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Taylor Swift's 'Demure' Persona Doesn't Make Her a Bad Influence on Women

by Jenny Erikson on December 7, 2012 at 6:09 PM

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

Filed Under: celebrity, celebrity gossip, celebs, katy perry

Comments

18
  • butte...
    --

    butterflyfreak

    December 7, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    I think you meant role model, not roll model. And I don't want my daughter to look up to ANY celebrity for a role model, that is what I, and the other women in our lives, are for.


  • fleur...
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    fleurdelys3110

    December 7, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    I highly doubt she is as demure as she makes herself out to be in the public eye. Demure, shy girls do not go through strings of relationships with approximately half a dozen stars in about a year. 


  • Reepi...
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    Reepicheep.CSL

    December 7, 2012 at 6:27 PM
    Feminism isn't about women living the lives they choose, it is about living the life these women want you to live, regardless of what you want.
    Why do you think feminists don't applaud women who choose to stay home with their children and cook and clean for their husband?
  • expat...
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    expatalfa

    December 7, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    I'd prefer it if my daughter wanted to emulate Taylor than Rihanna but I'm not sure demure is the right adjective. At least she keeps her boobs et al in her clothes though (in public at least), I'll say that much.


  • SaphireH
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    SaphireH

    December 7, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    im sorry but celebs are not there to be role models for kids, thats what you as a parent should be doing same as like their grandparents. if your kids dont look up to you as a role model then its time to rethink how you are showing your kids how life should be. bouncing from one guy to the next and being skin and bones isnt something girls need to see and beating up their girlfriends isnt what boys need to be taught. boys and girls need to be taught by you as the parent to treat themselves and others with respect and that its ok to look anyway you want


  • Cee
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Cee

    December 7, 2012 at 7:09 PM
    Its not that she is demure, it is that she is fake. She fakes being demure, soft and sweet when she is really just playing this role of being a victim in all her relationships. If she owned up to playing a role in the demise of her relationships rather than sing about how they were jerks and she was so innocent, shed be more likeable.
  • tuffy...
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    tuffymama

    December 7, 2012 at 7:20 PM
    ^What they said. Also, Reepicheep is possibly more right on that's any commenter ever on the stir
  • tuffy...
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    tuffymama

    December 7, 2012 at 7:20 PM
    *than any
  • khaye...
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    khaye.perez

    December 7, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    she used to be demure, but look at her now, she jumps from one guy to another,not shy to be seen his guy had 2 nights sleptover in her hoter.not shy to be seen in public making out.


  • Estel...
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    EstellaHavisham

    December 7, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    "Why do you think feminists don't applaud women who choose to stay home with their children and cook and clean for their husband?"

    I see what you're saying, but the key word is "choose." Staying home was, of course, expected until -- in the grand scheme -- fairly recently. Feminists applaud choice that a woman freely makes. They abhor when a woman is forced into filling a prescribed role just because it's what society thinks she "should" be doing. If a woman chooses to stay at home because this is what she loves and wants to do, great. If she stays at home because this is what she believes she's supposed to do... not so great. For anyone. In any position. I can't speak for the alienating breed of feminists flitting around Jezebel, but for an average person who cares about women's rights, equality, and empowerment, that's it. 

    In any case, I don't see why celebrities are admonished for not being a _______________ (feminist, role model, upstanding citizen, etc). Surely that's not why they went into their specilizations. I'd be more concerned about hatred of Taylor Swift coming from this website. Prostitute! Whore! Skank! Slut! Now THAT is not feminism nor is it demure. 


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