Miss Americana (Film Review)

Taylor Swift speaks out about misogyny, mental health, and body issues in her latest documentary “Miss Americana”. Keighley Bradford reviews the Nextflix film.

Miss Americana (2020) is the latest documentary presented by Netflix, featuring singer-songwriter, Taylor Swift.

The feature follows Swift’s journey as a person behind the ‘superstar’ persona following her latest album launch, Lover. Both releases come after Swift’s year-long disappearance and re-emergence as the ‘new’ Taylor Swift in Reputation.

The documentary shows Swift’s transition from ‘good girl, American sweetheart’ to bad girl with a ‘reputation’ and to the point of where she is today – accepting her faults, growing as a person, and shedding the mental mentality drilled into her that “a nice girl doesn’t force their opinions on others, a nice girl smiles and waves and says thank you, a nice doesn’t make people feel uncomfortable with her views”.

The raw emotion in this documentary adds further depth to the narrative. Swift’s vulnerability in the feature is high as she exposes things about herself she’s never publicly revealed, such as her struggle with body image. She also goes behind the scenes sharing the key moments in her life, like her decision to take a political stance for the women’s and gay rights she believes in, and her personal experience of being sexually assaulted.

You see the good times and the bad; the highs and the lows. You see moments of confidence, moments of uncertainty and moments where Swift questions her self-worth. You see and are reminded that behind every celebrity is a human being struggling just like the rest of us, dealing with some form of sexism and prejudice.

“I wanna still have a sharp pen, and a thin skin, and an open heart.” – Taylor Swift

The most notable experience is from the film was how Swift had to “reset everything”. She’d been trained to be the ‘good girl’ and with that, her self-worth was linked to praise from fans. Swift “had to deconstruct an entire belief system” because she knew her happiness couldn’t continue to be linked to the approval of others.

Furthermore, with her mother, Andrea Swift, finding out she had cancer, Taylor made a decision to prioritize the important things in life: her family. That was the ultimate game-changer that forced Swift to take a stand by “deprogram[ing] the misogyny” in her brain that was instilled and trained into her early in her career. It was time for her to grow, to be confident in who she was and in her beliefs, and not be afraid to speak her truths.

Her journey is incredible and inspirational; inspiring people like myself to be confident in who I am, in what I believe, and most importantly, to always be me.

Miss Americana is now on Netflix. You can watch the trailer here.

Feature Image: © Nextflix 2020, no changes made.



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