Story by Anna-JO Stuart
Photo courtesy of Netflix
“Miss Americana” is the story of a good girl finding her voice. In this documentary, the world gets a glimpse of what it was like for Taylor Swift to grow into an international superstar, and what it has been like to deal with trying to meet the standards that others hold for her.
Early in her career, Taylor Swift was branded as a “good girl.” She talks about how her branding restricted her and caused her to feel a lot of pressure. To protect her image, she silenced and censored herself, so as to not offend anyone, because she was told that “good girls” don’t impose their views on others.
It is also revealed that she experienced pressure to look a certain way. Swift recounts her battle with eating disorders, speaking about how she would starve herself after seeing photos where she believed she looked “fat.”
This carefully curated image eventually imploded, as people took this curating to mean that she was fake, and the #taylorswiftisoverparty was born. Swift discusses how this was one of the worst things to happen to her, as her entire career had been built on receiving approval from others. She disappeared for a year, rebuilt herself and “Reputation” was the result.
After “Reputation,” Taylor Swift decided that she would no longer keep quiet and be the “good girl” that everyone expected her to be. She began to insert herself into the national conversation on politics, LGBTQ+ rights, and feminism issues. She decided that she wanted to be on the “right side of history”.
“Miss Americana” was an interesting look into who Taylor Swift is. The documentary humanizes her and allows us to understand what it is like to be on top of the music industry and the impact that has on a person. Swift is vulnerable and open, giving the public a better view of her world while also addressing the pressures applied to women in the music industry, and societal issues that she is passionate about.
I obviously recommend this to any Taylor Swift fan, as it not only offers insight into who she is, but it also provides a fun trip down memory lane as it follows the story of her very successful career. I would also recommend it to people who are just interested in what it is like to be a woman in the industry.
We thought we knew Taylor Swift through her songs, but little did we know there was much more beneath the surface. Taylor Swift in “Miss Americana” is everything we didn’t know we needed.