If there's one thing that is certain in this world, it's that Taylor Swift knows a thing or two about growing up in a very public and brutal spotlight. She released her first album at the ripe old age of 16, and nothing has ever been quite the same for her since. She's 26 now, which is still very young, but she has always seemed to be much wiser than her years suggest, and I have no doubt some of that is because of her meteoric rise to fame at such an early age. In yet another seriously cool accolade to add to her list, Swift is Vogue's May cover star, and she welcomed the magazine into her seriously gorgeous Beverly Hills home for their famous "73 Questions" segment. Of the 73 questions, one in particular sticks out, not because of the question itself, but because of the heartfelt answer she gave.
At about the eight-minute mark, Swift was asked, "What’s the one thing you wish you knew at 19?" which is a pretty standard interview question by all accounts. It's not particularly controversial to ask someone about a lesson they've learned with the wisdom of time, but it's Swift's answer that stands out.
If I could talk to my 19-year-old self, I’d just say, "Hey, you know you're gonna date just like a normal 20-something should be allowed to, but you’re gonna be a national lightning rod for slut-shaming."
Over the years, Swift has received plenty of criticism for who she has dated, and who she hasn't dated, which is entirely unfair in every aspect. Swift's dating habits — whether she's seeing multiple guys or not dating anyone at all — simply shouldn't matter, and she has discussed this in the past, so it's not surprising that she feels the way she does. But the fact that she brought this up in an otherwise lighthearted interview (at one moment, Swift shows off the Video Music Award she apparently stores next to her coffee machine) is admirable.
Swift could have stuck to a "cuter" or "safer" answer, like wishing she hadn't tried a certain fashion or makeup trend or something like that, but she chose to answer this question in a way that candidly points out that it's not cool to slut-shame someone, and I applaud her for that. Like always, she handles speculation about her personal life with tremendous grace... something she did even when she was, well, only 19.
As Swift grows as both a person and an artist, she proves herself to be well aware of the impact she has on lots of young women everywhere, so I give her kudos for using the opportunity to answer this question in a thoughtful way. The rest of the interview is equally great, but I think it's definitely time for people to stop commenting on Swift's dating habits and instead focusing on the things that really matter... like, you know, the fact that she keeps a VMA by her espresso machine. Kidding, of course.