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  • Shannon VanZegeren

Women Who Inspire: Taylor Swift

Okay, so true confession: I am a Swiftie. Yep, I. LOVE. TAYLOR. SWIFT. Why exactly? Well, she’s different. She’s not your typical country turned pop princess superstar. She’s a genius. So let me break it down for ya.


Taylor Swift has taken the entire music industry by storm. But let me get something straight. Her greatest talent does not lie in her singing, it lies in the power of her songwriting and influence. Taylor has captured the attention of millions worldwide because of her ability to so perfectly craft lyrics that speak to the human experiences of falling in love, heartbreak, and friendships. She also writes melodies that you cannot get out of your head. While Taylor gets so much flak for “writing about her exes,” the truth of the matter is, she doesn’t write about love and relationships more than any other pop or country artist, she just captures the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of love so perfectly it’s like you’re reading the inner-most private pages of her diary. It feels way more personal because, well, it is! And when you listen, you get the sense that what she’s writing about something that actually happened to her because, well, she’s just that good. It doesn’t mean she’s dated a thousand guys.



Let’s look at a song like All To Well. These lyrics are so raw and heart-wrenching, and yet also deeply personal.


“But you keep my old scarf from that very first week/ ‘Cause it reminds you of innocence and it smells like me/ You can't get rid of it, 'cause you remember it all too well” (All Too Well)


See how those lyrics point to very specific memories, like the fact that her lover still has her old scarf? Those small details make it a standout from the cliché pop songs that don’t offer you the same deeply personal experience from listening. She’s a storyteller through and through… and she stays consistent in her narrative through each song, each album, each show, each performance. Everything she does is cohesive, methodical, and tells a part of the the larger, overarching story she’s trying to tell.


Here's another one of my favorites from Enchanted.


"This night is sparkling don't you let it go/ I'm wonderstruck, blushing on the way home" (Enchanted)


In this song, she chose to use great words like "sparkling" or "wonderstruck" that capture the magical essence of meeting someone for the first time. You can listen to my own cover of Enchanted below.


Taylor Swift has also been a huge advocate for musical artists being compensated for their work on streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify and her advocacy has lead to ground-breaking policy changes. Love her or hate her, you have to admit, that is a dominating influence on the music industry. Talk about female empowerment.


Taylor Swift inspires me to tell stories and maintain a continuous narrative as an artist. Take a listen to my favorite albums like Speak Now and Red. You never know… you might be surprised and find out that you’re a Swiftie, too.




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Images by Natalie Burrow Photography