Taylor Swift Wiki
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Miss Americana is a documentary released on a streaming website called Netflix on the 31st of January, 2020. Directed by Lana Wilson, this documentary film gives viewers a raw and emotional insight into what Taylor Swift has been going through over the last couple of years, both career-wise and personally.

The film originally debuted on January 23rd at the opening night of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, eight days prior to the online premiere.

It has received (and continues to receive) high praise from many critics, who admire the raw emotion and vulnerability that is shown in this film.

Taylor Swift first expressed interest in making a documentary after the release of the Netflix concert film, Taylor Swift: Reputation Stadium Tour. Lana Wilson started filming the documentary at the near end of the Reputation Stadium Tour and era and joined Taylor Swift for the recording sessions for her seventh and latest album, Lover. The name of this documentary originated from the name of the 7th track on Lover, "Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince", a song about Taylor Swift's distaste for American government and current politics.

In the film, there is also a scene showing Taylor Swift with Joel Little, the producer of this song, writing and creating a melody for a new song to come out soon after the film.

It was named "Only the Young". This song was written after the 2018 United States elections when Taylor finally broke her silence about politics and made a statement online. Some of the lyrics in this song also advocate for the awareness of gun shootings in schools.

The song is also played for the end credits.

Synopsis

A teenage country-music prodigy who evolved into a pop star, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift wins countless awards, fills stadium tours with rapturous fans, and continues to reinvent herself—all while maintaining her autonomy as an artist. Her megacelebrity leaves her personal life very public; every relationship and every feud is fodder for her haters on social media. After achieving so much in so little time, Swift is now at a crossroads in her career. Notably apolitical in the past, Swift, as a young American woman at this time, in this country, is motivated to address injustice and inequality in a way she never has, and she is emboldened to speak out for herself and what she believes in.

Director Lana Wilson (After Tiller, 2013 Sundance Film Festival) offers a multifaceted window into Swift, her creative process, and her singular experience of being a star of this magnitude. With a skillful touch, Wilson accesses Swift’s vulnerability and sensitivity, fierce intelligence and wit, and reflective moments with her Scottish Fold kitties as she embarks on the latest chapter of her already extraordinary career.

Impact and legacy

The premiere of Miss Americana at the opening night of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and Swift's pre-announced appearance at the festival caused a surge in the number of attendees, traction and media coverage of the event. TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino stated that, "in nearly a decade of attending Sundance, I've never seen a scene like the premiere of Miss Americana", and added that the "crowd before letting into the theater was huge", with rumors about how "there wouldn't be room for ticketed attendees".[1][2] Upon release, the film became the highest-rated Netflix-original biographical documentary by an artist in IMDb history.[3][4][5]

American singer Katy Perry praised the film, stating that she was impressed by Miss Americana, because of its self-awareness and vulnerability, and commented that she was "really excited for her [Swift] to be able to show that to the world: that things aren't perfect, they don't have to be, and it's more beautiful when they aren't".[6] Perry further added that Miss Americana inspires her to make her own documentary.[7][8] Emily Strayer, of the American country music band The Chicks, commented on the documentary, stating: "The power she [Swift] has right now to change things is way beyond any power we [The Chicks] ever had. She's in a different person than we were ever".[9] In a Prospect article titled "It's time to face the facts—our male pop stars need to try a bit harder", Caroline O'Donoghue pointed out how Miss Americana talks about "the need for female pop stars to be highly visual, and to change that visual often", and quoted a line from the documentary that Swift says: "The female artists I know of have to remake themselves 20 times more than the male artists, or else you're out of a job".[10]

Miss Americana is credited for paving the way for singers to utilize major streaming platforms to assist their career, by eventizing tour footages into intimate, candid films.[11] Critics found Canadian singer Shawn Mendes' 2020 Netflix documentary, Shawn Mendes: In Wonder,[12][13][14] to be heavily inspired by Miss Americana.[15] Excuse Me, I Love You (2020) by American singer Ariana Grande was also compared to Miss Americana.[16][17][11]

Conversations on mental health

Miss Americana fueled several conversations about eating disorders, body dysmorphia, exercise anorexia, self-esteem, toxic internet culture and sexual assault. Writing for The Washington Post, Jessica Gold, professor of psychiatry at the Washington University in St. Louis, stated that Swift "struck a powerful chord with viewers" with Miss Americana, "thanks to her honesty regarding her struggle for approval as a woman in today's society". Gold called Swift "the leader we need in 2020", who steps up to "fill gaps left by political leadership", during a time "when our political leaders are struggling to build consensus on and convey the gravity of issues" like mental health. She explained that Swift's leadership is commercially savvy, but also shows how celebrities "can now speak directly to fans, doing tremendous good in the process", and concluded that the singer is sending a powerful message—"one that is likely to save lives in myriad ways".[18]

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Kelly Douglas of The Mighty opined that Swift's "powerful candor" about her eating disorders and body dysmorphia will "not only resonate with others facing similar struggles, but could also encourage others to seek help for their eating disorder behaviors".[19] The New York Post's Elana Fishman confessed: "every so often, I'll still catch myself criticizing the way my tummy or legs look in a photo or how a certain pair of pants fits me. From now on, whenever that happens, I'll be repeating a line Swift says in the film—We do not do that anymore, because it's better to think you look fat than to look sick".[20] Anne Petersen of BuzzFeed News commented that Swift contributes to society's "collective understanding of what beauty and success looks like", and that she is also talking about her "susceptibility to the pressure of that understanding". Petersen added that Swift refuses "to hide, and thus continue to normalize, the behaviors that perpetuate it".[21]

The Daily Targum stated that, despite being an expert when it comes to handling negative comments, even Swift "succumbed to insecurities that blossomed into eating problems, which shows how even the strongest among us are susceptible to potential eating disorders due to the toxic environment of social media".[22] Ellen Ricks of HelloGiggles called Swift's reveal of her disorder as inspirational, noting "how it can potentially impact so many people still fighting", as "there is still so much stigma and misinformation" surrounding eating disorders, and praised Swift for "using her voice to shed light on the issue for her fans".[23] In a Deccan Chronicle piece titled "Warring with food", writer Swati Sharma noted "it's no surprise" that many celebrities like Swift have struggled with eating disorders, and highlighted how the singer would be "so hungry after performances that she'd feel weak and on the verge of passing out".[24]

In an interview with Glamour, Wilson talked about the positive comments she received regarding her decision to include Swift's eating disorder and body image issues in the film:

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Miss Americana further prompted many of Swift's past critics to respond to the documentary. American comedian Nikki Glaser wrote an apology on Instagram for her comments about Swift featured in the film. In the apology, Glaser stated that: "Unfortunately, I am featured in her [Swift's] new documentary as part of a montage of asshats saying mean things about her, which is used to explain why she felt the need to escape from the spotlight for a year", and admitted that her comments may have come from a place of "projection". She further added that "if you're familiar with my 'work' at all, you know I talk openly about battling some kind of eating disorder for the past 17 years, I was probably 'feeling fat' that day and was jealous". Swift responded: "One of the major themes of the doc is that we have the ability to change our opinions over time, to grow, to learn about ourselves. I'm so sorry to hear that you've struggled with some of the same things I've struggled with. Sending a massive hug".[25][26] American writer Jenny Johnson also posted a lengthy apology on Instagram, writing that her comments about Swift being "annoying" were "made in jest", and stated: "please know I'm not against you, I'm with you and I apologize." Journalist Richard S. took to Twitter to apologize to Swift for an article he wrote in 2016, titled "Taylor Swift Isn't Like Other Celebrities, She's Worse". He explained that the article was intended to "deconstruct the pettiness of the celebrity–industrial complex" and expressed his regret that the headline appeared to be "overly critical" of Swift. He concluded that he has "learned so much from Taylor's artistry over the years, and remain[s] a huge fan".[27]

Political advertisement

"Only the Young", the film's promotional single, was used to advertise Biden/Harris, as part of Democratic campaign for 2020 United States presidential elections. Representative Eric Swalwell revealed that Swift authorized the usage of the song for the campaign free-of-cost, marking the first time Swift has allowed her music to be used in a political advertisement. The video advertisement was released on October 30, 2020. It opens with a quote from Vice Presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, wondering why "so many powerful people are making it so difficult to vote". The rest of the advertisement features a montage of scenes from the past four years in the US: Videos of Me Too and Black Lives Matter protesters, President Donald Trump removing his face mask following COVID-19 hospitalization, Judge Amy Coney Barrett being sworn in as a Supreme Court justice, a 75-year-old protester being pushed to the ground by police in Buffalo, New York, and a scene of young supporters of Presidential nominee Joe Biden organizing and taking part in early voting. The video concludes with the motto: "You've marched for four years. Now it's time to run". Harris expressed gratitude to Swift, and tweeted that the singer is showing the young voters "what's at stake" in the election.[28][29]

In popular culture

An alternative poster of the film, featuring a male alter-ego of Swift, appears in the music video for Swift's 2020 single "The Man". The camera pans over a "Mr. Americana" poster starring "Tyler Swift", directed by "Larry Wilson", and premiering at the 2020 "Mandance Festival", a wordplay on the 2020 Sundance Festival.[30]


Cast

Videos

Merchandise

For a list of merchandise released for the film, visit Miss Americana/Merchandise.

  1. Panzarino, Matthew (January 26, 2020). "Sundance: In Miss Americana, Taylor Swift demotes the internet". https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/26/sundance-in-miss-americana-taylor-swift-demotes-the-internet/.
  2. Sinha-Roy, Piya (January 24, 2020). "With 'Miss Americana,' Taylor Swift Brings Her Raw Star Power to Sundance". The Hollywood Reporter. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/miss-americana-taylor-swift-brings-her-raw-star-power-sundance-1272592.
  3. "Taylor Swift responds to comedian's apology for body shaming comments". February 3, 2020. https://www.capitalfm.com/artists/taylor-swift/documentary-miss-americana-netflix/.
  4. Etemesi, Philip (February 23, 2020). "5 Reasons To Watch Miss Americana (& 5 Reasons To Skip It)". https://screenrant.com/best-reasons-watch-taylor-swift-netflix-documentary-miss-americana-skip-it-bad/.
  5. Adnin, Nazia (February 21, 2020). "In "Taylor Swift: Miss Americana" fans discover a vulnerable Swift in the biographical documentary". https://tbsnews.net/entertainment/taylor-swift-miss-americana-fans-discover-vulnerable-swift-biographical-documentary.
  6. Wang, Jessica (March 2, 2020). "Katy Perry Was Impressed By Taylor Swift's 'Miss Americana' Documentary" (in en). https://www.bustle.com/p/katy-perry-praised-taylor-swifts-miss-americana-doc-for-its-vulnerability-22583212.
  7. Kemp, Ella (September 8, 2020). "Katy Perry to release access-all-areas film inspired by Taylor Swift" (in en-GB). https://www.nme.com/news/film/katy-perry-to-release-access-all-areas-film-inspired-by-taylor-swift-2747954.
  8. "Katy Perry inspired by Taylor Swift to make tell-all documentary" (in en). September 8, 2020. https://www.celebretainment.com/music/katy-perry-inspired-by-taylor-swift-to-make-tell-all-documentary/article_fc1e56e8-9a1a-540d-a2db-bf142819387d.html.
  9. Newman, Melinda (July 17, 2020). "How the Music Industry Finally Caught Up to The Chicks". http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/country/9419501/the-chicks-gaslighter-interview.
  10. O'Donoghue, Caroline (July 12, 2020). "It's time to face the facts—our male pop stars need to try a bit harder" (in en-US). https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/uk-male-pop-stars-festivals-ed-sheeran-lewis-capaldi-taylor-swift-caroline-o-donoghue.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Ehrlich, David (December 21, 2020). "‘excuse me, i love you’ Review: Ariana Grande’s Netflix Concert Doc Is a Fans-Only Affair". https://www.indiewire.com/2020/12/excuse-me-i-love-you-netflix-review-1234605971/.
  12. Lattanzio, Ryan (November 18, 2020). "'Shawn Mendes: In Wonder' Review: Netflix's Pop Star Paean Plays Straight to the Fans". https://www.indiewire.com/2020/11/shawn-mendes-in-wonder-review-netflix-1234599116/.
  13. Nehra, Devki (November 29, 2020). "Netflix documentary Shawn Mendes: In Wonder barely uncovers the shiny veneer of music stardom". https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/netflix-documentary-shawn-mendes-in-wonder-barely-uncovers-the-shiny-veneer-of-music-stardom-9046851.html.
  14. Willman, Chris (November 29, 2020). "'Shawn Mendes: In Wonder' Review: Featherweight Film Provides Little Insight Beyond Pop Doc Tropes". Variety. https://variety.com/2020/film/reviews/shawn-mendes-in-wonder-netflix-film-review-1234841679/.
  15. "Shawn Mendes announces Netflix documentary In Wonder". October 13, 2020. https://www.capitalfm.com/news/tv-film/shawn-mendes-netflix-documentary-in-wonder/.
  16. Thompson, Rachel (December 22, 2020). "Netflix's 'Ariana Grande: Excuse Me, I Love You' Concert Film Is A Love Letter To The Time Before" (in en-in). https://in.mashable.com/entertainment/19102/netflixs-ariana-grande-excuse-me-i-love-you-concert-film-is-a-love-letter-to-the-time-before.
  17. Sommer, Will (December 29, 2020). "Ariana Grande Celebrates Trump Impeachment in Netflix's 'excuse me, i love you'—But It's No 'Miss Americana'". The Daily Beast. https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-newest-trump-boosted-viral-maga-star-has-ties-to-the-epoch-times.
  18. Template:Cite newspaper
  19. Douglas, Kelly (January 30, 2020). "Why Taylor Swift's Eating Disorder Reveal Could Help Others" (in en-US). https://themighty.com/2020/01/taylor-swift-eating-disorder-reveal-recovery/.
  20. Fishman, Elana (February 5, 2020). "How Taylor Swift's eating disorder reveal helped me come to terms with my own" (in en). https://nypost.com/2020/02/05/how-taylor-swifts-eating-disorder-reveal-helped-me-come-to-terms-with-my-own/.
  21. Petersen, Anne Helen (February 8, 2020). "Taylor Swift and the Gray Area Of Disordered Eating" (in en). https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/annehelenpetersen/taylor-swift-miss-americana-disordered-eating-body-image.
  22. Esposito, Laura (February 2020). "Taylor Swift's 'Miss Americana' shows that eating disorders can manifest silently". https://www.dailytargum.com/article/2020/02/taylor-swifts-miss-americana-shows-that-eating-disorders-can-manifest-silently.
  23. Ricks, Ellen (February 1, 2020). "Taylor Swift's eating disorder reveal in Miss Americana has given me hope in my own recovery" (in en-US). https://finance.yahoo.com/news/taylor-swifts-eating-disorder-reveal-175222219.html.
  24. Sharma, Swati (October 19, 2020). "Warring with food". https://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/health-and-wellbeing/191020/warring-with-food.html.
  25. Gariano, Francesca (February 3, 2020). "Nikki Glaser apologizes to Taylor Swift for resurfaced body shaming comments" (in en). https://www.today.com/popculture/miss-americana-nikki-glaser-apologizes-taylor-swift-t172987.
  26. Harwood, Erika (February 2, 2020). "Taylor Swift Responds To Nikki Glaser's Apology After Miss Americana Clip" (in en-US). https://www.elle.com/culture/celebrities/a30742704/taylor-swift-accepts-nikki-glaser-apology-miss-americana-clip/.
  27. Coe, Michael (February 3, 2020). "Everyone Is Apologizing To Taylor Swift Now Thanks To 'Miss Americana'" (in en). https://theblast.com/110185/everyone-is-apologizing-to-taylor-swift-now-thanks-to-miss-ameri.
  28. Blistein, Jon (October 30, 2020). "Taylor Swift Lends 'Only the Young' to New Political Ad" (in en-US). https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/taylor-swift-lends-only-the-young-to-new-political-ad-1083987/.
  29. Swanson, Ian (October 30, 2020). "Taylor Swift allows song to be used in campaign ad" (in en). https://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/523553-taylor-swift-allows-song-to-be-used-in-campaign-ad.
  30. Bate, Ellie (February 28, 2020). "Taylor Swift Just Unveiled Her Self-Directed Music Video For "The Man" And It's Full Of Hidden Details" (in en). https://www.buzzfeed.com/eleanorbate/taylor-swift-the-man-music-video-hidden-details.
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