Taylor Swift: Miss Americana Review

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Graesen Joyce

Taylor Swift promotes LGBT rights and women's rights in Miss Americana.

*This article contains spoilers for Miss Americana. TW: sexual assault/groping, eating disorders.

When you hear the name Taylor Swift, what comes to mind? Everyone has a different perception of who she is, her music and what she values. No matter who you are and how you feel about Swift, Miss Americana will make you reconsider what you thought you knew about the 10-time Grammy award-winning artist.

Director Lana Wilson’s documentary “Taylor Swift: Miss Americana” showcased at the Sundance Film Festival and digs deeper into everything about Swift: the recent transformative years in her life, living in the spotlight, speaking out on politics and much more. Miss Americana was released on Netflix Jan. 31st, 2020. The film captures Swift’s journey of self-acceptance, prioritizing the people she loves and speaking out on the issues that are most important to her.

If she were a man, then she’d be the man. The fourth track on Swift’s latest album, “Lover”, is a feminist anthem called “The Man”. It spoke to me so much as a female, but especially as a Swiftie. It perfectly described what I’ve always tried to vocalize about the double standards Swift faces as an artist. The film dives deep into every single aspect of the things Taylor experiences as a woman in the industry and how it has affected her.

This documentary is an insightful watch for anyone, but to Taylor Swift fans, it is a gift where Wilson perfectly represents the fan base. “There is an element to my fan base where I feel like we grew up together.” Swift says. We get insight into her private life and it’s an absolute treat. Many of the featured songs from the film are not her usual hits, but more fan favorites that you don’t usually hear on the radio. Fans are even featured filming or singing along in concert. There’s also a segment where Taylor does a meet and greet in Tokyo, which shows you how much she adores her fans and the overall atmosphere of the meet and greets.

We learned something in this documentary that the general public never knew before. Swift went in-depth into her experience with an eating disorder and recovering from anorexia. Her brave transparency gives representation to fans who have suffered from an eating disorder and makes viewers think about the real concept of body positivity.

The most important point Miss Americana tries to get across is how speaking out on politics was such an important turning point for her and her career. Swifties knew this before even watching the film, because the title, Miss Americana, references Taylor’s 7th track on Lover, “Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince.” The song tells two intertwined stories: a high school romance mixed with her disappointment in the current leaders and the country’s current political climate.

In 2018, the midterm elections were very important in how to win back the senate and making sure people vote. Swift felt it was very important for people to vote against Marsha Blackburn in Tennessee. “One of the things that outraged me so much is that she voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which tries to protect women from stalking, from date rape, from domestic violence. And then, obviously, it’s a no for gay marriage. It’s a no for them to have any rights whatsoever.” Swift said.

Overall, this documentary is, in my opinion, a masterpiece of representing the challenges Swift faces and how her life has changed drastically over the last few years. Wilson’s transitions and editing are perfectly done. Swift’s vulnerability and openness is refreshing to see. The film was so extremely insightful into Swift’s life and into what she struggles with in the music industry. Miss Americana is heartbreakingly beautiful and will take you on an unexpected emotional journey with her.

If you have experienced sexual assault and are seeking help, call:
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

If you are suffering from an eating disorder and are seeking help, call:
(800) 931- 2237