Updated: Oct 28, 2020
By: Marissa Jezierski
Regardless of if you’re a fan of hers or not, Taylor Swift’s Netflix documentary, “Miss Americana,” provides tremendous insight into what life as one of the greatest artists of our generation looks like.
From the surface, it may seem glamorous and fantastic, but this documentary showed what it can really be like at times from the inside: lonely, constantly being judged, and not what anyone would expect. If I had to describe this documentary in one word, I’d say “human.”
If you are looking for an eye-opening and revealing documentary that brings up important issues such as cyberbullying, sexual assault and body image, as well as a take on the current political landscape of the United States from one of the most influential voices on the planet, then “Miss Americana, is for you.
One of the biggest storylines of this documentary is Swift finding her voice within politics. No longer is she, who many used to consider “America’s Sweetheart” or “the girl next door,” going to continue to sit back and let the current political landscape of the United States take shape. She wouldn’t let this happen without voicing how she feels, regardless of potential backlash.
Her music may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but what should draw people’s attention to the documentary is how honest and genuine it is as well as how it shows even the brightest stars go through their own darkest times.
Swift is a 30-year-old who has achieved what most can’t in their entire lifetime. She is someone who has an army of fans, won hundreds of awards, performed on a record-breaking tour in 2018, and has a net worth of $360 million. But she is also someone who is a survivor of sexual assault and an eating disorder, is currently dealing with her mother’s battle with cancer, overcame an online bullying campaign against her that at one point was trending on Twitter; and yet still has found her voice for the sake of the greater good, regardless of what anyone may say in response. This is just a simple overview of what “Miss Americana, has to offer.
After watching it for the first time, it would be easy to understand how authentic and revealing the documentary was. It’s not every day that you hear about a world-famous artist being open about their toughest personal struggles and how they became stronger than ever because of them. As I mentioned earlier, you may not like her music, but in this case, that doesn’t matter. It is an empowering, human interest story that many can find inspiring.
But you don’t have to just take my word for it. After watching it, a friend of mine from SUNY Cortland said, “`Miss Americana’ made me really emotional; seeing her be so open publicly was so admirable and brave…” The same sentiment was shared by a friend from Las Vegas, who said, “I thought it was absolutely remarkable. It showed a side of Taylor that few people have ever seen before. For her to feel that vulnerable while being one of the biggest pop stars in the world is a true sign of how strong she is.”
The documentary has also been received well by critics. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a rating of 93 percent and according to Wesley Morris of “The New York Times,” who put it best: “We see a star that is self-critical, grown up and ready, perhaps to deliver a message beyond the music.”