Taking my seat: Politics & Hollywood

The student’s most popular listening method is altering music quality and structure

Taylor Swift as president.
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Ready for it? I wasn’t. In case you missed it, Taylor Swift released her sixth studio album titled Reputation last Friday.

Before I get into it, let’s make one thing clear: I used to be a huge Swifty. I’ve been to her concerts, purchased her t-shirts and up until now, bought all of her music. 

Now, I think people may argue celebrities don’t have a duty to get involved in politics. While their job is in the limelight, they aren’t choosing to run for public office and therefore shouldn’t be expected to speak on issues. In fact, Billboard magazine just released an article posing the question “When did feminism become a job requirement for female popstars?”

Well, I think those people are wrong and Billboard missed the mark. 

I’ve talked about this before; it’s complacent and a privileged position to be in if you can choose not to talk openly about politics.

Now, I don’t think everything Swift does needs to be political — nobody would expect that of the American pop singer-songwriter. However, her silence during last year’s election and the past year of Trump’s presidency has been unacceptable. 

Taylor said it first, ‘Everything Has Changed.’ And this change is seriously affecting millions of people in America, many of whom are probably her fans.

Mashable writes, “Taylor Swift will never be your feminist hero but who cares?” Well, that’s true. She probably won’t be anyone’s feminist hero but her reputation with both young children, teenagers and millennials is, arguably, unparalleled to any other female pop star in the world. 

And if not for a political voice, can we at least know if Swift voted?

If we want to increase voter turnout among young people, we need to make voting cool and accessible. I think young adults need to see their celebrity heroes voting too. Swift isn’t a feminist hero but I really believe she’s a celebrity hero for some and one that needs to step up and speak out. 

Along with one’s celebrity title comes with, in Swift’s case, 104 million Instagram followers, 

85.6 million Twitter followers and 73.9 million Facebook page likes. She literally has more Twitter followers than Donald Trump;  imagine the difference she could make and the people she could reach by simply talking about one issue.

I’m not saying Swift hasn’t done anything of importance beyond the realms of her music career. Her assault trial (and win) this past summer was a really important, and symbolic victory for women, survivors and victims. Her pledge to make donations to multiple organizations that help survivors and victims of sexual assault was amazing and something I applaud her for. 

However, her country’s in a constant state of turmoil and with the media and public interested in anything and everything Swift-related right now, she has the perfect opportunity to talk about issues that might be important to herself, her fans or her country. 

Swift’s literally given a microphone every time she goes anywhere. Her voice is important and right now, it’s amplified. We need to get away from political complacency and hold our celebrity heroes accountable. 

We’re not ‘Out of the Woods’ yet and I promise you politics isn’t going out of ‘Style.’ You want to stop this ‘Bad Blood’, Taylor? Speak out.

 

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