Feminism and Cat
An inspiring 85-minutes is something I must say first. Miss Americana follows a pop superstar, Taylor Swift, and her plight on the fame pedestal. This enormous project was successfully clandestine then premiered at Sundance Film Festival. Later, this film is available on Netflix. Swift believes that by doing that, the film will encounter a large audience as it hoped can grab attention as the user scrolled through the film list.
As a self-certified Swifties, fan of Taylor Swift, I can confidently declare that Miss Americana is adamant dawn of Swift’s transformation from being a sealed-lip sweetheart to the outspoken woman she is right now. Director Lana Wilson explained that Swift wanted to have a director’s view on her life. I assume that this may be because of her isolated phase from 2015 to 2019. She refuses to go to any interviews or talk about any events. As she quotes on her album Reputation (2017), “there will be no explanation, there will be only reputation”. Many fans have wondered what was she doing or thinking at that time? This is her way of answering that question.
The film embarks on the first chapter of Swift’s life as a threat-free good girl that doesn’t force her opinion on anybody. During these scenes, many of Swift’s voice-overs portrayed her neediness for others’ approval. Her voice filled up this stage with doubt and drown viewers with her anxiety anguish. She also disclosed her eating disorder and her vulnerable discomfort on the camera gaze at her body.
The film presents two turning points in her life that changed her. The first is the Kimye Scandals. She was painted as the bad guy and the manipulative person that played the victim. She also stretched the case as to how women are seen in the music industry. As a male-dominated industry, the music industry depicts women’s success as a gift from their male producer or co-writer or their popularities are based on their scandals. Swift stated that women have always had the need to work so much harder only to justify their earnings and reinvent themselves thousand times to stay young and fresh to the consumers. The music industry is harsher on women that only less than 25% of the industry is made of them.
The second is her sexual case against an ex-DJ. The eerie scene of the courtroom is more than enough to illustrate the haunting experience of Swift’s position in the court. She explained the shame and guilt she felt from the right thing she did, defending herself. The case that only seeks $1 damages screams the fact that her purpose is solely on justice and not on fame nor money. She reflected this moment on the injustice system and how lucky she is to have the privilege on having amazing supports. According to her lawyer, she did not want to cause bankruptcy on Mr. Mueller but a message to all women that “they will decide what will be tolerated with their body”.
All of these turning points lead to Miss Americana’s ending that shows Swift’s now reinvented self. She echoed the need on being the right side of history and make a clear statement on equality. The film closed on her wish to wear pink and speak politics.
Miss Americana is a reminder that celebrities don’t owe anything to their fans. The film showed that they are the same human as we are by peeling of Swift’s persona to Swift’s person as she played with her cats. Other than walk in my shoe film, this film clamor on the need to speak up and be conscious about their voice. Swift has realized her power on a younger audience and uses it to grassroots them to start talking.
-written by Vania (kru ‘20)-