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Wayland Student Press

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Wayland Student Press

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The first group of adults runs into the cold water during the seventh annual ice plunge for Elodie Kubik. Some wore swim caps in pink, which is Elodies favorite color. Some also wore caps that said Plunge for Elodie.
Wellesley holds its seventh annual ice plunge for Elodie Kubik
April 13, 2024
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Opinion: Taylor Swift’s fanbase is more than just screaming fans

WSPNs+Sophia+Verma+discusses+Taylor+Swifts+fanbase+and+the+effect+being+part+of+the+fanbase+has+had+on+her.
Credit: Sophia Verma
WSPN’s Sophia Verma discusses Taylor Swift’s fanbase and the effect being part of the fanbase has had on her.

Taylor Swift’s devoted fanbase, known as “Swifties,” are far more than just casual listeners of her music. They are a tight-knit community that regularly bands together to propel Swift’s releases and re-releases to new heights and record-breaking sales numbers.

When a new Swift album or re-recording drops, Swifties all around the world hold elaborate release parties to countdown to the exact moment the music becomes available. These parties, full of devoted superfans dressed in Swift’s merchandise eagerly streaming and purchasing the songs, help her achieve massive success right out the gate. When Swift released her Folklore album in 2020, diehard fans helped the record sell over two million copies in its first week in the U.S. alone. Even though this album was released during a pandemic, I personally wanted to do something fun to celebrate the release, so one of my friends and I planned a listening party on FaceTime and we were up past midnight streaming the album. It was so much fun and made us feel connected during that hard time.

The depth of Swifties’ devotion goes far beyond record sales, as the fanbase also acts as a genuine community and support system for its members, which goes to show how relationships and connections within this group over a shared issue or goal can blossom into real-life friendships. A time when I felt supported in this community was when I was going through a tough time in December a few years ago and some of my Swiftie friends worked together to surprise me with a notice from Swift’s management team, Taylor Nation, which made me feel really good.

A notable example of fans banding together was when they sued Ticketmaster and LiveNation and took the companies to court after the ticket disaster for Swift’s Eras Tour in November of 2022. They accused the entities of misrepresentation and fraud, and wanted the corporations to take accountability for their actions. When I first heard about this, I was shocked, as I did not expect or think that Swifties would take a multi-billion dollar company to court. However, I realized that they did it for a common goal, which was to find better ways to get tickets into the hands of fans. Furthermore, Swift herself nurtures the community aspect of her fandom, like when she created a platform called “B-stage” during her 2018 reputation Stadium Tour that allowed her to be closer to fans in the stadium. The Swifties’ over-the-top love of all things Swift says a lot about how exceptional they are as a fan community.

Beyond sales support and community building, Swifties are also civically engaged in causes aligned with Swift’s belief system. In October of 2018, when Swift broke her political silence to endorse progressive candidates Phil Bredesen and Jim Cooper for Senate and House of Representatives, fans quickly mobilized to support them. In September, Swift posted on her Instagram story encouraging her hundreds of millions of followers to register to vote. That post led to Vote.org recording more than 35,000 registrations, a 23% jump from last year. This made me feel very proud and thrilled, as seeing Swift use her political voice is one of the many things that I admire about her.

It’s no secret that Swifties feel an emotional, and almost spiritual bond to Swift, stemming from her confessional songwriting. I love how Swift’s emotionally honest songwriting allows listeners to feel understood, validated and deeply connected across the globe. For example, lyrics from “The Archer” resonate with fans who are struggling with self worth and confidence issues, but can also be interpreted to convey what betrayal feels like and how it makes someone fragile and insecure. When I listen to “My Tears Ricochet,” I feel confident and strong, which has helped me through some friendship breakups. The way that her lyrics can be interpreted to convey any emotion or feeling is amazing and beautiful to me.

The vulnerable themes in her lyrics foster a profound connection with many fans like myself, and the music can help us through hard times. In my personal experience, her music helped me a lot throughout middle school when I felt left out and was sad, had bad days and did not feel good enough. Because of her impact, I feel like Swift gets me in a way that no one else does, and having her and her music by my side for over 14 years has truly been unparalleled. Swift empowers her fans by demonstrating that even global superstars face the same self-doubts and pains as the rest of us. The openness in her songwriting forges a bond as strong as family between Swift and the Swifties.

It’s evident that Swift’s fanbase goes much deeper than surface-level musical preferences or frivolous celebrity worship. Her lyrics foster personal connections while her political awareness mobilizes impactful civic action. Swifties band together far beyond concerts and album releases, forming a tight-knit community that uplifts members through life’s struggles. This self-sustaining network proudly amplifies Swift’s messages of empowerment, acceptance and resilience to inspire society at large, and I am proud to be part of this network.

An example of a time when I felt empowered by the fangroup was when I read about Swift donating thousands of dollars to fans who were financially struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, during Swift’s shows in Brazil, Swifties came together to raise money for the family of a fan who passed away at one of the shows. The family did not receive any from the entertainment company, T4F, so the fans crowdfunded and ultimately ended up helping the family reach their fundraising goal.

Swifties are far from just casual listeners – they are an independent community of friends and advocates driven to spread light and radiate compassion in all efforts through Swift’s messages…and a force to be reckoned with.

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About the Contributor
Sophia Verma, Staff Reporter
Sophia Verma, Class of 2024, is a first year reporter for WSPN. She is part of the peer leadership program at the highschool. Outside of school she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, reading, going to concerts and watching movies. Contact: [email protected]
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