Review: Miss Americana

By: Emily Orman

From drama-filled docuseries like Cheer to real-crime episodes that transport you  into a maximum security prison like I Am A Killer, documentaries have been on the rise on Netflix. A new addition to this list is Miss Americana, a documentary about the face of pop music herself: Taylor Swift. 

In just under an hour and a half, Miss Americana invites the viewer inside of Swift’s mind. We learn about her insecurities on stage, battle against eating disorders, mental illness, conflict with other artists and even her political views. By learning about her biggest hurdles, we gain even more respect for her. 

In 2018, Taylor made a mysterious withdrawal from the public eye. In her new spotlight, the true cause of her disappearance is revealed. After uncovering layers of self-doubt, Swift’s central reason for her withdrawal was conflict with rapper Kanye West. Their “rivalry” began when West interrupted Swift’s victory at the 2009 MTV Video Music discredit her win and remind the world that Beyoncé deserved the award.

From there, the conflict between them continued to brew until it reached a breaking point in one of Kanye’s songs, “Famous”. The song contained lyrics directly targeted against Taylor Swift, calling her explicit names and taking credit for Swift’s fame. Following the release of West’s song, Swift received a tidal wave of backlash as people worldwide labeled her as an untalented liar. 

In Miss Americana, Swift reveals the profound impact the conflict had on her confidence. This impact is at the center of what drove Swift to disappear, a testament in itself to the power of words.

Swift also reveals her motivation for the first 15 years of her career: acceptance and appraisal from fans. This need for approval also played a part in Swift’s withdrawal after she realized she needed draw validation from herself, not others. If you weren’t a T-Swift fan before watching Miss Americana, you certainly will be after. Miss Americana grants viewers an inside peek at Swift’s kind and relatable personality, giving her a humanoid aspect most superstars lack. Not only does this heartfelt movie allow you a glimpse into Swift’s inner thoughts, but it takes you along on the rocky journey of producing music, writing lyrics, dealing with paparazzi and living life as a star.

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