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happy jack


Posts : 6339

PostSubject: People who shouldn't be parents   8/18/2011, 11:37 am


Parent Regrets: Why I Wish We Never Had Gone to See Taylor Swift

Posted: 8/16/11 01:12 PM ET

A note to moms: If you're thinking about taking your daughters to see Taylor Swift as their first concert, and maybe your first show since the Indigo Girls in 1996, please don't. If you're thinking you'll see a sweet Southern singer/songwriter on stage with her guitar, a few pretty dresses, and simplistic but heartfelt lyrics, you won't.
The overwhelming message of the Swift concert to the sea of girls ages 5 to 55: be pretty, be conventional, be quiet (well, it's OK to scream for me), and definitely put on some lipstick.


My 10-year-old girl stood rapt on her chair, taking in everything. Like most of the girls (except the 13 year old making out with her boyfriend in the row in front of me) she loudly sang along with each song.
I didn't expect Taylor Swift to make any radical, edgy, feminist remarks, but I also didn't expect Gidget meets the Little Mermaid. What an incredible platform for Swift to say something as simple as "Girls rock!" or something even crazier like "Love yourselves!"
Instead, she finished each song by looking wide-eyed into the crowd and noting how "amazing" it was that so many people came to the show and how "beautiful" everyone looked (incredible how she could see people with all those lights in her eyes).
Maybe my family got the vacuous experience we deserved. That would be true if it were just a benignly bad concert experience. The problem is that it was an insidious concert experience that emphasized everything but the artist's voice -- the flowing fairy dresses and saccharine monologues covering up Swift's real power. Covering up girl power.
The best moments were rare authentic ones with Swift's top lip a wee bit sweaty, hair oh-so-slightly disheveled, strumming "Mean" on a banjo and later "Fearless" on a ukulele. That's what we had come to see, but it was fleeting.
As the house lights came on, my older daughter, age 12 and a half, gave me a deflated, knowing look. My younger daughter was tired but managed to quietly gush: "I loved it." My son loved his glow stick.
I hope more discerning parents than us might think twice about Swift tickets. Better to have to explain the explicit sexuality of someone like Gaga and her "Born this Way" message than to have to undo the message of female powerlessness -- especially from an artist who is so fervently emulated by girls. If you have tickets already, perhaps you can prep your music lover. It's sort of like a game of I Spy: look hard and look deeply for Swift's voice. It's there, just buried in the fluff.
Speak Now tour? More like Speak softly and smile a lot.

Better to have to explain to a 10 year-old the explicit sexuality of Lady Gaga than the wholesomeness of Taylor Swift?
I guess this woman didn’t feel that the concert met her standard of man-hating militant feminism.

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