Shaking it Off: An Open Letter to Taylor Swift

Dear Taylor Swift,

I have been a dedicated fan of yours ever since I auditioned for a school play singing one of your songs. I was auditioning with two of my friends, and they chose the song (You Belong With Me). At the time I had never heard it before, and I remember the three of us scrambling with our printed song lyrics and neon highlighters to choose who would sing which verse.

(And while it is not really relevant, I will add that I did in fact make it, and had an excellent time playing the leader of the village people and the mother of a son who had been frozen by the pilfering villain of our play).

I fell in love with the song, so I bought your album Fearless. By the time Speak Now came out, I knew practically all of your songs and played several of them on the piano. By the time Red came out, I had posters of you up in my room and had spent several mornings trying to curl my hair to get it to look like yours.

In June, 2013, I went to your Red Tour. That was around the time I discovered your collaboration with Tim McGraw and Keith Urban, Highway Don’t Care. The night before the concert I had a dream that my English substitute teacher was singing that song in class, which was hilarious. Still, I wasn’t expecting you to sing it.

When Ed Sheeran joined you onstage and you announced that you would be singing a duet, I assumed it would be Everything Has Changed, as that is the duet from your album. But you sang Highway Don’t Care, which was kind of cool because in a way my dream had predicted the future (it was just you singing instead of my substitute teacher, which I did not mind).

Now, 1989 is coming out (next week!) and  I am still a huge fan of your music; but I am also a fan of you. Over the years, you have inspired myself and countless others in so many different ways. You have inspired us to be fearless, because “being fearless doesn’t mean you have no fears; it means you are brave enough to face them.”

You have inspired us to shake off what other people say, and not be influenced by “haters” (because all they’re going to do is hate, hate, hate). You have taught your fans the importance of friendship as you support your friends in their endeavours;  I loved your recent advice to Selena Gomez, to try to surround yourself with people who challenge you and make you a better person.

When I read articles about you declaring that you are a feminist, but had taken so long to publicize the fact because you didn’t actually know what feminism meant, I was actually kind of relieved. I understood the general idea, but I was confused what it actually meant to be a feminist because there are so many misconceptions. You have taught people to stand up for what they believe in, and that it is okay to “begin again”. (Bonus points if it’s on Wednesday in a cafe).

I am thankful to have such a poised, talented role model. This is my letter, but what I say is reflective of your fans everywhere. You have had a positive impact on millions of lives, and as you continue to reach new peaks of success (hello, top two spots on iTunes!) I am proud to say I was there from your second album and will be here until your last. I will never stop being a fan of yours – like, ever.

So thank you, and congratulations. You have been very successful; and you deserve every bit of it.

Love from,
A fearless fan
Sherina

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