I have come to realise that it is inevitable for people to complain about what other people are doing and twist truths and situations to fit their scenario, but after watching Taylor Swift’s new music video for her single ‘Shake It Off’ and then reading the YouTube comments and articles responding to it, I feel as if I’m losing faith in the general public. Taylor Swift has been dubbed the ‘New Miley Cyrus’ and has been criticised for being cringe-worthy, offensive, even racist, and someone who has bowed down to popular culture’s traits.
But, to me, this video celebrates all the different forms of dance performance and highlights the skills of these dancers. Sure, there might be some twerking involved, and that might not be appropriate, but she’s illustrating it as a legitimate and talented piece of art and culture. In fact, whilst doing this, she makes fun of herself and owns her flaws; she shakes off the negative comments and she does her own thing anyway. Isn’t that what we should be encouraging everyone, especially young people, to do?
Even if we decide to stay away from the video, can’t we appreciate the song itself? Taylor Swift inspires her listeners and fans to be the stronger person, to find inner confidence, and to embrace our way of life no matter what others think, by brushing off their negativity and scrutiny of things they don’t understand. She said in an interview with the Guardian about negative comments: “You can either go crazy and let it make you bitter and make you not trust people, and become really secluded or rebellious against the whole system. Or you can just shake it off and figure that as long as you’re having more fun than anyone else, what does it matter what anyone else thinks?” With this mindset, we can be much more positive people, live our lives the way we want to, and leave the fear of other people’s opinions behind.