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Taylor Swift Reflects on 'Reputation' & Society in Heartfelt Letter to Fans

Taylor Swift Reflects on 'Reputation' & Society in Heartfelt Letter to Fans

Taylor Swift is getting personal in a reflective letter to fans, which she wrote for the Target-edition physical copy of her new album Reputation, which dropped today.

The letter serves as the prologue for a book of personal poetry included with with the album.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Taylor Swift

Taylor begins by stating, “Here’s something I’ve learned about people,” and proceeds to share her thoughts on her generation, social media, and the ups and downs of fame.

“We think we know someone, but the truth is that we only know the version of them they have chosen to show us,” she writes. “We know our friend in a certain light, but we don’t know them the way their lover does. Just the way their lover will never know them the same way that you do as their friend. Their mother knows them differently than their roommate, who knows them differently than their colleague. Their secret admirer looks at them and sees an elaborate sunset of brilliant color and dimension and spirit and pricelessness. And yet, a stranger will pass that person and see a faceless member of the crowd, nothing more. We may hear rumors about a person and believe those things to be true. We may one day meet that person and feel foolish for believing baseless gossip.”

Click inside to read the rest of Taylor’s letter…

“This is the first generation that will be able to look back on their entire life story documented in pictures on the internet, and together we will all discover the after-effects of that,” she continues. “Ultimately, we post photos online to curate what strangers think of us. But then we wake up, look in the mirror at our faces and see the cracks and scars and blemishes, and cringe. We hope someday we’ll meet someone who will see that same morning face and instead see their future, their partner, their forever. Someone who will still choose us even when they see all of the sides of the story, all the angles of the kaleidoscope that is you.”

“The point being, despite our need to simplify and generalize absolutely everyone and everything in this life, humans are intrinsically impossible to simplify,” she adds. “We are never just good or just bad. We are mosaics of our worst selves and our best selves, our deepest secrets and our favorite stories to tell at a dinner party, existing somewhere between our well-lit profile photo and our drivers license shot. We are all a mixture of our selfishness and generosity, loyalty and self-preservation, pragmatism and impulsiveness. I’ve been in the public eye since I was 15 years old. On the beautiful, lovely side of that, I’ve been so lucky to make music for a living and look out into crowds of loving, vibrant people. On the other side of the coin, my mistakes have been used against me, my heartbreaks have been used as entertainment, and my songwriting has been trivialized as ‘oversharing.’”

“When this album comes out, gossip blogs will scour the lyrics for the men they can attribute to each song, as if the inspiration for music is as simple and basic as a paternity test,” she goes on. “There will be slideshows of photos backing up each incorrect theory, because it’s 2017 and if you didn’t see a picture of it, it couldn’t have happened right?”

“Let me say it again, louder for those in the back . . .” she shares.

“We think we know someone, but the truth is that we only know the version of them that they have chosen to show us,” she reiterates.

“There will be no further explanation,” she finishes. “There will just be reputation.”

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Photos: Mert Alas & Marcus Piggot
Posted to: Taylor Swift

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  • rubie

    To Taylor, People will see what they want to see, some will see the good in a person because they love them unconditionally , some will see the worst because they have not the heart to see good, but most of us, will see people for who they were,,,,who they are now,,,,, and who they are trying to be, those are your fans! so don’t fret! Continue to grow, learn and don’t let anyone change you for the worst, be true to yourself and the ones you love and know you best! time is awesome for it lets us see into the future…………..

  • Nurse Shadie

    My thing is why make an album sensationalizing this very sentiment and playing into the problem you are trying to critique. This letter sounds a bit jaded and trying to be too self aware that I have a hard time enjoying her music. Other pop artists such as Madonna, Britney, and Beyonce have been put under such a worse microscope and have yet to act as a victim even in their music. I hope her next album is less about a statement on her “reputation” and more about her music.

  • Ram

    where are the hits? 1989 was full of them – that album was fantastic. this one is….not good.

  • Ram

    taylor, why is it so hard to say, “I dont support the white supremacists who support me”

  • Lisa

    I’m not even that big of a fan of Taylor and even I can admit that she is criticized for literally everything she does. For instance, there were countless articles about how greedy she is since she decided to make her album available for streaming a week after its release yet I didn’t see a single article about how Beyonce still hasn’t put her album on Spotify and how Adele waited 6 months to make hers available for streaming. She’s criticized for staying silent and she’s criticized for speaking out. She can never do right by the media. That’s a fact. So why shouldn’t she write songs about that? She’s not painting herself as the victim just by writing about how the media portrays her. And there isn’t even a single “poor me” song on the album. Have you even listened to it closely? It’s mainly an album full of love songs about her current boyfriend. People and the press are just trying to make it solely about Kanye, Katy Perry and the media when it’s about way more than that.

  • Lisa

    I’d say that a song, like Look what you made me do, that broke countless iTunes, Vevo and chart records is a hit. And the fact that the album went #1 in over 100 countries and was the fastest album to go #1 in the US in history says it all. An album doesn’t need to be full of #1 singles to be a successful and critically acclaimed album.

  • Ram

    lol there are a billion tween girls hitting refresh and buying 10 albums a piece just to get into the ticket lottery.

    when I see a song on this album stay at number one for more than 2 weeks, then we can talk. shake it off stayed #1 for 11 weeks.

    1989 was full of hits. Where are they on this?

  • Nurse Shadie

    I’m not talking about the music itself, I’m speaking in regards to her letter and the rest of the marketing for this era including the 2 music videos released so far. I did listen to the album and of course it touches on all the scrutiny she gets–it wouldn’t be called reputation if it didn’t. She has some control of what the image is and currently comes off as a know it all teen. She wouldn’t call it reputation and write this vapid letter if she wasn’t making it about the media.

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  • Lisa

    I never said that it wasn’t about the media. I said that it’s not just about that. The first half of the record is about her reputation. The second half is about her real self and it’s mainly about her own personal issues and her love for her boyfriend. The fact that the media and most people choose to just focus on the first half of the album shows how little control Taylor has over her image. And this letter is a letter that pretty much everyone can relate to. Almost everyone has had rumors spread about them and has felt like they had to put on a mask for certain people. Everyone has a reputation whether it is among their friends, their family and for celebrities, in the media. Which is why the reputation part of the album isn’t just about the media.

  • Lisa

    Why is your standard so high for her? There’s no other artist in the world who has managed to sell over 1 million copies of 4 different albums in the first week. Lots of different artists took part in that Ticketmaster contest yet none of them sold nearly as many copies as Taylor. Also, you can’t buy more than one copy on iTunes so the iTunes records she has set have nothing to do with the contest.



  • ugh

    I agree. I only like getaway car and new year’s day on this one

  • ugh

    T H I S