Social Commentary of Taylor Swift


Taylor Swift’s song “Fifteen” has taste because it functions as a social commentary.  Swift wrote “Fifteen” because she wanted to tell the story of her and her best friend Abigail’s first year in high school.  This was important to her because she explains, “I felt in my freshman year, I grew up more than any year in my life so far.”  “Fifteen” constitutes social commentary because Swift wants to get her message across to young girls entering high school.  She warns girls not to fall for a boy just because he says he loves you, cautioning, “‘Cause when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you/You’re gonna believe them.”  Swift also wants to warn girls of the trap she fell into: thinking that high school is the most important time of your life and not seeing that you really have your whole life ahead of you.  She expresses this in her lyric, “This is life before you know who you’re gonna be”.  Additionally, she tells listeners what she realized after high school.  Even though dating the star football player may seem like the greatest thing at the time, Swift can speak from experience as she expresses, “But in your life you’ll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team”.  She admits, “But I didn’t know it at fifteen”.  To further teach girls that there are more important things in life than giving yourself to a boy you fall for, Swift tells the story of her best friend Abigail.  In her emotional lines, “And Abigail gave everything she had to a boy who changed his mind/And we both cried,” Swift forewarns others from giving themselves to someone and instead realizing their bigger dreams in life, as she eventually did. 


         In her video, Swift is shown walking back through time, as her present self walks through the story she shares about her high school experience.  The video mirrors the song, as she is reflecting on her past. 

Many people criticize Taylor Swift for writing whiny love songs about her past break-ups and all the terrible things men have done to her.  But “Fifteen” is not about a break-up, nor does Swift blame anyone in her song.  I think “Fifteen” is a mature song in which Swift admits to mistakes she made when she was young and shares the lessons she has learned.  I think it is positive social commentary because young girls especially can listen to these lyrics and be better prepared to not make the mistakes that Swift and Abigail did.    

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