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More Than a Rock Star: Miss Americana Documentary about Taylor Swift

You don’t need to be a Swiftie to enjoy Taylor Swift’s Netflix documentary Miss Americana. Swift’s story will resonate with mothers and daughters regardless of whether they’re familiar with Swift’s extensive discography. (Though true Swifties will love it all the more.) In fact, Miss Americana is the perfect selection for a mother-daughter bonding session.

Swift Shares Successes and Struggles

Swift’s talent and passion for music shine throughout the documentary. Over the course of her 16 year career, the singer has reinvented herself, transforming from a country music singer to an international pop sensation. The documentary presents a side of Swift we haven’t seen before. It highlights her soulful creativity and vision through scenes of her writing song lyrics and staging her music videos.

Viewers will revel in Swift’s musical artistry, but the 30-year-old performer doesn’t shy away from the personal struggles she has experienced. She is candid about her issues with body image, the expectation to look good, and the disordered eating she’s experienced as a result. She makes a case about the dangers of societal norms for beauty and how damaging they are. (Even for a celebrated pop star.)

Swift presents an unvarnished view of the price of fame, which might leave some viewers reconsidering their rockstar fantasies. As Swift emphasizes, it is a challenge to feel good about yourself when you’re constantly being measured—and measuring yourself—against your past achievements. Despite her youthful image, Swift is well aware that the music business isn’t kind to mature women. She knows she may be nearing the end of the road of the current incarnation of her career.

Swift has found a way to use her public platform to speak up about issues that matter to her.

Pressured to “be quiet and just sing” as a teenager, Swift’s personal experience with sexual assault has made her a spokesperson for other survivors. She also risked losing fans when she spoke up about her political beliefs. But she revealed her passion and her commitment to using her own voice to help those whose voices are suppressed.

Miss Americana is, indeed, Taylor Swift’s coming-of-age story about a hardworking, strong, and thoughtful young woman who, slowly but surely, has come into her own and found her true voice. Though it remains to be seen what comes next for Swift, moms who are watching their teen daughters grow up will root for Swift to succeed in whatever she does. And teens who are finding their own voice will find a worthy role model in Swift.

Jody Podl

Jody has spent her life around teens, as a teacher and as a parent of three.

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