Taylor Swift is pop-culture's darling. She really can't do no wrong. She is the girl-next-door. She is the ultimate prom date. She's the best friend you wish you had. She is the girl you want to bring home to mom. Even her "squad" seems to be just as awesomely famous.
For being one of the most talked about celebrities, she seems to stay away from the drama. Maybe it's the way she seems to carry herself when she's in the spotlight. When she's being watched by the crowds and is under the pressure of the stage, she continues to have a poise that's endearing.
Christianity has a spotlight. I have seen the anti-gay rallies. I have seen the planned parenthood picketing. Christians and controversy seem to be drawn to each other. Of course there are moments of generosity and service that we see and know of, but those aren't as noticed or talked about as the controversies. There was a time when "culture wars" were a battle to get behind. But I question the battle and to be honest it's a dated feud. Energy spent on dividing rather than loving seems like wasted energy.
Maybe it was the way Taylor graciously handled herself when Kanye went rogue and grabbed the mic from taylor on live tv. Maybe it was the way she chilled out the very brief Nicki Minaj feud by simply apologizing as Taylor tweeted, "I thought I was being called out. I missed the point, I misunderstood, then misspoke. I'm sorry Nicki." Moments where she could have said something she could have regretted, done something that could've gone viral...yet, Taylor seems to be unfazed, cordial and her career continues to moves forward into world domination.
Relevant Magazine had a great post on this recently that I read that inspired this post. See the quote below:
One of the things that has made the rise of taylor Swift so interesting is just how proactively uninteresting she tends to be-at least in the shock-value, tabloid sort of way. Sure, she writes about personal relationship drama, but it's always in a veiled, mostly innocent way. Whether carefully cultivated or authentic (or both), Taylor Swift’s image is predicated on her niceness to fans, her love of “squad” friendliness, her innocent romances and her graciousness toward other artists...In a time when so many Christians and Christian leaders take a defensive, combative tone (especially in political season), culture finds its next pop star in a girl-next-door who seems to have little interesting spaciousness, edginess or picking fits. Swift's image is about uniting-stylistically and squad-listically-not dividing...It’s a brand our culture has embraced, because it’s one our culture wanted.
How to deal publicly with private convictions:
We all have a platform so steward it well. Unless you live in cave, we all have some expression of influence on others around us. Guard against your life being a poor advertisement for your standards. Think before you speak and let love always be your motive because without it ... you're nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2).
Stay connected to the real world. Taylor's fame and enlarging platform hasn't compromised her love and commitment to family and friends to create a reality that is out of touch where she is Queen and enforcing her rules. Be self-aware and read the room.
Choose relationships over accomplishments. The award for winning an argument isn't as powerful as we think it is. Reality check: Your opinion is not as big of deal as you think it is. Arrogance is not OK. Pride neutralizes your effectiveness when reaching out to others. Your desire to speak truth is valid but not at the expense of shutting out others. The person of Jesus is more important to be seen than your opinion heard.
Realize the "brand" our culture wants might be different than we thought. We as Christians can be great at rallying around controversy and proclaiming the truth about what we are against. But let's take a lesson from the "Swift Squad" and rally around what we are for: Let's love unconditionally (1 John 4:8), let's celebrate more (1 Corinthians 1:10), let's believe in our relationships & our own "squads" (Philippians 1:3-5), let's forgive quickly (Colossians 3:13). Don't worry, I'm sparing you the "haters gonna hate" and "shake it off" card that you thought I was going to play...I know you thought it, but no, I'm not playing it.