Netflix drops new Taylor Swift documentary

Lindsay Greenspan, Staff Writer

On January 23, 2020, Netflix dropped its much anticipated documentary on American pop-star, Taylor Swift. Directed by Lana Wilson, Miss Americana gives avid fans a look at the Taylor Swift that is often hidden from the public eye. From her songwriting process to her insecurities, Taylor Swift opens up to fans and shows a new side of her.

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The documentary begins with Taylor Swift playing the piano with her kitten, and discussing her moral code, which relies heavily on being perceived as “good”. This need for being loved by the public did not just fuel her career, it fueled a need to meet stereotypes set by society. Her desperation for perfection put her on a path to disordered eating, which she candidly reveals with fans. She shares the analogy of reaching the top of the mountain of her career, having millions of adoring fans, and still not feeling happy. When the media began to turn on her after the release of her hit album, 1989, Swift disappeared from the public eye, and did not release another album for three years. 

 

Image Courtesy of: Insider.com

Taylor Swift used those years to come to terms with her augmented reality and change the way she presented herself. Swift began to speak up for important political causes after realizing the impact she has. After endorsing two democratic candidates in her proclaimed home state of Tennessee, voter registration among young females surged. Miss Americana unveils the process that went into Swift’s declaration. Her publicity team urged Swift to remain neutral on politics, fearing for her media perception and even her safety. Swift began to tear up, adamant on sharing her views and being on the “right side” of history. This detail shocked many fans, who did not know anything about the process leading up to her political declaration. “[Miss Americana] taught me more about being myself in real life,” shared Angela Guo, a freshman at Oakton High School and a self-proclaimed “Swiftie.” This was the message that Taylor Swift intended to convey in her documentary.

Miss Americana also shares fun quirks of Taylor Swift, making her seem more relatable to fans. The documentary shows Swift joking with her friends and obsessing over her cats. She speaks to the camera about how she began to write her music, sing, and play guitar at a young age, and how her mother uprooted her family from their home in Pennsylvania to Nashville, Tennessee so that Swift could pursue her career.

Although some critics argue that the documentary paints Swift still as a one-dimensional “good girl” who only wants to please and write about her ex-boyfriends, the overall consensus of viewers is that it shows Swift growing up through her music and using it to showcase her experiences, emotions, and now, her political views. The documentary ends with Swift saying that she is not sure what the next part of her life will bring, and whether or not she will continue on with large-scale stadium tours. One thing is for sure, however, the legacy of Taylor Swift is still in the making.