‘She isn’t whoring herself out like a lot of other girls we see’: Identification and “Authentic” American Girlhood on Taylor Swift Fan Forums

  • Adriane Brown State University of New York at Oneonta

Abstract

This article examines the forum sections of two websites devoted to Taylor Swift fandom: Taylor Connect, Swift’s official website, and Amazingly Talented, a popular fan-produced website. Fans insist that Taylor Swift is an ordinary girl, and they continually suture her musical and extratextual personas by emphasising the autobiographical nature of her songs. Swift’s music and her media presence sell an image of an ordinary girl, enabling fans’ identifications with her. Fans assert that they “know” Taylor through her music and media persona and that Taylor’s relatable lyrics make them feel like she understands them deeply. However, Swift’s positioning as an “authentic” American girl subject is wholly tied to her status as a white, middle class, heterosexual, normatively feminine girl—characteristics that are repeatedly shored up through the lyrical and visual elements of her music and music videos and through fans’ insistence that she is a “good girl.”
Published
February 24, 2012
How to Cite
Brown, A. (2012, February 24). ‘She isn’t whoring herself out like a lot of other girls we see’: Identification and “Authentic” American Girlhood on Taylor Swift Fan Forums. Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network, 5(1). https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.31165/nk.2012.51.252