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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

An alt-girl in a Swiftie world

Some of Taylor Swift’s songs have the same themes I listen to as a general rule, but it’s the tone that sets them apart, and the reason why I’m not a Swift fan
There’s nothing wrong with Taylor Swift … she’s just not my favorite artist! AI image generated by Ariana Powell using Adobe Firefly on April 19.

Let’s get one thing straight, I have nothing against Taylor Swift. In fact, I grew up listening to her in her country era. I bopped along to “Mean” and “You Belong With Me” just like so many others.

However, after Swift departed from her country era, I lost interest. At least until she released “Look What You Made Me Do,” then I briefly returned to my Swift roots, cause … I mean … who wouldn’t? But I am as far from being a Swiftie as possible, and unfortunately, that puts a target on my back.

Once I left my Swiftie-ness behind, I began listening to artists such as My Chemical Romance, The Used, Palaye Royale, Falling In Reverse and a variety of other emo, hard rock, alt-metal, alt-rock bands. This established me as an alt-girl in a Swiftie world.

Not to mention the differences between Swiftie aesthetics and my aesthetics

As Swift reemerged from her blackout period, she sparked an even greater following and created a huge economic splash.

She has also embarked on a new path toward addressing mental health issues and suicidality, especially in her newest album “The Tortured Poets Department.”

The songs on this album are along the same themes I listen to as a general rule, but it’s the tone that sets them apart, and the reason why I’m not a Taylor Swift fan. 

And it’s the reason why I feel like I can’t tell anyone that I don’t like Swift, or more specifically her music.

I think everyone sees Swifties as being a recognized force, a group of people so emotionally and symbolically connected with Swift that they would do anything for her. Including defending her music to non-Taylor Swift worshippers like myself.

Whenever the fated question comes up — “Do you like Taylor Swift?” — and I answer meekly with “No” or “Sort of,” I’m often met with a scoff of derision and banished to the outskirts of the Swiftie biome. They answer like all the light has gone from their world.

Most of the time I’m not even given an opportunity to explain that I don’t dislike Swift as a musician, I just don’t align with her type of music. Or at least they don’t listen, because as soon as the fated question is asked, the shutters behind their eyes are closed for all to see.

Then of course, when I try to share what type of music I prefer, they give me a side eye. Which makes me wonder if Swifties’ dedication to Taylor Swift has clouded their ability to recognize that other music artists exist, or at least other types of music.

In social exchanges with Swifties, I’m not asking them to leave behind their dedication to Swift, but to simply not judge me or anyone else for not liking Taylor Swift like they do.

To read an alt-girl’s perspective on Swift’s album “The Tortured Poet’s Department,” go here.

Ariana Powell can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Ariana Powell
Ariana Powell, Editor-in-Chief
Ariana Powell is in her fourth year at Chico State as a media arts (criticism) and journalism (news) double-major. Now in her fourth semester on The Orion and having assumed the editor-in-chief position, she is prepared to continue helping upcoming journalists and endeavors to continue building her repertoire of multimedia and writing skills. In her free time, she enjoys writing, watching and analyzing films, reading and spending time with her loved ones.

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