It is kind of ironic the way this topic came up for me, but my husband and I had a disagreement the other night about Taylor Swift. My two girls and I love her catchy tunes, and up until recently, I really viewed her to be a respectable role model for my two girls. My husband does not like that Taylor turns all of her broken and failed relationships into songs. I then started arguing with him–not in a serious way–but disputing other role models our daughters have had.
We moved on to the topic of Miley Cyrus and the fact that our girls were fixated on Hannah Montana for a long, long time. After Miley’s Disney stint ended, she sort of lost control and fell out of my good graces as a parent. Her outfits became racier; her behaviors became strange and very inappropriate–at least in my opinion; and her performances became very adult, too adult for her age. I no longer wanted my daughters to see her work, no matter how good it was artistically.
Now, move on to Taylor. If you think about it, I think “Damn” might be the worst curse word in her songs. Even Selena Gomez uses that one in “Whiplash.” In every picture I have ever seen of Taylor Swift, every video, she is dressed appropriately. Some even say she dresses as though she were older than her actual age. So, she always looks presentable, and her songs are great. To dispute my husband, I argued that her songs teach young girls not to get too hung up on failed romances, to move on and respect one’s self.
However, last week, Miley Cyrus came out with an interesting quote, Tweet, or something. I don’t quite remember how or where her words appeared, but I do remember reading about it online. And, once Miley made the comment, I started to wonder what the right choice might be. Now, I certainly do not agree with Miley’s latest–dancing on stage with strippers. But, her quote mentioned the fact that she herself has been in a long relationship, a three-year relationship that has turned into an engagement. She points out that while her stage tactics and appearance may be suggestive, her personal life really is not. Now, I also disagree with that somewhat; I do recall seeing pictures of her and a certain “legal” plant as well as the birthday cake she presented to her fiance. However, she did cause me to stop and think about Taylor.
Taylor has had many highly publicized romances in a short period of time. And, even if the news media did not accentuate the romances, her songs certainly confirm them. And while none of us truly knows what goes on within a relationship, dating older men such as John Mayer and Jake Gyllenhaal probably does not consist of simple hugs and hand holding. So, onto my dilemma: Which songstress is the better role model of the two?
Are either of them worthy of the title role model? I don’t know, but for some reason, I still can’t disassociate Taylor from the title of “America’s Sweetheart.” I don’t know what it is about her, but I just love the girl. I try to be involved in some of the same interests as my daughters as a means of connecting, but if I were 22 and able to switch lives with anyone, I think I would choose Taylor! Granted, I would not have dated John Mayer, but I certainly would have taken Jake!
At any rate, I would love for some others to weigh in. I know many people feel that the life of celebrities should be their own and should be kept private. However, I disagree. If it weren’t for the public, they would not be where they are. If it weren’t for their fans, they wouldn’t have the multi-million dollar contracts and homes they possess. And, as a mother, I like to stay on top of these topics. So, as I am touting Taylor as the “girl next door” type, Miley is suggesting that I am stereotyping her due to her actions and appearance. I guess I am just looking to see what other mothers or anyone in general thinks. I think I will still love Taylor, no matter what. But I have to give Miley props; she did make some very valid points. And, she did cause me to stop and think about my previous beliefs.