Sunday, March 17, 2013

I heart Taylor Swift

This letter to Taylor Swift first appeared over at my friends, femamom

Dear Taylor Swift-

Let me introduce myself – I’m Stephanie and I have two daughters.  We are huge admirers and fans.  I know you must be very busy right now, getting ready for your tour – My daughters and I cannot wait to see you perform this summer.  Did you know that you are going to be their first concert?  Seriously – a big deal.  For the rest of their lives, when they play the getting to know you game of, “What was your first concert?”  They will forever say, “Taylor Swift!”  (My first concert was Duran Duran – I will never forget my friend Alison crying during “Save a Prayer” and I was convinced that Simon LeBon was singing only to me.)

I want to tell you a story.  When I was in college I was at a party, hanging out and talking with the bravado that only happens at that age.  The conversation turned to music and what instruments people played.  When I was asked, “Hey Stephanie, what do you play?”  I answered, “ I play the skin flute.”  It’s crass, got a laugh and we all moved on.  But for years after, every single time I saw this one guy who was at the party he would always say to me, “Hey, still playing the skin flute?”  I always cringed.  I just meant it as a quick one liner to get a laugh – not for this shmuck to keep haunting me about it.  I got off lucky – I just had this troll pop up for years reminding me that I was such an expert at the skin flute.  Taylor, you have to have every single, impulsive sentence that comes out of your mouth blasted out on every online source possible.  And that can’t be easy.  I am grateful that every stupid thing that I said at 20 or 22 isn’t out there in the ethers.  Most of it is in my journals, which come to think of it, it may be time to burn them…

I’m afraid that you are having your skin flute moment. 

You dared to criticize our Patron Saints of Comedy – Amy Poehler and Tina Fey and you invoked the myth of unilateral female solidarity by stating, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women”. 

Because of your youth you didn't fully grasp that it was just a joke- yes at your expense, and that hurts –to tell you on worldwide television to stay away from Michael J. Fox’s son because you need a little ‘me-time’.  Your inexperience hasn't burned you enough yet with the sad realization that just because we are girls, doesn't equate that we are all going to get along. (And if you really think that there is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women, maybe you should swap out Tina and Amy for Camille Paglia Calm down Camille! We can’t all be Rhianna and get the shit beaten out of us by our boyfriends and turn it into creative gold or turn our asses to the camera like Jennifer Lopez and have it be groundbreaking just because she is Latino.)

Because you write publicly and successfully about boys and breakups, desire and dreams -all real and worthy subjects – your music is up for criticism.  It’s the way the world works.  Ask any artist– there’s always someone who is going to find some angle and flaw in your work and then tell you about it.   And since you haven’t given the public a Britney Spears-style melt down and crotch-shot, then they really have to dig to find something wrong with you.   

For what it’s worth –I am grateful that you are a strong role-model for my young daughters.   You write and create your own music – which they can listen to.   You follow your dreams and your passion and you seem true to yourself – and the women you are trying to become. 

And as I am still learning– you can’t please everyone.

With love and respect and jumpy claps because I think you are awesome,

Maybe you want to give Amy and Tina another chance…

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