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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

OPINION: Women saved the world in 2023

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In Taylor Swift’s victory lap interview for Time’s 2023 Person of the Year, she reflects on the wild success of her Eras Tour and everything it took to get there. In this interview, Swift acknowledges that Hollywood, the music industry and other forms of mass media are finally taking girlhood and women's interests seriously. She also has her theories as to why.  

“What fuels a patriarchal society? Money, flow of revenue, the economy,” Swift said in the interview. “So actually, if we’re going to look at this in the most cynical way possible, feminine ideas becoming lucrative means that more female art will get made. It’s extremely heartening.” 

And heartening it is. 2023 alone showed just how much power and influence women hold over the economy. Just like Swift said, the mass success of female-centered media means that people will keep making it. This past year has proved just how profitable appealing to women's interests can be.  

The Eras Tour is just one example of this. With Swifties spending more than $1,300 on average on tickets, travel and clothing to attend the tour, Taylor Swift has boosted economies from coast to coast. With nearly $5 billion in consumer spending in the United States, 5 billion internationally and earning Taylor herself an extraordinary $2.2 Billion (Yes. that’s billion with a “b”) in revenue, it truly has been the event of a lifetime.  

Full disclosure, I count myself as someone who has spent an embarrassing amount on merchandise, records, shows and everything in between.  

But Swift isn't the only female superstar who made headlines touring this past year. Beyoncé Knowles knows what it means to run the world. The continuation of an already stunning career, the Renaissance World Tour cemented the performer as one of the most successful touring artists of all time. Billboard Boxscore now lists the Renaissance World Tour as the seventh highest-grossing tour in history. Beyoncé is the only American solo artist, woman and the only Black artist to crack the top ten. 

The Renaissance tour drew more than 2.7 million fans to stadiums around the world, boosting tourism in Beyoncé’s tour cities. In Stockholm, the “Beyhive” drove Sweden’s May inflation higher than expected. In just five months and 56 shows, the Renaissance World Tour grossed $141.8 million in Europe and $438 million in the U.S. and Canada.  

In the box office, the “Barbie” movie smashed records too. The year's biggest opening weekend, the largest opening for a female director ever and Warner Bros.'s highest-grossing domestic release in history are just a few of the broken records under “Barbie’s” belt. The film’s director, Greta Gerwig, became the first female director to direct a billion-dollar film on her own, making her the highest-grossing female director domestically. Most recently, the film was awarded its crown jewel: the highest-grossing film of the year, bringing in $1.4 billion in revenue.  

However, what I find most amazing is just how severely underestimated the film was in the beginning. In June of 2023, box office prognosticators initially predicted the movie would make a mere $55 million on its opening weekend. It nearly tripled that estimate with a $162 million haul in just the opening weekend. 

Catering to women's interests is not just a cultural imperative but a powerful economic force. As the year unfolded, it became evident that embracing and celebrating female-centered content not only resonates with audiences but also fuels substantial economic growth that extends well past the entertainment industry. The undeniable success of women and female-directed media reflects a promising trend that is likely to shape the future landscape, encouraging more diverse and empowering narratives to flourish. 

 

Ainsley Foster is a sophomore studying elementary education. 

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