Over Friday Netflix dropped the one hour and 25 minute documentary Miss Americana, that provides insight into the life of 30 year-old singer Taylor Swift. Tracing back all the way to her start in music around age 12, director Lana Wilson was able to show audiences a side to Swift they had never seen by going behind the scenes and diving deep into her emotions.
Unexpectedly, the one thing Swift did not reveal much of is the details of her relationship with English actor Joe Alwyn. In a very clever fashion, the inclusion of Swift sprinting to be rekindled with Alwyn was one of the rare appearances of him is enough to affirm their strength.
Previously afraid to express her true emotions and thoughts, Miss Americana is evidence that Swift is consciously trying to not care about what others think of her. She reflects on wanting to be a “good girl” and liked by all.
Loneliness is a strong theme throughout the film, with the only constant characters her team, family, cats, somewhat absent boyfriend and high-school friend Abigail (and most of us have friends from this time out of obligation). She also discusses her views on politics, the music industry, the patriarchy, her battle with an eating disorder and sexual assault, creating feelings of relatability and revelation in the public.
From someone with no music background, the documentary made me realise that I dismiss how hard it can be to work in entertainment. Her cadence when she receives news that she was not nominated for a Grammy made my stomach drop. I realised the pressure she has internally and externally to produce an exceedingly successful album is immense.
Sure, the documentary was undoubtedly contrived to help Swift’s reputation since her change from being the “good girl”. In saying that, it didn’t try to please everyone. Broadcasting her true self naturally attracts more audiences rather than her previous façade.
Miss Americananeeded to be made. To rebuild Swift. To humanise the celebrity. To pull apart the patriarchy. To politicise what needs to be politicised. To remind women, people, that they are not alone.