By Elise Mills
Curly hair and cowboy boots to a blonde bob and red lipstick, heart breaker Taylor Swift has completely rebranded herself from Country girl to pop superstar. The change wasn’t sudden though; she claims her closest fans should have seen it coming. The question is how did she do it and what can we learn from her?
Taylor’s rise to stardom started with her self-titled country album in 2006, where it landed over 2.5 million copies. The album cover contains the classic country girl look, as shown with the cursive print title cover, curly hair, and etchings in the corner, just like Carrie Underwood.
Her song “Teardrops on My Guitar” led the way with lyrics containing sadness over loving a guy who doesn’t love her back. Also on the album is “Our Song” with lyrics: “Our song is the slamming screen door, sneakin’ out late tapping on your window. When we’re on the phone and you talk real slow, ’cause it’s late and your mama don’t know.” Advice: If you are going to do it, do it all the way.
“Fearless” came out topping both country and pop charts. This was the beginning of a more crossover sound and her life being pushed into the media. “Forever & Always,” written about her breakup with Joe Jonas, was her first celebrity-inspired break up song and it peaked at #38 in top 100 billboards. Her look started to involve a lot less paisley, and she started to alternate between cowboy boots and other less-country shoes. Advice: Don’t be afraid to mix it up, you might like it
“Imma let you finish, but Beyoncé had the best music video of all time”
The year of Red Lipstick and Kanye West. After the PR disaster known as the 2009 VMA’s, Taylor stayed classy about it and showed that she won’t let others knock her down. Plus with Beyoncé on your side, how can you lose?Advice: Branding yourself as the good girl is never the wrong move.
This was the year of “the Taylors” (remember when she dated Taylor Lautner?) and when she starred in the successful movie “Valentines Day,” showing that Taylor can do more than just sing. With the movie and her new Album “Speak Now,” Taylor was dubbed America’s sweetheart. Also in T-Swift’s style? Bangs. Advice: Showing a talent other then your current one between brand transitions can show talent and distract from changing image
We are never never never, going back to country.
Taylor Swift dropped “Red” without a banjo or beer can in sight. “I Knew You Were Trouble” became a sensation that every teen girl sang while in her car, and Jake Gyllenhaal became all the more relevant. Taylor completed the crossover by also changing her image. Gone were the barrel curls and neutral makeup palette. Her style also became trendier which pushed her to be a fashion icon. Advice: If you find a lipstick color that works, wear it at every moment possible.
And finally, 2014
New hair, new clothes, new T-Swift?
1989 was just released and in it contained an even more cutting edge Taylor. Along with the hair cut, in her most well known song “Shake It Off”, Taylor decides to combine her speaking and singing voice. She has embraced that her songs will be thinly veiled revenge letters to her Exes and she continues to do her. Advice: If you got it, shake it (off)
Elise is a sophomore majoring in Strategic Communication and minoring in Business Administration. She is hoping to purse Global Leadership Certificate as well. After graduation, she wants to do brand/image management and travel wherever her bank account can take her. Follow Elise on Twitter at @itsELISElove!