Are stars like Taylor Swift and Katy Perry making a bad name for women? That’s the question posed by feminist Camille Paglia in a recent Hollywood Reporter article. She says these starlets do not promote strong female personas and therefore take us “back to the demure girly-girl days of the white-bread 1950s.”
Taylor Swift is particularly demonized for being too sweet. I guess that just goes to show that no matter what you do, everyone is a critic. What’s wrong with being nice? There are more than enough mean girls out there.
Feminism was supposed to be about bringing women choices and options to live their lives as they wanted to instead of being put into a socially acceptable box. I know it might be a foreign concept to some people, but there are actually women that like being “demure girly-girls.”
Besides, I’m sure Ms. Swift has a shrewd business sense, as evidenced by the fact that the 22-year-old raked in $57 million last year alone. She’s hardly the stereotypical subjugated housewife of the “man-pleasing era” of the 1950s.
Paglia criticizes Swift for a “persona of cultivated blandness and self-deprecation” in her TV interviews, and even swings a blow on her voice, calling it “monotonous.”
One doesn’t have to be a fan of Taylor Swift’s music or her public interviews to admire what she’s built. The girl is barely old enough to order a cocktail, yet she’s the third highest paid woman in entertainment, according to Forbes. She’s found something that works for her, and the public seems to like it.
What would Ms. Paglia have her do? Go to business school and climb the corporate ladder? Become an intellectual? Learn medicine just to prove that women can be doctors too? What is the ideal pinnacle of female empowerment?
I bet Taylor Swift likes her life just fine, and I for one am glad to see a strong young lady out there showing that you don’t have to choose between being a sweet, demure lady or a powerhouse. Taylor is clearly both.
What do you think -- is Taylor Swift a positive or negative role model for girls today?
Image via David_Shankbone/Flickr