you are six years old and you get an allotted one-hour on the iPad each day.
you will spend the entire time on only one thing: Taylor Swift music videos.
your favorite is love story, because who doesn’t love contemporary Romeo and Juliet.
she’s who you dream of being: demure, blonde, pretty, unblemished, candid.
ii. pop radio
you are eight years old and the entire course of your life is changed by 1989.
your parents hate pop radio but you beg them to play it for Taylor Swift. (they comply.)
you prize blank space, because she’s genius to exploit her misconceptions.
she’s an idol: sophisticated, coveted, rich, cosmopolitan, stylish.
you are ten years old and Taylor Swift’s new stigmatized career is bad news for you.
you’re told you shouldn’t like her, so you listen to her songs like you’re not supposed to.
you indulge in the themes, in the lyrics, in the synths — now she’s a guilty pleasure.
for the first time, you’re at a fork — scandalous, controversial, guileful, uncrowned.
you are sixteen years old and you are alone in a new city in the middle of a pandemic.
you look for familiarity, but it’s gone and gray— except Taylor Swift, who is timeless.
you devour everything old and new alike, because she has the Midas touch of lyrics.
she’s who you look up to: dauntless, learned, poised, enduring, successful, happy.
v. to: Taylor Swift
you’re not the type to write in dedication to any celebrity. you don’t even care much for pop culture. but here you are. all due thanks to Taylor Swift, who changed your life when you found her music videos on youtube ten years ago.