Taylor Swift on New Years Eve: All About the Treble (NO BASS)

‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heart-breakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

I can’t help but speculate how much easier it must be to just “shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it off, shake it off,” when you not only look like Taylor Swift, but have her talent and intelligence.

Well here’s some more for her to potentially shake off.

New Years Eve 2015. New York City. Actual temperature 33 degrees Fahrenheit. According to ABC, it feels more like 15 than 33. And there’s Ms. Swift looking like she just left a Miami aerobics class.

A pan of the crowd and we see what’s really happening. All the shlubs of the world dressed in layers upon layers looking like they’re freezing their drunken asses off.

I love Taylor Swift. Especially the very conscious, positive messages she puts into her music. And while there’s little to dispute the fact that she is the full package: brains, talent, looks, and personality, I can’t help but find myself feeling completely disappointed by her insane and thoughtless (or purposefully thoughtful) choice of wardrobe. Maybe it’s because I’m a father of a fourteen year old girl. Perhaps it’s because at the age of forty-eight I can finally recognize that what she’s selling in terms of appearance is virtually unattainable and nothing more than an illusion. Whatever the reason, I’m bothered by it.

I know it’s common for her to dress as such and show herself off when performing. Why shouldn’t she? I would if I were her. But in the freezing, bitter cold? Seriously? Was this really necessary?

How is it possible that someone who comes across as so smart and so together doesn’t understand that people (kids in particular) look to her and formulate ideas and ideals about what good health and happiness look like? How can any person, let alone a young adult or adolescent, look at themselves and look at her and be happy with what they see? It’s not just the fact that she felt compelled to again show the world just how hot and toned she is, it’s the complete lack of understanding this blatantly self-indulgent and obnoxious wardrobe choice will have on anyone whose developing or struggling with a sense of a normal where looks and body image are concerned (which by the way is just about everyone under the age of 30).

Many will say that this is too much pressure and why should it be on her to have to concern herself with such a statement. She’s got the body for it. She’s young enough. She can do whatever she wants. And that’s very true. If she wants to risk pneumonia and dress this way, that’s her decision. Even if she does get sick or send a poor message, she can just shake, shake, shake, shake it off.

Regrettably, whether she wants to accept and understand the responsibility of it, the message is there. Burned into our subconscious. Whether anyone wants to believe it or not, this is reality and it doesn’t matter that it’s right or wrong, good or bad, smart or dumb, it just is. Meghan Trainor performed new years and despite the fact that she’s all about her bass, she had the good sense to keep her bass covered. And she was in LA where it wasn’t nearly as cold.

As a parent, I regularly discuss all of this with my children. That’s all I can do. I  tell them how wonderful they are and support and validate them. I promote healthy choices and proper diet. I attempt to teach them what good health and happiness look like. I also tell then when I think they do dumb and obnoxious things. If the situation presented itself, I would have no difficulty saying something like. “It’s inappropriate and stupid to wear a sports bra outside when the weather is below thirty-five degrees no matter how hot you are.” But unfortunately, with one picture being worth a thousand words, the images of Swift shaking it off in the freezing cold in a sleeveless crop top will definitely resonate much more powerfully than anything I can say.

So disappointing.

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