By Grace McLean
“I want to love glitter and also stand up for the double standards that exist in our society. I want to wear pink and tell you how I feel about politics. And I don’t think that those things have to cancel each other out.”
On Friday January 31, 2020, Miss Americana was released on Netflix and I, being the Taylor Swift lover that I am, started watching during my workout. I was 2.5 miles into my bike ride when I began to cry. Not teary eyed. Full blown sobbing. I quickly rushed out of the gym and continued crying outside in the cold. I grew up with Taylor Swift. Not in the sense that we were neighbors. But somehow her music always reflected what was happening to me. And yeah, Taylor Swift has no clue who I am but who cares. I find meaning in her music and it helps me get through tough times. However, I wasn’t expecting Miss Americana to affect me like it did.
The documentary is about many things. It’s about being a woman in the music industry. It’s about a girl who often gets mocked in the public eye. It’s about a girl finding love with a boy and herself. But at its core, the documentary is about change. From changing from a country singer to a pop icon to changing from judging her body to respecting it as it is. It shows Taylor’s change from becoming the girl who was quiet, never shared her opinion, and followed the rules to a person who spoke up about politics for the first time, focusing on what’s healthy for her, and doing what she wants to do.
The documentary shows Taylor in a different light than what the media has shown her in the past couple years. Not as the girl who dates a lot and plays the victim but as women who has struggled with an eating disorder, been through a sexual assault trial, and struggling with her mother’s diagnosis with cancer. It shows her as a person. Not a Grammy-winning artist but as a woman who has just as many personal and private problems as anyone else. She has anxiety and is self-conscious. Taylor even says that after Kayne West interrupted her on stage by saying that Beyoncé should have won, she believed that the boos were directed at her instead of West.
I think everyone should watch Miss Americana. It is a beautiful and powerful documentary that everyone should watch. Even if you don’t like Taylor Swift, you should still give it a try.