school graduation, I could always fall back on Swift. 

That is the epitome of Swift’s success — not just the awards and performances, but the impact she has made on each one of her fans’ lives. Swift makes us feel seen as we analyze each word of her discography, something different from anything we have known before.

I feel so lucky have grown up in a world with Taylor Swift as an inspiration.

Chloe Robertson is an opinion writer. Contact her at [email protected].

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