An inside look into the life of “Miss Americana”


Photo used with permission from Google Commons

Taylor Swift’s documentary, Miss Americana, came out on Jan. 23 and is now privately streaming on Netflix.

Taylor Swift is one of the most groundbreaking artists of the 21st Century. Bringing home three Album of the Year Grammys, Best Country Album and Best Pop Vocal Album,Swift has been nominated for 32 Grammys throughout her career since 2008. Although Swift is a world-wide phenomenon, her documentary Miss Americana, highlights the struggles of trying to please her fans and managers while also trying to embrace who she really wants to become. 

The documentary was released on Jan 23. at Sundance Festival and has been privately streaming on Netflix since Jan. 31. “In this revealing documentary, Taylor Swift embraces her role as a songwriter and performer –  and as a woman harnessing the full power of her voice,” Netflix said. 

Swift has continuously been reinventing herself, and that is heard throughout her albums. Miss Americana follows Swift before the release of her album Lover in Aug. 2019 and after her 2017 album, Reputation, had gotten zero Grammy nominations in major categories. Throughout this time, Swift began using her voice to become more politically involved. The documentary reveals what led to her transformation and shows Swift embracing who she has become. 

Miss Americana outlines Swift’s rise in the music industry as a pop star and also shows Swift’s emotional, personal and public experiences throughout her career. For example, Miss Americana looks back on the MTV Music Video Awards in 2009 when Kanye West took over the stage when Swift won “Best Female Video,” and West claimed that “Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time,” diminishing Swift’s win. 

The documentary also highlights Swift’s career as a story of someone who has been working her whole life trying to fit into the beauty standard for women. Junior Emily Levine said, “It was very inspiring and comforting to see Swift struggle with the same things that everyday people struggle with. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone in my feelings and that they were validated by knowing that one of the most influential people in the world is feeling the same way as me.” 

Miss Americana mixes home movies, diary readings, press clips, awards-show tape and studio footage to tell the story of Swift’s peaks and low points. Like Swift, Miss Americana is a little guarded and a little welcoming into her life. Although it lets us into Swift’s intimate spaces and musical talents in action, questions still remain unanswered. The documentary is a snapshot of Taylor Swift breaking out of the mold she was put into, a Nashville teen prodigy. Miss Americana is an enjoyable documentary for fans looking to get a peek inside their favorite artist’s brain. There’s distance to it, though; it invites you in, but never all the way in. Levine said, “I really enjoyed watching the documentary. Although I was still left with questions, I appreciated the different aspects of Swift’s life the documentary let us into.”