Taylor Swift Is Not a Good Role Model (2024)

Taylor Swift is not just a pop icon; she's an economic powerhouse of epic proportions. When Taylor Swift comes to town, excitement grows, and cash flows. In fact, Swift is so influential that she has even birthed a new branch of economics called "Swiftonomics." Her current tour, the Eras Tour, has proven to be a veritable goldmine for host cities around the world, generating hundreds of millions in revenue and creating thousands of temporary jobs.

The American's merchandise sales are absolutely astronomical, with devoted fans, known as Swifties, eager to buy anything associated with her brand. And I mean anything, from T-shirts to vinyl records, keychains to phone cases. Her endorsem*nt deals with major brands also bring in inordinate amounts of money. When Swift endorses a product, it doesn't just sell; it thrives. A decade ago, she practically introduced Diet co*ke, then an incredibly tired brand, to a new generation of consumers. Taylor Swift wields immense power.

Although her economic impact is extremely beneficial, it's worth asking if Swift's influence extends positively to other areas. More specifically, is she a good role model for young girls in the U.S. and beyond? Numerous pieces have been written explaining why she is; I would like to offer some pushback.

Swift is now the most influential celebrity in America. Her popularity is staggering, and her position as a cultural colossus is unquestionable.

At 34, Swift remains unmarried and childless, a fact that some might argue is irrelevant to her status as a role model. But, I suggest, it's crucial to consider what kind of example this sets for young girls. A role model, by definition, is someone worthy of imitation. While Swift's musical talent and business acumen are certainly admirable, even laudable, we must ask if her personal life choices are ones we want our sisters and daughters to emulate. This might sound like pearl-clutching preaching, but it's a concern rooted in sound reasoning.

Taylor Swift Is Not a Good Role Model (1)

Swift's highly publicized romantic life has been a source of prime tabloid fodder for years. She has dated numerous high-profile men—at least a dozen—including the singers Harry Styles and Joe Jonas, the actor Jake Gyllenhaal, and, more recently, the American football player Travis Kelce. This revolving door of relationships may reflect the normal dating experiences of many young women in today's world, but it also raises questions about stability, commitment, and even love itself. Should we encourage young girls to see the "Swift standard" as the norm, something to aspire to? Or should we be promoting something a little more, shall we say, wholesome? Would any loving parent reading this want their daughter to date 12 different men in the span of just a few years? This is not an attack on Swift; it's a valid question that is worth asking.

The superstar's vocal criticisms of the patriarchy add another layer of complexity. Swift's recent rallying cry against patriarchal structures stands in stark contrast to her personal dating choices. The singer often dates strong, influential men—celebrities who embody significant social and economic power. This can appear hypocritical. Hypocrisy fundamentally undermines the ability to be a good role model because it involves a contradiction between one's actions and the principles or values they publicly advocate. Swift either doesn't realize this or doesn't care. Neither of the two is a good look.

With her massive global following (283 million followers on Instagram and 33 million TikTok disciples), Swift impacts how young girls around the globe perceive relationships and success. Her career, which has included numerous chart-topping songs and successful business ventures, is a testament to her work ethic and natural talent. However, the glamorous portrayal of her romantic life can send rather objectionable messages. Moreover, many of her lyrics often depict her as the victim. This might influence young women to adopt a similar perspective in their own relationships, be they romantic or otherwise. Swift is not a victim. She is the most popular musician of all time.

Read more

  • Taylor Swift—the Generous Role Model

Swift's numerous high-profile relationships, while private matters, are constantly in the public eye. New romances become media-feeding frenzies, while breakups fuel the gossip columns. This cycle of brief, intense relationships can unintentionally glamorize a type of romantic promiscuity where partners can be replaced as easily as toilet paper. Although breakups can hurt both males and females, it's the latter group that tends to feel more emotional pain. Swift makes breakups look easy. In reality, though, they are messy, painful affairs.

Young girls look up to—dare I say, even worship—Swift. They view her as much more than just a musician. The narrative of her romantic life, widely publicized and so often sensationalized, presents a certain image of what modern relationships should look like. This isn't about moralizing, but about discussing the values we wish to instill in impressionable individuals.

While it's true that young men need better role models, the same is equally true for young women. Swift and Kelce may last, and I hope they do. But, judging by her record, the odds aren't great. Swift's talent for sparking conversations, driving engagement, and raking in profits is commendable. Yet, admiration should not blindly follow. Her life, meticulously managed by a PR machine, represents a filtered façade rather than genuine reality. What young girls truly need, perhaps without fully recognizing it, are role models who provide both authenticity and actual depth, rather than artificial narratives and superficial glamor.

John Mac Ghlionn writes about social issues, technology, and the impact of media manipulation. Follow him @ghlionn.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

");jQuery(this).remove()})jQuery('.start-slider').owlCarousel({loop:!1,margin:10,nav:!0,items:1}).on('changed.owl.carousel',function(event){var currentItem=event.item.index;var totalItems=event.item.count;if(currentItem===0){jQuery('.owl-prev').addClass('disabled')}else{jQuery('.owl-prev').removeClass('disabled')}if(currentItem===totalItems-1){jQuery('.owl-next').addClass('disabled')}else{jQuery('.owl-next').removeClass('disabled')}})}})})

Taylor Swift Is Not a Good Role Model (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Patricia Veum II

Last Updated:

Views: 6350

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (64 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Patricia Veum II

Birthday: 1994-12-16

Address: 2064 Little Summit, Goldieton, MS 97651-0862

Phone: +6873952696715

Job: Principal Officer

Hobby: Rafting, Cabaret, Candle making, Jigsaw puzzles, Inline skating, Magic, Graffiti

Introduction: My name is Patricia Veum II, I am a vast, combative, smiling, famous, inexpensive, zealous, sparkling person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.