Taylor Swift Struggles to Find Female Role Models in Music
"I can’t find anyone, really, who’s had the same career trajectory as mine"
Taylor Swift covers Time magazine this week and she gets candid in the interview, speaking about the difficulties she has finding female role models in music. The singer also chatted about sexism in the industry and how she lives her life thinking of her future grandchildren.
Here are some highlights.
On why she doesn't have a female role model in music
"We’re taught to find examples for the way we want our lives to wind up. But I can’t find anyone, really, who’s had the same career trajectory as mine. So when I’m in an optimistic place I hope that my life won’t match anyone else’s life trajectory, either, going forward. I do have female role models in the sense of actresses like Mariska Hargitay. I think she has a beautiful life, and an incredible career, and I think she’s built that for herself. She’s one of the highest paid actresses — actors in general, women or men — on television, and she’s been playing this very strong female character for, what, 15 years now, something like that. And Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. I really love her business, and how she sticks to who she is, and how people relate to it. In other industries, I have female role models. I just struggle to find a woman in music who hasn’t been completely picked apart by the media, or scrutinized and criticized for aging, or criticized for fighting aging—it just seems to be much more difficult to be a woman in music and to grow older. I just really hope that I will choose to do it as gracefully as possible."
On people questioning whether she writes her own songs
"We all know it’s a feminist issue. My friend Ed [Sheeran], no one questions whether he writes everything. In the beginning, I liked to think that we were all on the same playing field. And then it became pretty obvious to me that when you have people sort of questioning the validity of a female songwriter, or making it seem like it’s somehow unacceptable to write songs about your real emotions — that it somehow makes you irrational and overemotional — seeing that over the years changed my view. It’s a little discouraging that females have to work so much harder to prove that they do their own things. I see Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea having to prove that they write their own raps or their own lyrics, and it makes me sad, because they shouldn’t have to justify it."
On living her life based on what her grandkids would say one day
"I’m sure there will be things that my grandkids make fun of me for no matter what, but I’d really rather it be 'Look how awkward your dancing was in the ‘Shake It Off’ video! You look so weird, Grandma!' rather than 'Grandma, is that your nipple?'"