I saw something pretty incredible on Saturday night. It was stunning, beautiful, and fun, and crazy. And it was inspiring.
It was Taylor Swift in concert.
I've been to a Taylor show before. This was actually my third. The first time I went, I honestly had no idea who Taylor really was. I simply went to chauffeur and chaperone my daughter. By the second concert, I was a closet fan. This time I was fully present – ogling at the souvenir tables, dancing in my seat, and singing lyrics at the top of my voice. She has won me over.
Taylor Swift's Message on Self-Love
Yet this concert was a little different. Taylor herself was different. She was more human, more vulnerable. And she talked to the girls (& boys) in the audience about something she has never done before, and it struck a chord with me. She said, “You are not the opinion of someone else's choosing.”
She spoke a lot about making mistakes and allowing those mistakes to make you stronger, not tear you down. Taylor admitted that even she gets in her head and involves in negative self-talk. So, she talked about not beating ourselves up inside with words of self-doubt or self-hate. She spoke of assertiveness and self-love.
Yes, Taylor may have a lot of songs about breakups and love stories gone wrong, but she also sings about being strong. She talks about not wallowing in breakups, but in getting back on your feet and finding new love. She teaches young girls that it's okay to lose at love because self-love is better than any other love that is out there. That you must get to know yourself and love who you are and who you were meant to be. Taylor has taught us that you can't let someone else control your world. And this concert, she actually told the young girls, like my daughter, that directly. It was beautiful the way she talked to the audience and admitted her own doubts and self-realizations. I only wish I had gotten my phone out sooner and captured more of this moment. It was truly beautiful.
Speaking to our Kids
Speaking to our kids, whether in the classroom, in various groups, teams, or individual moments is important. Sharing with them the realities of life and the self-doubt and trepidations we all feel, helps them to not feel alone when they, too, experience moments like that. Teaching kids to find their self and love their self and be assertive in their personality is also important. No one should feel as if they need to hide who they are. These are all important values to teach to our kids, just like respect, responsibility, honesty, and patience.
Assertiveness and self-love don't have to be dirty, narcissistic words. It's not bad to want to feel good about yourself. It shouldn't feel wrong to love who you are and feel good in your skin, to fight for your rights, and to be strong in your actions. As long as it is done with thoughtfulness towards others, control, and mindfulness, self-love can be a wonderful and powerful thing. Because Taylor's right, you are not the opinion of someone else's choosing, you are the opinion of your own choosing, so choose to love yourself.
Are you a Taylor Swift fan? Is there another artist like this in your or your children's lives? I'd love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments.