Taylor Swift Makes Me Smile

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you this breaking news:

Taylor Swift is awesome. 

The Grammy-winning country-pop star’s new music video, Mean, makes a powerful anti-bullying statement, spinning a tale about kids who were picked on at school—including a pink boy who was terrorized by the football team—growing up to be happy, strong, successful adults.

I needed a dose of happy-outcomes-are-possible, having just read a Psychology Today article about how childhood bullying leads to adult PTSD. Just listening to Mean makes me feel lighter. Swift sings:

Someday I’ll be living in a big old city
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean

Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean

Her sentiment may be somewhat simplistic and retaliatory—it’s not exactly Let’s teach everyone how to be the best person they can be—but she’s 21 years old, so I’ll cut her some slack. Plus her singing voice is gorgeous and I’ve been content to have her music run through my head all week.

And since you probably noticed that Taylor Swift has fabulous teeth, I’ll also mention the recent Trident Gum commercial in which a girl is putting makeup on her little brother.

It’s not nearly as awesome as The J. Crew Ad, because the mother looks kinda unhappy about the makeup situation, but I’m still enjoying that a big American company put a boy in makeup on TV. And that big American music stars are singing about boys like that.

So Taylor Swift, I like your teeth. I like your music. And I really like your message.






  1. says

    That’s awesome! I hadn’t seen the Trident commercial, but how cool! I had been meaning to write to J Crew and thank/support them, but instead went and spent an insane amount of money at one of their stores on Easter. Money talks! :)


  2. Elena Kelly says

    I have a love/hate relationship with your writing. I love what you say, and how articulately you describe what life is like for transgender folk. But I hate that it takes me so long to read even short works like this because the tears make it hard to see the screen. Bless you Sarah. Bless you so very much.

  3. says

    I didn’t know why I was putting off reading this entry, I only knew I didn’t want to read it. Today I have some time to myself, and a moment when the house is quiet. Weird how a seemingly fluff (from your title) piece packs such a solid blow punch something not violent but right on.

    A single tear keeps dropping out of my left eye, even after I read the psych today article and watched Taylor sing. I know I have PSTD, both from a horrid bully and from bullying within my household … most days it is nothing, but sometimes it really keeps me from being my whole self. But that article puts the official stamp on it, and the vid asks that question, Why you gotta be so mean.

    Sometimes it is easy to default into that mean, even though it continues the cycle. It is an every-day battle to refuse the impulse. Practice makes perfect, but I love that reminder. Thanks for this post. I needed it.

  4. says

    My kids & I watched the Country Music Awards on CMT last week and we too have had “Mean” running through our heads (yeah, & mouthes!) all week! We love it! And I soooooo appreciate the message it sends. I HATE a bully! – of any age, of any kind.
    I’ve only just found your blog and am reading through the entire Bully Series. I have to tell you, I am very touched and saddened by what your child and your family is going through. I wish you all the best …. And on those bad days, just keep singing Hun! :)

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