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Notebook: Taylor Swift too dependent to be a romantic role model

Big Machine Records

By Lena Finkel, Daily Arts Writer
Published February 22, 2013

Taylor Swift is officially dating Conor Kennedy. No, she’s dating Harry Styles. No, she’s dating John Mayer, or maybe Bradley Cooper — OK, that last one only applies to Jennifer Lawrence. But it’s no secret that Taylor Swift has had her fair share of romances; she’s jumped around from guy to guy, only staying single for about five minutes.

Swift prides herself on being a good role model for young girls and has even made a career out of it, but what does this say about the example she sets for her fans?

Swift only dated her last boyfriend, Harry Styles of One Direction, for about two months, and yet she had already planned to buy a house in the United Kingdom, down the road from Styles. Though she claimed the location was merely a coincidence, when the two split, she immediately stopped looking. So, coincidence? Probably not.

You’ll notice, of course, that Styles never looked to buy a house near Swift in the United States.

Not to mention that Swift has become infamous for writing songs post-breakup, detailing the tragedies of her love life.

And yes, writing songs is a much healthier way of dealing with a breakup than, say, drugs or partying. But Swift’s songs harp on the breakup, making each one sound like a devastating tornado that has torn right through her.

One song about ex-boyfriend Joe Jonas, “Forever and Always,” has lyrics such as, “Baby, what happened? Please tell me. … Was I out of line? Did I say something way too honest?” and “I stare at the phone and he still hasn’t called / And then you feel so low, you can’t feel nothin’ at all.”

These lyrics are not empowering; they scream, “I am drowning without my man.” Swift sounds pathetic, like she has fallen to pieces waiting by the phone for her boyfriend to call. Whether or not her songs accurately portray her personality is beside the point. Swift could be the strongest girl in the world, but her music says otherwise. Her song about Jonas is not a fluke — she’s written similarly worded songs about Taylor Lautner and John Mayer and reportedly has five songs about Harry soon to come. What is she really saying to teenage girls with lyrics like these? That it’s OK to let every breakup tear you apart?

Maybe it’s not fair to psychoanalyze her love life. But when she makes it public, when she makes it into a career and when her audience is a bunch of 13-year-old girls, then Swift better be careful what she’s telling them.

Taylor, maybe you should take a cue from Beyonce’s anthem “Run the World (Girls)”; you’re a multi-Grammy-winning, platinum album-recording artist. You’ve been nominated for a Golden Globe, for Best Original Song and have sold over 26-million albums and 75-million digital downloads worldwide. You don’t need a man, and when you start to believe that, maybe your fans will, too.