OPINION: Taylor Swift will always be polarizing no matter what


Netlfix banner for Taylor Swift’s documentary “Miss Americana” which premiered on the streaming site on Jan. 31. The documentary shows intimate parts of her life and what it is like to be a megastar. Photo via Netflix

Brooke Uhlenhop

I love Taylor Swift. A lot. And I am not afraid to say it. 

I have been a fan since 2006. I remember hearing “Tim McGraw” play on Radio Disney when I was 8 years old and I was hooked.

Just to establish my authority: I have seen her in concert nine times (three of which were on the “reputation” Stadium tour), met her in Arlington, Texas on Oct. 5, 2018 after her concert and have a tattoo of her lyrics. 

I might sound crazy but we all have our passions. Mine is just Taylor Swift. 

Taylor Swift and me along with two of my friends in the rep room after her second to last show of the “reputation” Stadium Tour at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Oct. 5, 2018. Rep room is her free meet and greet post show that fans get chosen for.
Photo courtesy of Brooke Uhlenhop

However, I am not one of those fans who blindly supports everything she does just because she is doing it. At the core, my belief system is calling out things I do not agree with.

For years, Taylor has been called a snake and people have always said she plays the victim, especially in relation to the Kanye West and Kim Kardashian phone call fiasco of 2016

Hate tweets about her were a common thing for years. They slowed down during the “reputation” era and the beginning of the “Lover” era (her newest album) and for the most part, social media was quiet about her. Until this month.

On Jan. 31, her documentary “Miss Americana” hit Netflix after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 23. The film showcased her personal life as a megastar and how her thinking processes have changed over the years. 

To be honest, I was nervous. It was being sold as Taylor finding her political voice and not being afraid to stand up for what she believes in. I was scared to see how the public would take that. 

Obviously, I was excited to get another movie about her but I was still nervous. I do not handle people being unnecessarily mean to Taylor very well. It hurts my feelings.  

One scene in particular made me hesitant. I knew people would have issues with it because she is Taylor Swift. 

Even if she is doing something good, people find some reason to hate it. 

The scene was about how she wanted to speak out and finally make a political statement, yet her team did not want her to. She spoke about the fear instilled in her ever since she was a new artist that she would end up like the Dixie Chicks or that people did not care about what she had to say. 

I doubt this person watched the documentary and saw how emotional she was talking about everything. The main plot point is that she cared too much about how she was perceived in the public but that now she does not.

She also talked about her regrets for not saying anything sooner and expressed that she wished she had before. But apparently that is not enough. It was a lose-lose situation. 

It is still funny to me that people thought she was a secret Republican even though she dated Conor Kennedy, grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, in 2012 and has a friendship with Ethel Kennedy.

 If speaking out about Marsha Blackburn, the Republican running for Senator in Tennessee, made Taylor’s father Scott Swift upset, he would not be too happy about his daughter being close with one of the most famous Democratic families in American history. 

She had more to lose from this than to gain yet people still said she was doing it for selfish reasons. 

That scene was tiny and even though people are upset, I am glad she included it. 

“I think that it is so frilly and spineless of me to stand on stage and go ‘happy pride month you guys’ and then not say this when someone is literally coming for their neck,” Taylor said in the documentary when preparing to post on Instagram about the midterm elections in 2018. 


View this post on Instagram


I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

That quote made me proud to be a fan. It was reassurance of what I already knew about her, that it was not just for show.

Whether you want to accept it or not, her words and actions have impact and meaning. 

Within 24 hours of her post, over 65,000 people registered to vote on vote.com and her Equality Act Petition has received over half a million signatures.

Her fighting for LGBTQ+ rights meant so much to her fans that it drowns out all the backlash she received for it.  

Society will never agree on if they like Taylor Swift or not but you can not discredit all the things she has done.

Also, stop telling me that you do not like Taylor or her music. Congrats. I do not care.