Celebrities, especially musicians, have a substantial impact on the lives of their audiences. Artists use lyrics as a way to speak about meaningful topics or events, and these words can also serve as a source of identification between the singer and listener. Focusing specifically on the relationship between the artists Taylor Swift and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and their typically female followers, an obvious difference can be found between their respective attitudes towards the role of women.
Taylor Swift uses her virginal, good, pure, patriarchy-friendly lyrics to disempower women. Swift, in the majority of her songs serves as nothing more than a beautiful, blameless victim. Within the few songs where other women are mentioned, they are generally slut-shamed or viewed as mere obstacles standing in between Swift and her soulmate.
One of Swift’s only songs in which she mentions a female friend is titled “Fifteen.” In it, there is obviously a sense of thematic continuity from the rest of her pieces: boys...
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...nce, the song speaks about how women should see themselves, in the end, as more than merely a wife. Her entire album speaks about the liberation of women. By communicating with such powerful lyrics, Beyoncé is forcing people to take ownership of who they are.
Taylor Swift’s influence over young girls ultimately leaves her in a position of power and responsibility. Swift is a role model, and as such, she is expected to empower her listeners with messages of independence, strength, and equality. Until Swift is able to utilize these tactics in her music, it is imperative that people do not buy her music, listen to her music, tweet about her, go to her concerts, write about her, or watch videos of/about her. As an alternative we highly recommend listening to Beyoncé’s works in order to incite discussion and eventually bring forth positive change in regards to feminism.
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