Can Taylor change the world?
On Saturday 27th June Taylor Swift performed at Hyde Park, London as part of the British Summer Time concerts; an experience enjoyed and shared by 65,000 individuals, but what made this different from every other concert I hear you ask? How could this be better than Glastonbury? Well that is simple, I feel that Taylor might just change the world!
During her set Taylor offered some wise words of wisdom for her intent listeners, she understood what they were all about. She recognised her own power and place that she has founded in society and the influence her, and others like her must have on individuals, in particular those of us consumed by the digital age. Taylor addressed the important issue that we follow newsfeeds not to feel excitement for our friends but to put ourselves through jealously. She reminded us all that these newsfeeds allow us to be on the outside looking in, but we will only see the highlights from those peoples lives; the good times, not the trouble and the raw emotions that goes on behind closed doors that we never see. But we forget this. Taylor reminded each and every one of those 65,000 people that they never see the highlights from their own lives, which others will feel jealousy for; they only see the here and now, the experiences they are living day to day. Taylor reminded these individuals that the moment right then was a highlight, every single person present was surrounded by like minded people who weren’t judging them for who they were or how they looked, but instead found comfort in the experience of being able to let go and for a few hours forget about everything.
Taylor spoke of the importance of friendships and the value they bring in building ourselves up and getting through each battle. Being a rock for each other, no matter what the problem might be. She reminded everyone that we could not all be more different and that is because they are all individual and they should not dwell on what they haven’t achieved or what they look like or don’t look like, because being unique is what defines us all.
So why is this so important?
I attended the concert on Saturday and I watched how everyone around me took something from Taylor’s speech, they recognised something in themselves, a vulnerability perhaps, which for a brief moment was visible to everyone around them. Yet this didn’t cause everyone to burst in to tears but instead unite them, in respecting one another, realise that anything is possible but you have to live for the now. You can’t predict the future and if you don’t live for today, well you can’t always see what is in front of you, you can’t get out of the woods.
I saw hundreds of young girls and women around me dressing as Taylor does and taking mental notes of every outfit she wore in the hope of recreating it later. But what Taylor did which which others often seem scared to do is remind these girls they aren’t her. They are free to do as they feel right and don’t have to feel pressured to look like her in size, shape, dress, lifestyle… But instead they can be individuals and they will flourish. She empowered those young people not to stand on the outside of other people’s lives envying the newsfeeds of their lives and instead embrace the reality of theirs and their closest friends; she reminded them to take a minute to help and empower others not put them down or even themselves.
In doing this Taylor told each and everyone of those 65,000 people to build their own self esteem and not be taken in by peer pressure or the pressure of society but instead embrace being themselves. She made it clear that she was not perfect and even she has insecurities. This is how Taylor might just change the world, she reminded us all it is ok to different and uncertain. She reminded us that bring conscious of the things we want to change about ourselves will not make life better or easier, only harder. She took some of that pressure off the people there on Saturday and this is something that others who clearly are suffering as a result of industry, life and spotlight pressures seem to fail to do. They come across as perfect 24/7 and the minute anything is remotely out of place the press latch on to it. So far I have not seen one page of press about this event mention Taylor’s empowering speech, nor hoe she will change the future of many young people, perhaps even save someone’s life. Instead they have all covered what she wore and listed the celebs she was seen with. But not about the important message of friendship, self- belief and living for the hear and now.
A friend has been having a tough time lately, leaving a lot of us worried; yet I can genuinely say that the Sunday after Taylor’s speech (which she couldn’t stop talking about) was the first time I have seen her properly laugh and smile for 12 months. She was starting to take control of her own life and plan her own path in life. Taylor took some of the weight off her shoulders on Saturday and I bet she did the same for many others.
So the question is how much will Taylor change the world as we see it now?