Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour movie was released recently and fans flooded to catch the close to 3-hour film. Some swifties have even admitted to booking tickets every night for the first week!
At a glance Swift is epitome of that perfect life, with success fed to her with a spoon as golden as her hair and voice.
Swifties who have followed her along the journey will know that this ‘antithetical girl’ reached her present stature after years of battling bullies. She has been the subject of ridicule far beyond her control, ranging from high-profile breakups to even appearing ‘weird’ to some people.
How have these experience shaped her and her mindset?
Taylor Swift is not a people-pleaser and, while that may have invited gossips and hate, it makes her fans admire her even more.
Swifties would know that in junior high, Swift was bullied by a group of popular girl’s in the school as she liked country music and they thought she wasn’t cool enough to hang out with them.
But instead of becoming a victim, Swift allowed that experience to grow in resilience
“A lot of people ask me, ‘How did you have the courage to walk up to record labels when you were 12 or 13 and jump right into the music industry?’ It’s because I knew I could never feel the kind of rejection that I felt in middle school. Because in the music industry, if they’re gonna say no to you, at least they’re gonna be polite about it.”
Grow in compassion
That experience also build compassion in Swift as she would speak up for fans who are bullied.
“I know why you’re crying because I’ve been in your place.”
“This isn’t a high school thing or an age thing. It’s a people thing. A life thing. It doesn’t stop. It doesn’t end or change. People cut other people down for entertainment, amusement, out of jealousy, because of something broken inside them. Or for no reason at all.”
Swift told Teen Vogue that years down the line the same group of girls attended her concert.
“They showed up, wearing my T-shirts and asking me to sign their CDs. It was bittersweet, because it made me realise that they didn’t remember being mean to me and that I needed to forget about it, too.”
Taylor Swift has discussed her honest thoughts about her experience with bullying with the Guardian in 2019. She said “when people are in a hate frenzy and they find something to mutually hate together, it bonds them. And anything you say is in an echo chamber of mockery.”
In the same interview, she compared self-defending against multiple bullies with being hit by a massive wave. Sometimes it is important to dive under the wave and think before taking action again.
This approach encourages introspection. It can be helpful to question what gets you into a sticky situation in the first place. Swift gave examples: “Why was I there? Why was I trusting people I trusted? Why was I letting people into my life the way I was letting them in? What was I doing that caused this?”
This is not to be confused with saying being bullied is in any way your fault. Giving yourself time to think before acting allows you to seek help calmly.
If Taylor Swift is standing tall it’s because she has risen above the situations that could have drowned her. While Swift may seem to float up there in the clouds, she remains very grounded and wise about life.
“You have people come into your life shockingly and surprisingly. You have losses that you never thought you’d experience. You have rejection and you have learn how to deal with that and how to get up the next day and go on with it.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing bullying to any degree or in any form, let a responsible adult know. You are not alone.