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Taylor Swift: A Role Model For All Girls

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In my AP Psychology textbook, the authors devoted time to talk about the importance of role models. So, I got to thinking: Who in the news makes a good role model for girls?
Is it Paris Hilton with her sex tape? Is it Miley Cyrus with another scandalous photo? Is it Britney Spears? If I believed in behaviorism, I'd have little hope for any young girls to grow up and do something important.

Then I thought of Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift is a country artist whose L.A. concert sold out in two minutes, a record for the Staples Center. She has released two hit CDs with songs like "White Horse," "Tim McGraw," and "Teardrops on my Guitar." Her newest CD, Fearless, had the largest opening U.S. sales week in 2008 by a female artist in all genres of music. She's only 19 and she's already that successful.

But it's not enough for people to just be famous to make great role models. Miley Cyrus is super successful, but I wouldn't want my kids looking up to her. If I had a kid, which I don't because I'm 17, I'd stay far away from Hannah Montana. I'd buy my kid a Taylor Swift CD.

For starters, she's not releasing any dumb photos of herself that are so bad people are suing her. Miley Cyrus, on the other hand, is being sued for offending Asians.

Second, she's pretty clean cut. Taylor told Rolling Stone that she's never experimented with cigarettes or drunk even a bit of alcohol. She even lives with her parents still, in the same room she lived in when she was a baby.

Third, she doesn't put up with stuff from bullies. When people treated her rudely, she got over it and didn't let it affect her. She uses that negative energy for good. "As I was setting up my equipment to sing karaoke at the town summer festival, the kids would shout horrible things." Taylor told Self magazine, "The only thing I can do is look back and thank [those classmates]. If I hadn't been so driven to music because I didn't have anyone to hang out with, if I hadn't written songs because I didn't have anyone to talk to, I wouldn't be sitting here right now." That's something we can all learn from. I really admire that.

Taylor Swift has vowed she won't be another Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan. And, yeah, I realize all the celebrities say that, but I honestly believe Taylor Swift. Plus, she hasn't done anything bad to make it seem like she's going to the dark side. Right now, Taylor Swift is an inspiration to all girls.

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  • Jordan Richardson

    Let’s hope, for the sake of young women everywhere without access to literature or art or family or friends or other sources for role models, that Taylor Swift doesn’t dare make the Mistake of all Mistakes and be human.

    Instead of telling my hypothetical children that someone like Taylor Swift ought to be a role model because she’s allegedly clean-cut, doesn’t drink, and doesn’t take silly photos, I’d teach them that nothing in the shimmer and shine of Hollywood fakery is quite what it seems and that people make mistakes. Thankfully the majority of us don’t have our mistakes broadcast to the entire world!

    :)

  • ~dieba~

    100% agree..
    with your opinion..

  • mimi

    hate Taylor Swift she´s so stupid!

  • mimi

    [Edited] what’s up taylor is not stupid

  • Jane

    I totally agree. At first I thought oh here’s a respectable girl. I was wrong. She has turned into a complete disaster. Taylor Swift I hope will not follow the same path many young superstars follow. She is the perfect person to look up to. Plus, I absolutely love Love Story. Best Song Ever!!!!!!

  • camron

    febuary 20th,2009 @ 13:43pm -mimi your so mean who agrees with me or mimi write her name or my name for a awnser

  • carissa

    Taylor swift is my favorite person ever because her music can relate to just about any girl and she is the best role model I know of! Would you rather have Venessa Ann Hudgens? I don’t think we need nude girls running around and Taylor is teh All American Girl!

  • kristal

    if you are lookink for a actor i will do it im 10 years old

  • anonymous

    this shouldnt be for criticism of anyone, quit saying bad crap about all of them and mind your own dam buisness, all of ya

  • anonymous

    mind your own business all of you, who cares what these girls do in their life, worry about yourselves

  • bella

    I think Taylor Swift is a pretty good role model for young girls.Miley Cyrus use to be mine, not any more!

  • marie

    I am so with you! (= I never really liked country music, but Taylor Swift changed that. I absolutely adore her songs and her as well! I’m actually writing a report on her for my english class as my Influential Role Model.

    <3 and btww: i love the pittsburgh steelers as well! haha sorry randomm.

  • rdot

    And I stare at the phone and he still hasn’t called
    And you feel so low you can’t feel nothin at all
    And you flash back to when he said forever and always
    Ohh ohhh
    And it rains in your bedroom everything is wrong
    It rains when you’re here and it rains when you’re gone
    Cause I was there when you said forever and always

    —do you really think she is a good role model when she is sending young girls the message to base their sense of self worth on whether or not a boy calls them?

    or:
    Of all the girls tossing rocks at your window
    I’ll be the one waiting there even when it’s cold…Can’t help it if there’s no one else
    Mmm, I can’t help myself

    so in this song she is obsessing over a boy, throwing rocks at his window in the cold (a bit much?) and says that there is no one else…no more fish in the sea for taylor.

    And I was crying on the staircase
    Begging you please don’t go,…But you were everything to me
    I was begging you please don’t go…Romeo save me I’ve been feeling so alone
    I keep waiting for you but you never come
    Is this in my head? I don’t know what to think

    the recurring theme in her songs are that she is boycrazy and needs a boy’s approval to validate herself…

    she is sending the message that girls should be submissive and obsess over a boy’s approval

  • Nobody

    Not ALL girls. My daughter is ten and HATES I mean HATES her music. She says she would rather be in a “fatal car crash than listen to her music.”(I lnow they don’t mean 100% of every girl alive but still… )

  • Nobody

    Also Love Story is her most hated song.

  • james

    taylor is THE ultimate role model for the young generation

    WHether or not you (or your daughter) likes her music should not affect her “role model status”/

    -she is successful at 19
    -she’s not a drug addict of has problems with alcohol
    -She’s making sure that she keeps her legs closed when she gets out of cars!
    -And she is just…well, normal.

    “so in this song she is obsessing over a boy, throwing rocks at his window in the cold (a bit much?) and says that there is no one else…no more fish in the sea for taylor.”

    rdot, i think your being “a bit much”. If you take the time to learn about her she had a very awkward childhood where she was not as gorgeous as she is now. She’s just talking about her experiences and honestly thats about as G rated as it gets these days. 1m a 16 year old guy and i think she is one of the most respectable young person in the spotlight.

  • Nobody

    James, from what your saying because she is acting how people should is no reason for her to be role model. Sure being successful at 19(why, I have no idea)is nice, not being a drug addict and not drinking before 21 is what a lot of people do! To that keeping legs closed thing, well duh! I mean she could just wear pants, but keeping legs closed when wearing skirts or dresses is common sense! I did all of those things!(well i wore pants but still) I wasn’t like super successful at 19, but I had a job and was living somewhere! From what your saying I’m pretty much THE ultimate role model for this young generation.

  • eve

    i love love taylor swift !
    And i am with you all the way!
    She has clean cut tune’s and
    does not dress badly!
    Her tune’s are the best in the world
    so here’s the a yes to taylor!

  • Mia

    She’s bound to make mistakes…but I don’t think it can be to the extent that other female celebrities have made. I think she is very respectable and a good role, I’m definitely thankful for that. But when you think about, a lot of mistakes made by female celebrities (paris hilton, lindsay lohan) required a lot of effort.

    On a side note, I also think Hilary Duff and Beyonce is are awesome in characters for the most part, though their videos are a bit mature.

  • Mia

    I apologize for writing so poorly

  • wo w

    i hope taylor swift wont go on the bad stuff like other celeb did and that she stays being a rolemodel evan when she’s 21 that she can drink i hope she chooses not to when she’s that age

  • http://guytanoparks.blogspot.com Guytano Parks

    Thank you for an eloquently written post about Taylor Swift (and quite impressive at age 17). America: In Taylor Swift, we have our sparkling young, talented yet humble, gracious and inspirational role model. Congratulations for all of your deserved success, Taylor; I suspect that we have not yet seen or heard the heights to which you will unquestionably soar!

  • holly=)

    taylor is an awesome role model for teens, and u all know it even thow yall are talking bad about her you know she is a great person. ya are all jealos thas why you dont admit how good of a person she is.

  • emilie

    Since when are you a good role model because you aren’t overtly sexual, racist or rude? The qualifications should be a little higher.

  • julia

    i have to write a essay on a role model and she wouold be the best to write about.

  • skylor

    wow! all of you stop! listen to your selfs you so caught up in juding ppl! before you jude anyone look in the mirror. nobody is perfect not miley,brittany,lidnsey nobody. wow big deal taylor hasn’t poped yet but she might but even if she does i will still love her and her music so all of you just shutup and stop actin like you mrs.perfect! gah!

  • lol <3 <3

    Everyone STOP hating on Taylor Swift! Sure most of her songs are about boys but there beautiful and pure poetry. like any of you could do any better than she could! being a singer/songwriter is her dream. let her live it without being called a bad role model. Because she isn`t.

  • CECILY

    TAYLOR SSWIFT IS A BEATAFUL WOMEN AND ALWAYS WILL BE

  • Jennifer Padilla

    I can say to the world that Taylor Swift has changed my life. Ever since I discovered her music, I have changed so much as a person. I am happy with my curly hair, and I don’t need to straighten it to be beautiful. I taught myself how to play the guitar because of her, and I can play and sing all of her songs. I learned I don’t need to accomodate the way that I am to fit in with everyone else. Her song “Fifteen” is so beautiful and true– and it turned my life upside down. Thank you so much Taylor.

  • SB

    “Since when are you a good role model because you aren’t overtly sexual, racist or rude? The qualifications should be a little higher.”
    –emilie

    It’s not just that. She has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to schools and the Red Cross. He donated huge amounts of her record sale profits to the red cross and organizations helping victims of the Iowa flood.

  • Alexandra

    I don’t see the point of having celebrities as role models for young girls when there are so many great and important people in history (writers, scientists, artists, etc) and people living today (human rights activists, Nobel prize winners, etc) who have achieved great things in their lifetime.

    A singer/actor might be a wonderful person, but they’re still just entertainers promoting an image.

    PS. Young girls could also have male role models (and young boys can have female role models). There’s nothing wrong with that, either.

  • http://autumnballerina.blogspot.com MelLovesTay

    Hey all haters out there go get a life man. Why are you wasting your time reading up about Taylor if you hate her so freakin’ much? She didn’t let success brainwash her and do all the stupid things that other celebrities do, and she always reminds herself to behave appropriately because her fans are looking up to her. She always thanks her fans and staff and family and friends for their help and support. She always writes songs that people can relate to and never put rated stuff into her MTVs. So here you go, she’s not self-centred or ungrateful or slutty, and a bunch of other Hollywood-typical stuff too. I love your perfectly good heart, Taylor, forever and always. Stay beautiful!!!

  • Kassidy

    I think that Taylor is the perfect role model. Who doesn’t like her??! & She sings such great songs!! :) Taylor all the way

  • Donny

    I agree 100%… she is beautiful outside AND in. Beautiful, talented, and the sexiest thing of all: she has integrity… this last one is a rare commodity these days.

  • ayah

    i love taylor swift and i think she iz just da BEST i dont cear about what people think of her but she is a great role model=)

  • gdb

    tayior is a good kid noone should be arole model for are kids as parents that what we are to do . teach your kids wrong and right and look up to god cause we all will mess up sooner or later

  • jesus freak!!!!!!

    i love taylor swift and she is a wonderful role model no matter what anyone says its more of an opinion and the best role model out there is jesus christ and that is a fact taylor swift i have learned everything there is to learn about her and she rocks im 12 years old and i can sing and my mom says i sound just like her i would love to meet her in the future!!!!!!!!! jesus freak is out!!!!!

  • jesus freak bff ! ! ! !

    Omg jesus freak you are sooooo right and you can sing too i heard you sing and you sound just like her too and Taylor Swift is awesome so for all of you girls that think shes bad i bet you cant even sing soo yall should just shut yall mouths up anyways shes a good role model too!!!!!!!JESUS FREAK IS OUT TOO!!!!!!!

  • jesus freak!!!

    hi mariela umbrella verela!!!!!

  • jesus freak bff!!!!

    hey crystal may cassell wuz up buttercup?????????????????????

  • <3lala<3

    I agree with ‘MelLovesTay’ If you hate Taylor Swift that much then why are you reading things like this about her??? She is a great role model and she is someone that everyone can learn from. you don’t have to ‘love’ her songs, but dont be such haters for her. she has done amazing things for goodness sake, shes only 19

  • Emily

    Taylor Swit rocks!

  • sierrapaul

    I love Taylor, and I also think that Carrie Underwood is a good role model for young people, although being in her late 20s she is perhaps too old for teenagers to look up to now.

    But Carrie really had strong academics, graduating from college Phi Beta Kappa in a business major, which has no doubt has helped her greatly managing her own career.

  • maura

    i just love taylor swift! she is my role model and i look up to her (bc im only 12) and i have to do an essay in english class about a role model and i chose her!!!!! i

  • Micheala

    I agree 100% and I certainly look up to her too. I love her music and her songs are for real, noy just the same sentence repeated over and over again. Dear John I see it all now that your gone……………..

  • Katrina

    I’m 15 years old, and i look up to taylor swift, and to be honest at my age i’m the most influenced by celebrities,the thing about taylor is she sings about everything teenage girls go through and she knows exactly what is going on in our heads, she may not be seen as “cool” but she has shown herself to be true and talented, she said recently in an interview “teeagers rebel, it what they do, but why does rebelling mean that i take inappropiriate photos of myself, get drunk and take drugs, to me, that’s not cool” and to any girl that has sense, she’s 100 percent right,

  • Katrina

    i know i’ve commented already but i saw a comment earlier and i wanted to add, i’m 15 as i’ve said before, but just because people have made mistakes doesn’t mean teenagers shouldn’t look up to them, one of the hardest things in life is making a mistake and picking yourself back up from it, when you make a mistake you are upset and you feel stupid but role models who aren’t perfect are sometimes better than those that are, and taylor swift refuses to admit she’s perfect and that’s the best part, she’s a real girl, not a fake.

  • Mary

    I don’t think Taylor Swift is a good role model. She is selling this sort of “fairy tale” romance which isn’t very realistic. Taylor Swift marches out looking like a barbie doll with her simple four-chord song playing in the backround, and tells young girls that the cute guy is going to fall for her. It’s extremely romantic, but as the school guidance counceler, I have seen a lot of girls depressed because they can’t look like her and get the cute guy every time.

  • Morw

    ?m definitelly agree with you ! ? think she is so pretty and also perFect personality, thats why she is my role model !

  • anon

    I respect everyone here but to my point of view everyone is a celebrity is not just Taylor swift or any other instead of looking at their life why cant we just be a role model by showing the right example to the people around so that they can follow our examples

  • Someone who likes Taylor :)

    I seriously enjoy listening to her music, I believe that she is a great role model, that’s my opinion so you don’t need to write horrible things about her… She hasn’t done anything wrong!! And also.. if you hate Taylor swift so much why are you wasting your time saying so? Seriously? You must be pretty lonely then.. She is a great INSPIRATION to teens world wide, what teenager doesn’t want to be famous at 19 and have millions of fans? …I know i sure would

  • Katie

    My family hates taylors swifts guts

  • lil

    i love taylor swift she is the best and all the bad stupied coments i think they are just mad that so many young ladys and men like her so all you haters why are you readying this anyways???

  • allie dimino

    Ok u know what yall shes an amazing person she says that be who u wanna be and dont let anyone stop u live life love and be happy i had to write a paper on whos a good role model and shes the first one that came to mind she gives girls advice if they r going through boy trouble and i think it would help when they get older. I love taylor swift and her music she is inspirational to many people

  • Aly

    Hey if u guys don’t have anything positive to say why u reading this stuff huh??Look you guys should just accept the truth and the truth is that Tay is a good role model everyday she thinks about what she does and how it Will influence people and she NEVER wants to mislead her fans . Look she a sweet girl still growing up leave her alone she is still a human being with feelings and a heart and I admire that she expresses them.And if she wants to sing about love she can she is allowed Her songs relate to a lot of girls too. We All Love her so very much so leave us and her be.

  • Aly

    @Katie it doesn’t mean that you can appreciate what a good Role model she is!

  • Rylee

    I think she is fabulous and yeah the reasons James listened should be followed its “common sense” but the thing is most girls dont. TEAM T-SWIZZLEEEE

  • luiui

    i like carrots

  • Allison

    It won’t kill taylor if she drinks a little bit when she’s older, don’t most people do that? I Mean at the age of 19 don’t most people drink?:3 I love her music! It’s just so … hard to desrcibe :P Each song has a beautiful moral. Don’t hate on Taylor when she grows up. Everyone grows up, don’t they? Everyone changes. Its a part of life. (: I personally. Lov every song she wrote. Sorry my spelling and grammar is messed up. Im only 11 and I’m on my phone so its hard to type :P

  • shirley

    i’m 11 so i’m jest saying that i love taylor swift and she is my role model.

  • shirley

    oh and allison
    taylor 22 now. this was made 3 years ago

  • Taylorswiftlvr13

    Shes 22 and still doesn’t drink or smoke or anything, in fact she is going to turn 23 soon,in December . I think that this proves that shes is a good role model. Her lyrics are true and they don’t include anything like swear words, stuff about sex, and drinking and all the things other singers do. She says that the people who put out songs in the radio are raising the next generation and that is completely true. Little kids are looking for support and what they hear is what they hear. She puts out honest lyrics, and if you ask me I say she is the best role model there is in our society. I love her so much and wish that one day I can meet her.

  • Sara

    I’m doing a research paper on her.

  • Shikinah

    She is so awesome!!!

  • Divania

    I juSt sAy thAt tAylOr sWift rOCkS aNd nO mAttEr wAt uR’ll sAy ,she’s still mAh rOle moDel!!!