Dear Taylor Swift, welcome to my world


Taylor Swift may live in her own world of superstardom, but it’s a small world after all. I paid a visit to the land of Taylor, where everything is red, and here’s what I learned:

Sometimes, Taylor Swift feels like it’s “one of those nights to dress like hipsters and make fun of our exes.”  That made me feel so much better; three out of my last four profile pictures are products of such occasions. Except, we didn’t just make fun of our exes. We stalked them… but it’s like, totally the same thing.

Also, I’m so happy that even Taylor Swift “like hadn’t seen [her boyfriend] in a month, cause [he] said [he] needed space.”  I mean, my boyfriend said he needed a sandwich and he’d be right back… but it’s like totally, completely the same thing.

And thank God Taylor Swift has had some guy “call [her] up again just to break [her] like a promise.”  I thought I was the only one!  Except my guy didn’t see me as a promise.  He called me up again just to break me like a pencil… but it’s like, totally, completely, 100 percent the same thing!

But even as you read these confessions, I, like Taylor, will “think it’s strange if you think I’m funny, cause he never did.”

On Monday, Taylor Swift published the fourth edition of her little black book, better known as her latest album, “Red.”  The record topped the iTunes charts within 36 minutes of release, according to the singer’s official website.  Billboard predicts it will sell over a million copies in its first week, an accomplishment previously gained by Swift’s last album, “Speak Now.”

Regardless of whether "Red’s" sales top "Speak Now," Swift’s music surely has come leaps and bounds.  All of her songs don’t sound the same anymore.  This album comes complete with three songs created by P!nk collaborators Max Martin and Shellback.  The opening track, “State of Grace,” fits nicely on the U2 Pandora channel, while “Everything Has Changed” sits pretty on a Civil Wars playlist.

Swift includes two duets on the album: one with SnowPatrol’s Gary Lightbody and the other with British singer Ed Sheeran.

Nobody listens to Taylor Swift for music.  Her lyrics are the heartbeat of her career.  While, largely, the old little black books tell stories of the singer’s flings (i.e. “The Story of Us,” “Forever and Always,” and “Love Story”), this album focuses more on the hurtful details and moments of despair.  On the gem of the album, “All Too Well” Swift’s ex-lover sickly holds onto her scarf.  She sings, “It reminds you of innocence, and it smells like me.”

It's lyrics like “plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own” that indicate Swift’s true heartbreak here.  She’s figuring out who she is, and if nothing else, she hopes we’re committed to the result.  She sings, “I’d like to be my old self again, but I’m still trying to find it.”

Her identity is a hot topic for the media. Vogue recently cut bangs on her for their coverstory.  She’s also a CovergirlRolling Stone likens her to Joni Mitchell.  Her branding closely resembles that of Carly Simon.  Finally, she’s an almost-Jonas, almost-Mayer, almost Gyllenhaal, and as of yesterday, an almost-Kennedy.   As Jon Dolan in Rolling Stone put it, “her songs are like tattoos.”  She won’t be with all of those men at the end of her life, but they’ll forever mark her.

As I walk through the little land of Taylor, where everything is red, I see myself everywhere, in mirrors and metaphors, and I feel judged.  Why does Taylor pursue love that’s wrong for her?  I should ask myself the same question.  She may dress up like a hipster, her boyfriends may avoid her, and she may be broken again and again, but still she loves.  She’s the James Dean of romance, a lover without a cause.

Taylor Swift's album, 'Red' is produced by Big Machine Records.

CultureKatie HayComment