Monday, April 28, 2014

All You are is Mean

All you are is mean
And a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life
And mean, and mean, and mean, and mean

Taylor Swift. Her frank lyrics and strong spirit draws admiration from girls everywhere. And I admit, seeing her vintage dresses and elegant appearance did make me sigh in satisfaction. "Finally!" I thought to myself, "At last someone who isn't afraid to be honest and innocent." And although she cast aside her original squeaky clean, girl-next-door image you have to admit she's very very honest. Maybe a little too much so. Is she a women we ought to regard as a role model?

I heard my first Taylor Swift song five years ago. I remember sitting in the back of a coffee house, listening with rapt attention as two girls beautifully sang the wildly romantic song "Love Story". Actually, it was my parish activities center, but with a stage and lots of candles we transformed it into a passable coffee house. But back to Taylor Swift. I really liked her song. First of all, her voice is beautiful. Secondly, what thirteen year old girl wouldn't go crazy over a Romeo and Juliet story with a happily ever after finish? Seriously, it's every girl's dream to have it happen to her. So when Taylor first came out, I was in her camp.

But then I rather forgot about her. Sure, I would hear an occasional song on the radio or see her picture across the tabloids. But for the most part I simply regarded her as a talented country singer. Until recently, that it.

My family and I were on a painstakingly long trip and checked out some CD's from the library to help the monotonous drive along. One of the CD's we chose was Speak Now. Obviously we were familiar with some of her more popular songs, but when listening as the music played, we realized she just sounded bitter. My sister (who loves music and is usually very forgiving) skipped one the songs declaring, "I'm sorry, but I just can't listen to her anymore!" And I could see where she was coming from.

There's no doubt about it. Taylor Swift is beautiful, feminine, refrains from crude language, radiates confidence. Most believe her to be a Christian. Seems like the complete package, right? Then why am I writing this post at all? Because of the underlying message in all her songs. No, I don't think it's okay to date just for the sake of it. Her songs are bitter and cruel. They destroy rather than build up. In one song she's plotting revenge against that snobbish girl who steals the guy; in another song she becomes that girl when she stops the wedding by persuading the groom to run away with her. Ironic, isn't it? She's always the misunderstood heroine, and everyone against her is mean. At least, that's the way her songs portray the story.

What are the lessons we learned from Taylor? You have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince. Don't regard dad's advice (remember the whole tattoo line in Ours). And it's perfect alright to live with your man before marriage (Mine). Still think she's the wholesome example for girls everywhere?

We really must take a step back and think before switching on the radio. Enough compromising. Enough excuses. No matter how endearing her songs are, maybe its time to shift our focus elsewhere. There are so many Godly women to emulate.

What woman inspires you to become the best version of yourself? What virtues make her shine? Study her. Discover what motivates her. "The aged women, in like manner, in holy attire, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teaching well: that they may teach the young women to be wise..." Titus 2:3 Take instruction from Godly women, rather than a lovesick youth.

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