COLUMN: Taylor Swift appeals to a different kind of fan​


Taylor Swift released the first single off her upcoming album at midnight Thursday, called "Look What You Made Me Do." Her sixth album, "Reputation," is scheduled to be released Nov. 10. Photo courtesy of Big Machine Records Buy Photos

Like any respectable artist, Taylor Swift has changed over the years. 

Her repertoire consisted mostly of country hits in the beginning of her career, songs that fans were required to purchase one-by-one. 

Armed with her innate songwriting abilities, she transitioned into pop-country crossovers and has made her way to full pop-stardom. She's selling out stadiums, slithering through star-studded feuds and finally rereleasing her music on streaming sites. 

Taylor Swift's "Reputation Stadium Tour" will take place at 7 p.m. Sept. 15 in Indianapolis at the Lucas Oil Stadium. 

Her level of fame has surpassed “enormous.” She’s sold more than 40 million albums as of 2016, has 10 Grammy's under her belt and had 2017’s best selling album with “Reputation.”

But what sets Swift apart is that she’s different from other pop artists, and relatable to her fans. She’s become a household name, without doing the things other artists have done to get people to talk. Taylor rarely curses, rarely wears scandalous clothing and almost never discusses anything remotely sexual in her lyrics, that is, until her latest album “Reputation.” Her status for years as “America’s Sweetheart” has only been tainted occasionally by the many men she’s been linked to romantically.

But her appeal stretches further than anyone seems to understand. She appealed to the high school-aged girl inside me, who was studious and sometimes awkward, focused on my duties in yearbook and student government and missed one too many lessons while I was day-dreaming about my crush in class. I was the girl that listened to other pop music but couldn’t see myself in the hyper-sexualized lyrics or watched pop videos and couldn’t get past all the twerking. 

Sure, plenty of girls do love other pop artists. The glamour, drama and overall risqué nature of their music can be appealing to some. But what about the girls that don’t care for it? That’s where Swift comes in. The girl that I was listened to Swift and saw herself in that music. She found herself in the lyrics about being invisible in front of the boy she liked relatable, like in her hit “You Belong With Me.”

Swift went on to win “Best Female Video” for that song, where she danced around on her bed wearing a handmade T-shirt singing into a hairbrush about the boy next door. 

“But she wears short skirts, I wear T-shirts. She's cheer captain, and I'm on the bleachers,” Swift sings on the track, expressing her disdain for the popular girl her crush chooses over her. 

Her lyrics are intimate, sweet, relatable and picturesque. Opting for a sassier tone in her recent work, she still sticks to pretty clean lyrics. Swift has released six full-length studio albums and not one song on those have an explicit rating. 

The first time she ever flat-out cursed on a track was this past year when she said “if a man talks s**t then I owe him nothing, I don’t regret it one bit cause he had it coming” on “I Did Something Bad”.  

Swift has crafted an intimate relationship with her group of fans, named “Swifties," from the beginning. I believe she’s one of the only big pop artists that can appeal to that specific crowd of music listeners, so she’s garnered their respect and unconditional love.

Not every artist can just name their album “Reputation.” To pull off a name like that, there has to be talk about them, and talk about Taylor we have, and probably always will.  

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