I’M NOT A PRINCESS,THIS AIN’T A FAIRY TALE
She is and it is.
After the villain stole her crown, the fairy godmother returned it to her, unfettered and pristine. The fairy godmother stepped back to watch the princess take her bow. No better ending than that, right?
Kanye West and his alcohol swagger stepped onstage to burst the bubble of my favorite Queen of Universal Appeal. But Taylor Swift’s got class. Though crestfallen she was, as Goody Bathtub said, and tears did fall on her guitar backstage, she changed her dress and got down what she does best: enthralling her fans.
And I’ll admit. Kanye was right. Beyonce had a better video (but she won the big prize, didn’t she?). “Single Ladies” bears iconic status. It features the dance everyone wants to learn, here (Joe Jonas), here (vomitous), and here (adorable).
Have you watched “You Belong With Me” (below)? Taylor plays both the wallflower/blonde and the cheer captain/brunette. What’s she telling us? You can be anyone. You have choices and potential greater than high school (and beyond) categories. To the ‘tween, no matter who you are, you can feel confident in belting out “you belong with me” and declare it through sharpie-drawn copy paper. Full disclosure: I believe Taylor Swift is behind the brains of all of her brilliance–the shows, the incredible songs, the music videos, everything.
This video transcends brilliant. Kanye should watch it some time. Even if he doesn’t, he should realize that for Taylor, the VMAs doesn’t have to be a big deal. She’s nominated for Entertainer of the Year at the Country Music Awards. That is a big deal. Much bigger than my moon man and MTV. And yet, it’s clear, this acknowledgment is dear to her.
Yet, the fact that Taylor, whose roots are still deep in Nashville, won this category speaks to her universal appeal. I was impressed with MTV. More, I am impressed with the artists seated at the VMAs last night who booed Kanye; with Pink who talked shit about him on Twitter; with the ladies of The View who will have Taylor as a guest Tuesday morning; with the newscasters who said, “Isn’t this a shame? How could he do this to that young, talented Taylor Swift?” when there are 100 other worldly topics they might discuss; and, of course, it is the response from average people (you, reader) who have risen up in comment spots to claim that no one should steal Taylor’s, anyone’s thunder–this impresses and delights me.
I am overwhelmed by the class displayed by Taylor and Beyonce. The one and only Beyonce’s staggering professionalism totally caught me off guard. Her invitation to Taylor was unprecedented (maybe it wasn’t, sure argue with me). She accepted her award then allowed a newer, younger artist to have the moment she deserves, a moment that Beyonce, perhaps, recalled. Bravo!
And Taylor. Bigger than moon man and New York City and MTV. Yet she is utterly gracious. So eager to be accepted by all of us–a theme of her music–no matter what the award or venue; backwoods West Virginia crowd or Madison Square Garden’s; innocent, admiring blogger or magazine reporter who tirelessly bangs upon the brick wall subject of her personal life. It doesn’t matter who we are. She wants us with her–singing her songs, screaming her name, squealing and screeching until certain deafness.
That’s what separates her from the other people on the stage last night. She isn’t expecting it or us at all. She is surprised every time. And even those of us who aren’t familiar with her music or don’t care for it, we instinctively sense this about her.
Watch this video of her performance at the VMAs. At the end, she stands on a taxi cab for the final chorus of the song. Anyone can tell she’s having the time of her life and so are the fans around her. But any time she sings, the fans will always behave this way. The thing is, so will Taylor. That’s what makes her special. She’s real, y’all.