Taylor Swift Is The Mega-Successful Debbie Gibson Of A New Generation
Insanely tapped into the minds of teenage girls
Seriously though, from the release of her first album Taylor Swift’s songwriting has reminded me of Debbie Gibson. That isn’t a bad thing. I loved Debbie Gibson as a pre-teen and early teenager — and I loved her because I heard she wrote her own songs. It made me feel like, if she could do that maybe I could do that. In that manner, both Taylor and Debbie are great role models for girls. As a teenage girl, it’s not enough to know something is a possibility in the world. It’s a million times more impactful if you see it in action.
And when you’re just a kid who tapes songs off the radio, you’re unlikely to know that people like Diane Warren exist. It meant everything to me that Debbie Gibson, at age 17, was allowed to write her own material and it wildly popular even if it, even to my young ears, wasn’t amazing. Someone let her do that. They believed in her, let her be herself, and pumped a lot of money and marketing behind it. That was, like, my dream.
I think Taylor Swift’s first single off her third album is awful. It hurts me that in an interview with Good Morning America she said that Max Martin was her songwriting idol. And that her insipid, unintelligent song is the fastest selling in iTunes history blows my mind in a bad way — but all of that is okay because it’s not for me. It’s for pre-teens in parts of America who need her to be a role model. Her style of songwriting, in the same voice they use, is an important confidence booster.
Besides, it’s still better than “No More Rhyme.” Baby steps.