After four mega-albums, media controversy, much success and many boys, Taylor Swift released her new album on October 27 to millions of anxious fans, including me. I, like many people, have been skeptical of Swift's life changes.
Gone are the locks of curly blonde hair and flirty sundresses we all came to know and love. Many people have challenged Swift over her apparent change in musical and personal style, accusing her of “selling out” by moving in to her $15 million apartment in NYC.
Well, after some listening and some sleuthing, I’ve come to realize there are three inspirational life lessons everyone should take away from Swift's transition, regardless of your thoughts on her new album. Here are three lessons I learned from Taylor Swift:
Lesson 1: Change is good.
On October 27, Taylor published an article about herself and the things happening in her life. She wrote,
In the world we live in, much is said about when we are born and when we die. Our birthday is celebrated every year to commemorate the very instant we came into the world, and a funeral is held to mark the day we leave it. But lately I’ve been wondering... What can be said of all the moments in between our birth and our death? The moments when we are reborn...
A short bob haircut replaced Swift's curly locks. Synths and beats have replaced acoustic melodies. While some may criticize her choices, I applaud her for growing up. Change is good.
All we ever do is change, learn from mistakes and make new ones, so why not face the changes without abandon? Taylor is the perfect example of this.
Lesson 2: Be yourself and "Shake it Off."
While many female celebrities make questionable decisions, Taylor created a booming career by just being herself. For her brand image and reputation, she partnered with Target, Sony, CoverGirl, Keds, Elizabeth Arden and recently, Diet Coke. Taylor writes on her website,
Who you are is who you choose to be, and that whispers behind your back don’t define you. You are the only one who gets to decide what you will be remembered for.
Being a multi-platinum, album-making, worldwide celebrity doesn’t stop Taylor Swift from being exactly who she is.
She posts pictures to Instagram, shares cat videos with her friends and sometimes has her heart broken, but that doesn’t stop her from being exactly who she is and embracing what she feels.
Lesson 3: Face your fears.
The last lesson is perhaps the most important. Taylor has been telling us stories for years now that capture a shared emotion. But, the closing line of her article on her website says,
From the girl who said she would never cut her hair or move to New York or find happiness in a world where she is not in love...
When Taylor Swift’s “Teardrops On My Guitar” came out, I could have never imagined her moving to the bright, fast, exciting New York City. A few years later, when she wrote "Fearless," I couldn’t imagine her not in some kind of relationship with a guy. This last line encourages me to face my fears.
It comforts me that sometimes, the things that scare us most are the things that will help us grow the most.
Regardless of your taste in music, Taylor Swift’s transformation is a testament to the fact that being receptive to change, being unabashedly yourself and facing your fears can be rewarding and empowering -- even if your album doesn’t sell a couple billion copies.