Joseph D'Adamo

Advisor Department





Music, Taylor Swift, Advocacy, Lyrics

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.


Ever since I was a little girl, Taylor Swift has been my favorite singer. I have grown up memorizing every word to every song and have yet to miss a performance when her tour routes make their way through New Jersey. My mother, a fellow “Swiftie,” and I have spent years decoding the hidden messages in her lyrics and music videos as if they were puzzles. At the ripe age of twelve, I aspired to be like Taylor, and at the age of twenty-two, she is still my idol. People have always told me I look like Taylor Swift, as we both have curly blonde hair and a similar body type. When I was younger, I would wear bright red lipstick and winged eyeliner in an attempt to emphasize our similar facial features. While some may agree that I resembled her physical appearance in her younger years, I also mirrored her views of love, loss, and loyalty. Her songs influenced me during my most impressionable stage. As I transitioned to adulthood, I grew a passion for writing and became increasingly analytical of the meanings behind her lyrics. I monitored the thematic changes from album to album and correlated the topics of her songs with her life circumstances. It was after the release of her most recent album, Lover, that I specifically noted her political opinions intertwined within her works. While I had not taken particular interest in politics up until that point, the spotlight she shone on the relevant issues of today's world, including gender inequality, sexuality and human rights, and social pressures inspired me to do my own research on each. The piece I have constructed explores these themes of gender inequality, sexuality and human rights, and social pressures through the lens of Swift, revealing the changes in her attitudes towards these societal issues throughout her career. It depicts both literal and figurative meanings of her lyrics, her music videos, and her interactions with the media. While the project serves as an analytical piece, it ultimately encourages readers to take a role in advocating for those who identify as members of the oppressed groups which are discussed.