Jana Beamer, Flickr. CC BY 2.0.
Taylor Swift isn't even 30 yet, but she's already done with ageism.
In a recent profile for ELLE magazine, she spoke out against the societal pressures that women feel to look young... basically forever. "Young equals beautiful" is a diminishing message that cosmetics companies have been using to sell lotions and potions and powders for centuries, making Taylor's stand in a fashion magazine even more moving.
"Society is constantly sending very loud messages to women that exhibiting the physical signs of aging is the worst thing that can happen to us," she wrote in her personal list of things she's learned ahead of her 30th birthday. "These messages tell women that we aren’t allowed to age. It’s an impossible standard to meet."
The star says she has been doing a lot to accept her body as she changes in the public eye.
"I work on accepting my body every day," she wrote, mentioning that just like everyone else, she needs positive role models to remind her that her body is great just as it is.
"I’ve been loving how outspoken Jameela Jamil has been on this subject," she said. "Reading her words feels like hearing a voice of reason amongst all these loud messages out there telling women we’re supposed to defy gravity, time, and everything natural in order to achieve this bizarre goal of everlasting youth."
One of the best points Taylor makes? This need to be forever young "isn’t even remotely required of men."
Ageism is a terrible form of discrimination that disproportionately affects women — in the workplace, on the dating scene and in public discourse. While some people online are upset that someone as young as Taylor is complaining of ageism, I'm glad a pop star as influential as Taylor is tackling it head on.
Plus, don't we all know that society's damaging "30 is old" trope is as classic as white bread? Taylor has every right to talk as she crosses this line that Hollywood has historically portrayed as "old." In fact, it makes it even more powerful that a younger woman understands the challenges she will face as she ages, and sympathizes with those who are older than her rather than being tone deaf to the struggles of older women (who are often left out of discussions on discrimination).
Taylor Swift knows that women shouldn't be defined by age, whether they're 30 or 80. That's pretty powerful no matter her age, isn't it?
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