Hebron High School News Online

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Hebron High School News Online

The Hawk Eye

Hebron High School News Online

The Hawk Eye

Opinion: Add Insult To Injury

Saahir Mawani
“Adding insult to injury,” a lyric from Taylor Swift’s song, “exile,” describes the feeling of being ostracized in a community. This is unfortunately represented in the Swiftie community, with only a certain race and gender being accepted.

“It’s been a long time coming.” 

The words echoed through AT&T Stadium in Arlington as singer Taylor Swift rose from beneath the sunset-colored fans of the “Lover” set. Yet, as I looked around my section, it was full of women. This was just another moment in my interactions with the Swiftie community, where I was reminded that I am truly outnumbered.

Whether those experiences are with the people in my life or the community’s treatment of men as a whole, when an artist such as Swift preaches inclusivity, that means all people, not just women or people of a certain race. The stereotypical Swiftie meets the following physical criteria: a white, blonde woman — people who look like Swift. I do not meet any of these criteria, being a tall, brown man. Being so out of the “norm” has led me to feel like I am always sticking out in a safe space where I should feel at home. 

Having been a fan of the musical juggernaut for upwards of six years , I have experienced many milestones of the fandom. Whether it be meeting her at midnight (pun intended) for album releases, or tuning in every weekend for yet another TikTok Live that shows surprise songs, each experience has brought me joy —-  something that seems particularly difficult for some people to understand. 

Though I found a group of people who share my love and admiration for the artist, there were many people in my life who did not understand why me (a man) is rather a huge fan of  Taylor Swift (a woman). This automatically led to them assuming my sexuality, stating that just because I appreciated the songwriting and lyricism of an artist, and that artist wasn’t a “male-oriented” one such as Travis Scott or Drake, I simply couldn’t be straight. However, I didn’t realize that music taste defined whether or not I could be friends with someone. My “obsession” with the easter eggs Swift left in teasers left me with most of my guy friends dropping me — a feeling that hurt, a feeling I found represented within Swift’s lyrics. 

The singer is known for her lyricism — it’s one of her best qualities. I’ve found solace in the words she’s written. Whether it be the upbeat, empowering words of her “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” and “Reputation,” or the heartfelt tunes of “Folklore” and “Red (Taylor’s Version),” all have resonated deeply in my heart. Her words have been a guiding light within my life, being able to articulate my feelings in ways I verbally could not. 

Over time, I have made many connections in the Swiftie community, with some of my best friends being supporters at my side, sharing this “obsession.” Regardless of the vast fanbase Swift has, there have been far too many times where I felt I was being “tolerated” while trying to express my admiration. While on social media, the popular “SwiftTokers” represent such a large part of the community, the people in-person seem to not share the same energy. 

Despite my sheer excitement to attend “The Eras Tour” in April of 2022, singing all three hours of her music was coupled with some intense stares from the people around me. At first glance, I could have fallen into a “brother” category, me actively participating with all of the “secret” fan chants drew so many eyes, and after the stares with me screaming “1, 2, 3, Lets Go” in “Delicate,” I spent the rest of the show being extremely conscious of my appearance. 

This, however, is one small glimpse of being a male Swiftie, and it has been overpowered by all of the other positive portions of being a fan. Swift has created a safe environment for fans, and has fostered an amazing culture of writing, leading us all as members of upcoming “The Tortured Poets Department.” I urge the fans to remember that though it may not be intentional, we need to make sure that nobody feels “exiled.”

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About the Contributor
Saahir Mawani, Design Editor
Junior Saahir Mawani is the design editor and this is his second year on staff. In his free time, he loves editing YouTube videos, reading and watching the “Eras Tour” TikToks.

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