Chances are, by now you’ve at least heard about Taylor Swift’s newest song. If you haven’t, I’m impressed, because it’s everywhere. No matter where you look, there is something discussing it – the good, the bad and everything in between.
Everyone has varying opinions on the song and video. In actuality, it seems as though there are two definite ends of the spectrum. Either people love it, or they hate it. Now, I’ll admit that I’ve been back and forth as a Taylor fan over the years. I have never been obsessed with
her, but always have found myself being interested in the “drama” (for lack of a better word) going on in her life. My honest opinions of her character – opinions based solely on the media, I might add – have always varied, though. One minute I love her, the next, I’m annoyed. All that aside, I’ve always enjoyed her music. Heck, I even went to her concert in 2009 (thanks, CBMF!).
Naturally, when Taylor released the “Look What You Made Me Do”, I was excited. Her music is always something I look forward to listening to, especially her newer stuff. I didn’t rush right away to listen until I started seeing discussions online. After seeing multiple posts with comments about the “shade” and “dark side” that was prevalent, I knew I had to give it a listen. Right away, I was in. Sure, the lyrics aren’t the best Taylor has written, but the message and the ferocity are what pulled me in.
Flash forward to last night when the music video was released. Wow. I already was obsessing over the song, but that video took it to a whole new level. The intricate details and the powerful vibe given off sparked something in me.
All of this got me thinking more about karma and power. I’ve been seeing a lot of posts bringing Taylor down over the song and video, saying that it’s a “diss track” and “childish”. I, for one, don’t see it that way. Rather, I see it as inspiring. A powerful, talented, confident woman standing up for herself? I’m in!
Taylor has always been independent and a role model for young women. Some may disagree with me, and that’s ok. But hear me out. I’ve dealt with things in my life that knocked me down. These things made me feel worthless and like a tiny, helpless person who had no control or power. As I’ve grown up, these feelings have been changing. I’ve stopped feeling sorry for myself and stopped letting people walk all over me. Instead, I’ve taken the reigns and used these moments to better myself. To stand up for what I believe in and not have other’s control how I feel or act. This is exactly the message I got from Taylor’s song.
In the song, she says “I don’t like your little games/Don’t like your tilted stage/The role you made me play/Of the fool, no, I don’t like you”. Sure, this sounds like anger and resentment, but keep going. “But I got smarter, I got harder in the nick of time/Honey, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time/I’ve got a list of names and yours is in red, underlined/I check it once, then I check it twice”. Right there is where the story changes. She’s not taking it. She’s not letting herself be taken down. She’s taken note of what’s been done and will not forget it.
Karma. I’m a true believer of it. It’s taken me a long time to think that way, but it’s made me happier. Rather than focusing my time and energy on how someone has wronged me and retaliating, I carry on with my life and let karma do its job. Harsh? Maybe. Wrong? No. I take these moments of hurt and let them make me stronger. I don’t stoop to another’s level and don’t let what they did destory me. I take that pain and despair and turn it into power.
Taylor isn’t the only young, female musician out there promoting this type of strength. Demi Lovato’s new single, “Sorry Not Sorry” gives off a similar vibe. “Feelin’ like a ten, the best I ever been/And yeah, I know how bad it must hurt/To see me like this, but it gets worse….Feeling inspired ’cause the tables have turned/Yeah, I’m on fire and I know that it burns”. Although Demi is a bit more up front and savage with her words, the message is the same. Rather than let someone think they defeated you, stand up and show them you can move on.
More young women need to think this way. I’m not saying retaliation and fighting back is the solution. No – I’m saying that gaining strength and confidence and standing up for oneself is. I never had much of a backbone growing up and it made things rough. I didn’t stand up for myself. I just took what people said to me, and it led to me being everyone’s punching bag. If I had a different opinion, I just let it slide. Now, as an adult, I don’t play that game anymore. Obviously, I don’t always voice my thoughts, especially if it can cause an issue or make things worse. But, when it comes to defending myself and my feelings, you bet your ass I will. Your feelings are valid – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Stand up for yourself, take control of the situation, accept your faults and be the bigger person. Thanks, Taylor, for reiterating this for me, and all other young women out there.