November 2, 2015
“Clean” — Taylor Swift
On Saturday (10/31/15) in Tampa, Florida, Taylor Swift made a beautifully inspirational speech about online bullies before this particular song, and if something moves us to tears, we need to share it with all of you.
“It’s hard to get those voices out of your head once they’re in there but the last couple of years, I’d say my favorite thing I’ve learned is that we are not the opinion of people who don’t know us or care about us. And you know when people say something to us it might stick in our minds, it’s almost like we’ve got these insecurities painted all over us because now we carry them everywhere we go, but the minute that you can learn to block out what people who don’t care about say to or about you, in front of you or behind your back, is the moment you look in the mirror is the moment you don’t see those things written all over you anymore. And you don’t feel like other people think that about you anymore. And in that moment, you’re clean.”
Unfortunately, there’s no way to upload the video this quote is from because it was sent via text, but the important thing is to take the message into consideration. Something we’ve always admired about Taylor Swift is how closely she not only interacts with her fans, but that she continues to showcase just how well she understands us all. She continues to be vulnerable in her music reminding us all that in order to be strong, you have to embrace all the feelings within. It doesn’t matter if you have 35 million followers or 2, at the end of the day, negativity is still shocking. One way or another, we’re all affected by it. What some people sadly don’t realize is that art in any form is not only subjective, but the person putting it out there is baring their heart. It takes strength to be vulnerable, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t mean that those of us behind the work aren’t human beings with feelings. As Swift points out, it’s hard to get negative voices out of our heads when they’ve been engraved there, and it’s especially hard if we already have insecurities to begin with. However, if you continuously try to remember that we are not who the mean voices say we are, it’s easier to pull through.
Fandoms can be a very negative place at times, often times when opinions clash, people forget that it’s okay to have different thoughts. Anonymous hate comes crashing in like a flock of angry birds and because we’re human, we find ourselves giving in to what they say. Sometimes, even when they do show their face and make assumptions about our character, we’re bound to question ourselves because it’s somehow easier to listen to negative remarks than it is to let the positive inspire us and make us better. We all have room to grow and improve, but we cannot do that if we’re not given the opportunity with kindness. We’re all ridiculously imperfect, but when we’re blindly criticized it’s easier to fall than it is to rise. However, where there are negative voices, there are always positive ones as well. There will always be people in the world that’ll remind you to tune out the voices that don’t matter — the voices who have no clue who you are as a person and what battles you face. At the very least, there will be one person who has your back and in this world, even that’s enough.
The truth is, those who are worth it will always be kind; they’ll uplift and they’ll inspire. We’re all surrounded by wonderful people — we need to make sure we love and treasure them as opposed to letting negativity take over us. We need to focus on the good. What we need to remember in life is that as long as we work hard and are kind to people, then negative opinions of our character don’t matter. We need to know our own value. Do yourselves a favor, beautiful people — take a moment to count your blessings and tell yourself that you are loved. It’s a good day to be positive. You deserve to shine. We all do. We are all so unique and we need to celebrate each other more often. We need to remember that it’s okay to be different and have different opinions for they don’t determine our character — the way we treat others because of those opinions is what does. It’s the biggest cliche in the world, but kindness costs nothing and if we spread it around like wildfire, we can play a part in making lives easier.
Now, do yourselves a favor, listen to “Clean” and let go of those who’ve hurt you. You deserve happiness. You deserve to love yourself. You deserve to be free.