• Wed, Jan 23 2013

Is It Asking Too Much For Taylor Swift To Play A Heroine? Maybe? Just Once?

Taylor Swift Rapunzel

In a new ad for Disney Parks, our favorite forever victim Taylor Swift poses as Rapunzel. You remember Rapunzel right? An evil witch trapped her in a tower where she was destined to remain for her entire life — until a dashing young man swooped in and saved her. While she’s not a classic Disney princess, she does fit nicely into their mold of incompetent women who need to be saved by heroic men. So I see why they chose her for their new Disney Parks campaign shot by Annie Leibovitz.

I sadly also know why they chose Taylor Swift. After all, she’s a modern day Rapunzel trapped in her own personal tower of failed relationships and forgotten romance. “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your golden hair,” the evil men shout from down below. “Let us up so we can ruin your life with our fake promises of love and rumors of commitment. Then we’re done toying with your heart, we’ll pass it around the village for everyone else to kick around. From John to Jake to Joe to Conor to Harry, we’ll all have take a turn!”

And what was Rapunzel to do but let them up into her tower? She’s just a helpless woman with nothing but a sad song in her heart and a guitar in her hand. Until the right man came along, she’d have to keep suffering — and she knew that. As she laid down on her bed made of fresh cash and her pillow made of gold bars, she knew that she’d just have to wait.

Once, just once, I’d like to see Taylor Swift represent herself as the strong and powerful woman that she is in real life. She’s one of the most successful female recording artists of our time! She can’t make a move without making a headline. She can’t make a song without making millions. It’s not her fault that Disney portrays women as helpless and weak. But it is her decision to feed into that stereotype by choosing to participate in this campaign.

She didn’t get to where she is in this industry by waiting for some guy to swing by and save her. She got there with hard work and an incredible work ethic. Now I’d just like to see her share some of that magic with her young and impressionable female fans.

(Photo: Annie Leibovitz, Disney Parks)

 

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  • Colleen

    Read “419″ by Will Ferguson (Giller prize winner this year). In one scene, a woman recalls as a child wondering why Rapunzel didn’t cut her own hair, tie it to something, and climb down the tower herself? I loved that.

    • Jenni

      But seriously! I don’t get what you do in a tower all day but think of ways to escape.

    • Reese

      the original Rapunzel was probably too vain to cut her hair. It was hair that made her beautiful in her mind.

  • Arielle

    I totally agree…It would be great to see Taylor be a champion and play up strong women, but her whole career is built on fairy tale tropes and playing up hyper traditional gender roles. Whether or not im a fan, I know she’s a powerhouse in that she’s achieved so much as an artist at such a young age. But sadly, it just seems like she doesn’t have the powers of insight to question really what could empower her young fans. I.E. maybe diversifying her subject matter to include something other than songs about mean boys and guys she admires from afar and such. This is just kind of the artist she is.

  • Jim

    Clearly you’ve never seen tangled. Repunzel is a ba with her frying pan.

    • Jenni

      I have seen Tangled! But I don’t think that’s the Rapunzel they’re going for in this version.

  • flying777

    Aside for the very harsh treatment from the press in the last few months, Swift has been and outstanding Role model of a strong young woman who has been honored by the first lady and the RFK foundation for her character and generosity. Putting her down for her dating habits at age 23 is a very cheap shot.

    • Jenni

      In what way does she advocate for young women to stand up for themselves and take pride in their accomplishments?

    • http://gabrielle2lastnames.tumblr.com/ Gabrielle Hanson-Moore

      Whoa whoa whoa, flying777. Let’s talk about how she did jack shit to stop her fans from attacking Michael J. Fox when he said that he wouldn’t approve of his son dating her. Realistically speaking, if you were a mother and your child brought her home and you knew about her dating history would you really be okay with it? That’s what I thought. Taylor Swift sat on the sidelines and let her bat shit crazy fans send hate mail and death threats to him and then only after he apologized to her (because of his decency as a human being not because of her fans) did she decide to call a cease fire on him. Honestly, if a strong role model is someone that encourages that type of completely ridiculous bullying then I don’t ever want to be in your general vicinity.

    • http://twitter.com/ftb1777 Michael

      You are severely misinformed both about her dating history and fans…get a clue and quit believing everything you read in the fictitious gossip rags. What I wrote is verifiable Everything you wrote is in your head!

    • http://gabrielle2lastnames.tumblr.com/ Gabrielle Hanson-Moore

      OMIGOD!! Are you T-Swift’s best friend?! I had no idea!!! WHADDUP THO?!?! Can you hook me up with free merch or something?

  • Cee

    UGH I fucking loved Rapunzel (the lantern scene is sooo pretty!) I hate that they chose her to portray her.

  • Honest

    Noticed you did not mention Taylor L. In the list of those who took advantage…maybe he is her Flynn Rider? Look there is nothing wrong with wanting a white picket fence life, a soul mate and to have someone open the door for you! As a working mother I often think we have totally messed up with all this I Can Do Everything without a guy stuff. You want to know how many tired overwhelmed and depressed women I know who are trying to have it all. Really, commitment and fairy tales are not all bad. I love my Prince Charming 20 years together, two kids and a dog. Watch what you sell our young women they may not be happy when they are middle aged, single and lonely.

  • Honest

    Noticed you did not mention Taylor L. In the list of those who took advantage…maybe he is her Flynn Rider? Look there is nothing wrong with wanting a white picket fence life, a soul mate and to have someone open the door for you! As a working mother I often think we have totally messed up with all this I Can Do Everything without a guy stuff. You want to know how many tired overwhelmed and depressed women I know who are trying to have it all. Really, commitment and fairy tales are not all bad. I love my Prince Charming 20 years together, two kids and a dog. Watch what you sell our young women they may not be happy when they are middle aged, single and lonely.