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OPINION: Swift’s music not just about boys

OPINION: Swift’s music not just about boys

By Alexia Aleman
Bridge Staff Writer
Published Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023

For the longest time, Taylor Swift was known as the girl who wrote breakup songs about the boys she dated. Yet, Swift proved many times that she’s more than the girl with all the boyfriends. She went from being known for her love life to being the greatest singer-songwriter of our generation. Swift’s lyrics are like no other. Her lyrics convey intense and heartfelt emotion in her music.

One of her most heartbreaking lyrics is, “You drew stars around my scars but now I’m bleeding” from her song Cardigan. She describes a girl who had her heart broken before, and whose father left when she was young. But she meets a guy who heals her and makes her feel special. She falls completely in love with him and she shares her biggest insecurities with him.

Alexia Aleman portrait
Alexia Aleman

He loves her like no one ever had—drawing stars around her scars—and gives her the love she lacked during childhood. He made her feel special and he healed the inner part of herself that was broken, only to turn around and hurt her the same as she’s been hurt before. He leaves just like her father did all those years ago, opening old wounds—making her bleed.

Another song beautifully written is Mirrorball. The song depicts someone who constantly reinvents themselves to meet the expectations of the people around them. Basically, it’s someone who’ll change every aspect of themselves to make everyone except themselves happy.

A mirrorball person is fragile and exhausts themselves until they break. “I’m still on that tightrope / I’m still trying everything to get you laughing at me,” she sings. They’ll break themselves a million times to keep everyone happy. A mirrorball person will never know who they really are because they constantly change who they are to please everyone.

The girl with the boyfriends. The girl who only writes about her love life. That same girl wrote these songs, which are not about a boy, but are about our deepest insecurities. That’s the beauty of Swift. Even in her most heartbreaking lyrics, we find a piece of ourselves in them.

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