It’s been a challenging few weeks for our little family.
Flea’s been having some struggles in her relationship with her Dad – just the usual growing up stuff, but it’s a little more complicated, I think, when you’re not living in the same house as one of your parents.
Those struggles have had knock-on effects on my relationships, in various ways, and there’s probably been a bit more angst around the house than we’re used to.
And on top of that, Flea managed to get clonked in the face by a water bottle at school this week, giving her a nasty black eye that’s painful, and has made her a bit self-conscious.
So… it was the PERFECT time to forget all our worries and head off to see Taylor Swift in concert.
Now, despite what certain friends might think, I happen to believe that Taylor Swift is full-on amazing. She plays the guitar, she writes her own songs, she’s not afraid to be smart in business, and she likes cats. What’s not to love?
Flea definitely agreed. She and my niece threw themselves into the gig, singing along at top volume and dancing their socks off.
I’ve been to quite a few concerts in recent years but this was a definite highlight – the back-up dancers were incredible, the music was brilliant (imho) and it was fab to see Flea having a blast.
We jumped like fools to Shake it Off and stomped around to “I knew you were trouble”, and ohmygoodness, I just loved every bit of it.
There were some lovely touches to the concert – on each seat was a wristband that suddenly lit up when Taylor came on stage, and pulsed in time to the music. I loved seeing all the girls dressed up – there were ballerinas, cheerleaders, foxes, and a hundred other outfits. I loved how the pre-show featured YouTube videos of Taylor Swift fans doing covers of her songs.
I love how Taylor Swift is openly friendly to fans. None of this, “I’m ignoring you now because I am Special and Chosen.” Pfft. Of course, you can argue that Taylor’s “you’re all my Internet friends and I love that I can talk to you all about what you’re going through” might seem dubious given she’s a gazillionaire pop star, but isn’t it brilliant to have someone that, as a Mum to a girl, I think, “Yes. There’s someone who’s telling my girl to be strong, and kind, and have fun, and be herself”?
Because that’s certainly not what I thought when I saw Ariana Grande a few weeks back. During THAT performance I mostly thought, “Blimey, why are you even wearing a sweater if you’re just going to wear it round your elbows like that?” followed by, “God, I bet I sound just like my grandmother.”
Anyway, last night I thought it was fantastic that between songs, there were video messages from Taylor’s famous and not-so-famous friends, talking about the importance of friendship and of women supporting one another. About how it’s easy to tear each other down but that the real victory comes from being sisters to one another, even if we’re not related. At one point Jaime King said, “There is NO competition, we can just have each others’ backs,” and I thought seeing thousands of young girls cheering that sentiment was pretty cool.
And I loved Taylor.
I loved that she had an audience of 15,000 (mostly) young girls in the palm of her hand and told them that you can’t confuse your Behind-the-Scenes movie with someone else’s highlight reel. I loved that she told them that taking hours to respond to a text message just to play with someone’s head isn’t flirting; it’s just rude.
I loved that she told girls it’s okay to date, it’s okay to make mistakes, and it’s okay to just be your own person. That success is about having more fun than everyone else, not fitting in with them.
That’s the sort of message I want my girl to hear, loud and clear. Check out the video below for a snippet of The World According to Taylor…