I wrote in my last blog that I cannot take no for an answer, especially when I am defending Taylor Swift. I also mentioned in my blog our lives as readers. In it, I mentioned what really attracted me to the English language back when I was still in Africa was its simplicity. I was able to learn the language on my own, grasp it as much as I could.
Guess who helped me after my migration here to really understand simplicity more? It was Taylor Swift.
After years and years of struggling with doing just simple things, I realized how necessary it really was. If you have not been in my world, you may not understand what I am talking about. But one good reason for knowing both worlds, according to an author and a poet, if nothing but for comparison said by Wistawa Syzmborska.
In this day and age when we all talk about boots, shoes, and spaceships, here is Taylor Swift, an American Eagle, “American pie,“ who knows that to be a writer, a lover, and a communicator at the same time could be lethal. It is one gift that supersedes all gifts. I often wonder what it means to write, sing, and talk at the same time. Looking from her perspective, amazing things can happen when someone creates an Identity.
Talking about Identity, I have watched Taylor closely for seven years; I was there when she moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 2003. She wrote her first song, “Our Song, “in 2005 at Hendersonville High School. Then in 2006 she released her first album, Taylor Swift. Yet again, in 2007 she wins CMT’s Breakthrough Video of the Year Award. And the list continues to grow and grow.
Yet to me, she is one of the many artists that refuses to acquiesce to the pressures which accompanies fame. She has never gotten drunk or gets in trouble. She still talks like all of us. She is always baffled whenever she wins any kind of award. She still lives in Nashville and still has a squeaky image, regardless how many boyfriends she has had.
But Jen Hobby, an Atlanta DJ from the Bert Show called her “never grownup Taylor” on Showbiz Tonight about 4 months ago. Well you are wrong, Jen! I do not think that growing up is in Taylor s vocabulary, probably because she does not live up to anyone’s expectations “whatever grown up means.” She has never claimed to be the next big thing or try to be who she is not.
Creating identity, Taylor understands that America runs on simplicity. As a singer and a song writer, she sings about heartache in a much neutralized form. It is almost like she takes the bullet for all of us, and she sings about it, and we all clap. Then she gets a bad rap for her kiss and tell.
In addition to that, she hates big-terminology words that are hard to understand. To tell you how simple she is, even my 5-year-old can sing her song; I mean—virtually—all her songs. She hates clogging, too, from her clothes, to her hair, to her shoes, she is always simple.
I remember when I first came here from Africa, “I was shocked to see how simple everything was here, compared to my country. My first essay as an ESL student was so clogged up that it took my professor three hours to unclog just one essay. It equally took me a whole year to work on just a simple essay, yet I still struggle with writing without wording. I naturally enjoy big words, but I found out that the bigger the words, the more frustrating it becomes in my newest country that I will forever love. I give Taylor credit because I have repeatedly written down her songs many times to see what simple means in her own words.
I also remember the first time I went to church here and I had this ornament from my hair to my tips of fingers. There were a whole lot of people staring at me, like something was wrong with me. This was too much. “How do you breathe in that attire?” “Are you an African Queen?” After too many questions, I went home and had second thoughts about how I draw people’s attention: after all, America is all about simplicity.
Even in college, it took me time to realize that people love their flip-flops when I was so used to big dressing shoes. Although I later found out that the only thing around after a hard night’s party was a flip-flop. Yet, I give them credit. Over the years, I have become part of what is now simple.
In addition to creating a bigger Identity, Taylor knows what sells too; the more original you are, the better for you. Because Taylor is someone who can create her own music; so in the end, she has her royalties just like Dolly Parton.
Taylor has her own Fan base too, both young and old adults. Nobody sounds like her because she is original. Everyone in our house can read out loud Taylor Swift’s music. Sometimes we can feel her presence wherever we go, and she keeps telling her Cinderella story. I guess that is why people like me do not care if she can sing or not. I have learned from her that you must, as an individual, create your own identity.
I also learn that you do not have to be a technical writer to be successful. We are all different individuals; what works for you may not work for me. Just like I detest anything with technicality in it, you can still be like Taylor and keep your words simple and interesting. Go with what you are passionate about and leave the rest for your fans. That is why I always vote for her before any other great artist.
Taylor has also the identity of having many boyfriends, releasing them as they come and making music out of her failed relationships. Well that is creating a negative identity which may or may not be true. But we can all agree that Taylor may have a long list of boyfriends, some of them shouldn’t have even happened to begin with. Things happen, and coincidentally Taylor is not new to coincidences. But remember she is a story-teller too. You can blame Taylor Swift partly for all her poor choices, but do not blame her for her wonderful songs because she is real, she is smart, and she sees things the American way.
And she is a little bit of country, and most importantly, she is an “American Pie.” Who hates a pie? And she has created for herself a long-lasting identity that could last forever.