Taylor Swift flips through her pink childhood notebook in the first shot of Miss Americana, the 2020 Netflix documentary about her life, and recalls her earliest principles: “The main thing that I always tried to be was a good girl”.
Since then, she has used this belief system to build a successful career in generating wholesome hits; even when she impersonated a campy villain on Reputation, the main goal was to highlight how uncomfortably the costume fit. Swift began to acknowledge her own frailty after spending so many years defending the moral high ground against ex-boyfriends, rappers, and label bosses. “I’ll stare directly at the sun but never in the mirror,” she sings on “Anti-Hero,” from Midnights, her 10th studio album. “It must be exhausting always rooting for the anti-hero.