Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Taylor Swift Completely Misunderstands Comment, Could Use Tina Fey & Amy Poehler As Role Models...

Taylor Swift has made a name for herself-- and millions of dollars-- on songs about young breakups with about a dozen guys all while failing to consider that being the common denominator in said short-lived relationships, she could actually be the cause of the problems. So it really isn't surprising that her adolescent mind misunderstood Tina Fey's Golden Globe advice to her. After making a joke about Swift staying away from Michael J. Fox's teenage son, who was Mr. Golden Globe during the 2013 ceremony, Fey said Swift should take some "me time" to learn about herself. You know, to maybe better one's self or create an identity outside of the men in her life. Amy Poehler, who co-hosted the ceremony with Fey joked that she disagreed, telling Swift to "go for it" with the younger Fox.


Apparently Swift can't take a joke. Comments she made at a WNBA conference seemed to be in direct response to this exchange. Swift quoted one of her "favorite people" Katie Couric as telling her that "there's a special place in hell for women who don't help other women." While that is probably (and hopefully) true, it is incredibly naive to lump Fey and Poehler into that sentiment. They both starred in a movie called Mean Girls, which Fey wrote based on a book with similar themes, but the point of that movie was to show young women that catty and backstabbing behavior is detrimental. "You've got to stop calling yourselves sluts and whores," Fey said in the film. "It just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores." 

Um, Swift understands that Fey wasn't calling girls sluts and whores, right? At this point, I have to check; I feel like if you misunderstand one, you can misunderstand all.

In fact, what Fey said at the Golden Globes was the opposite of not helping Swift-- or any tween who currently listens to Swift's songs and looks up to her as an artist or general life role model. Telling a young woman to take some "me time" to learn about herself is the smartest thing you can say to a young woman. In today's climate of pop culture, peer pressure, social media, and general human nature to belong (if you believe Maslow's hierarchy of needs-- look it up, Swift!), it is all-too easy to never even develop a sense of self, let alone lose one, as a desire to fit in quickly turns into conforming. If you don't know who you are, you'll just be who everyone else wants you to be.

Poehler, who heard about Swift's comments, issued a statement saying she was sorry Swift was upset and then joked she was probably already going to hell for other reasons. Poehler is too busy being awesome to take time out of her day to worry about things like Swift's ignorance (which she further proved, by the way, by not knowing that Couric did not come up with the quote she found so profound anyway). She probably also figured if Swift misunderstood the sentiment, there is no point in trying to explain; people hear what they want to hear. When she's matured a bit and can distance herself from all of the perceived slights she can't handle right now because she's just a young woman under a sincerely intense microscope, she may come around. 

Personally, I hope she does. She didn't ask to be talked about by everyone from little girls to comedians, and clearly it's a part of the fame territory she's not as comfortable with as she'd let you believe. She's still young, and she has a lot of growing up to do. Fey and Poehler have already grown up. That's why they are deserving of role model status, while Swift-- well, Swift should still be looking to women like them, who have proven talent, longevity, sanity, and smarts as her own role models so she can actually grow into that status someday, too.
 
 

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