By: Katelin Tipton
Many times this week at American Legion Auxiliary Missouri Girls State Taylor Swift has been mentioned in speeches, conversations, and songs played at assemblies. The delegates have a wide range of opinions about Taylor Swift and her influence on those at ALA MGS. Supporters (or swifties) agree very strongly that she is a great role model and leader as well as talented musician. Ava Richardson of Carver City admires Swift for her relatability. Ava recently broke up with her boyfriend and has been able to look up to Taylor as someone who made it out stronger in similar situations. Ava had recently been to the tour and pointed out Swift’s dedication by explaining how instead of canceling her concert due to weather, she waited out the storm and played until two am in the rain. Another fan of Swift appreciates qualities like bravery and leadership. Riley Friga from Pershing City thinks of Taylor as a role model because of her support of women as leaders and her strong advocacy and beliefs. Riley says, “I think she's very inspirational because she has had music taken away from her, fought back and, you know, just got her music back and just fought for everything she has.” “She isn’t scared to be brave and she's just always so outgoing and courageous” she continues. Riley mentions she really likes the song The Man by Taylor Swift because it has such strong representation for women in its message. Not just citizens respect Swift, Mrs. Whitney - a counselor for Davidson County - thinks Taylor is very good at speaking and advocating for what she believes in. Although she doesn’t look up to Swift herself she does think she is a great role model for the younger generation. Despite what some say in support of Swift, others find her less admirable. Katelynn Ferguson and Grace Madue from Boone City agree that Taylor Swift isn’t very inspirational because they say most of her songs are about guys and breakups which cause the songs to be very depressing and overdone. They do not see her as a leader but a popstar and aren’t aware of her advocating for anything. The citizens do however think some of her older hits like Love Story are still good. Some people think it's the fans that ruin it for Taylor. Amaris Vickers from Clark City explains how she doesn’t support Swift because of the way the fans act. She says “you can have an idol and you can be dedicated to somebody but when you like judge other people or you're like seriously hateful or rude to others I don’t think that's okay.” Amaris wishes Taylor would address this more than she previously has and call out her fans for their behavior since she has such a strong voice. Taylor Swift isn’t for everyone but whether you love her or hate her, Swift has become a topic of conversation at MGS and very important in our culture.