Taylor Swift- “Picture to Burn”
In one of Swift’s past works, she sings about an ex-boyfriend who according to the music video is now going out with someone else. Within her lyrics, she describes how she is planning her revenge. I argue that Swift is creating a female revenge fantasy in which she doesn’t wish to fight him physically as a man typically would, but she wants to burn his pictures and have her family and friends dislike him.
The Female Revenge
Swift is clearly upset with the break up in her lyrics, but by the end, her sadness turns in anger as she states, “you’re just another picture to burn.” While men want to get into actual fistfights, Swift says she wants to burn his pictures, convince her friends he is gay, and make him regret everything. She says, “There’s no time for tears, I’m just sitting here planning my revenge.” In her song, she has created a form of revenge known by many other country stars, such as when Carrie Underwood describes how she destroys her boyfriend’s car in her song “Before He Cheats.” Females plan out their revenge and most of the time it doesn’t involve physical harm, but as in Swift’s song, the revenge involves matches and rumors causing the guy to feel more humiliated than anything else. Now who know whether Swift actually did any of the actions, but that is the fantasy of her song. She is planning and dreaming of everything she would do to the guy.
Taylor Swift- New Romantics
In her latest song “New Romantics,” Taylor Swift has created a national anthem for our generation’s relationship woes. It is known that Swift has had a few problems with relationships in the past herself, but in “New Romantics,” she takes the approach of criticizing our idea of a relationship. I argue that Swift is using a form of irony to poke fun at the new idea of romance.
The Scarlet Letter
In a line of Swift’s song, she refers to people wearing scarlet letters and declares, “mine is better.” A scarlet letter, however, is “a scarlet A worn as a punitive mark of adultery,” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. The letter made famous by the book The Scarlet Letter is not considered an item to be proud of. Instead, one was warn with shame and punishment for the person’s adulterous ways. Taylor Swift is taking this idea and turning it into something good by saying that we all wear one and hers is better. She is poking fun at the idea of adopting the hook-up culture and not pursuing serious relationship. She adds to this idea of poking fun by saying “Heart break is the national anthem We sing it proudly.” Heartbreak is not something that people are proud of. It also alludes to the idea that we embrace heartbreak as a nation; however, we shouldn’t accept a nation where heartbreak and a scarlet letter is the norm. We should be singing anthems of wholeness and healthy relationships.
Swift has had enough experience to realize that everything she is singing is true; however, there shouldn’t be acceptance with these new ideas of romance our nation has created. She sings about them in all seriousness, but I don’t think she truly believes that this is the way our relationships should be. She is using irony to express her true feelings on this “new romance.”