In this day and age, it can be hard to relate to celebrities, let alone a song a famous artist writes. However, I think Taylor Swift’s song, “mirrorball” is incredibly relatable.
The song in general is about the constant need to make everyone around you happy coming from a personal need for validation and assurance no one is upset with you.
“I’m a mirrorball / I’ll show you every version of yourself tonight,” are some of the first and last lines sung in the song. The meaning behind these lines is that she portrays herself on the outside as someone shiny, confident and bright. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s true on the inside, though.
“And when I break it's in a million pieces,” is the last line of the first verse, and is meant to relate to people-pleasers. When we people pleasers have breakdowns it’s never minor, and it stems from bottling everything up because we feel like we shouldn’t bother others with our problems.
“When no one is around, my dear / You'll find me on my tallest tiptoes / Spinning in my highest heels, love / Shining just for you,” is a confession of a need for attention from someone who bases their happiness on the need for approval from others — the validation that other people like you.
“I'm still on that tightrope / I'm still trying everything to get you laughing at me,” comes from extreme lengths to get people to laugh. Laughter from others ensures they aren’t upset, mad or uncomfortable with you. This means that you’ve done what you live for pleasing others.
“I'm still a believer but I don't know why / I've never been a natural / All I do is try, try, try,” hits very close to home as someone who has always had to work hard to receive the validation of good work. Nothing comes easy and nothing comes naturally — it takes time, effort and determination to gain acceptance.
The need for this validation and acceptance comes from living in the closet for so long of my life. I grew up scared every day that someone would find out, but I tried to please everyone so they would accept me. Having to live each day thinking about every little action and word I said made the need for validation that much stronger.
Having to live with the constant pressure of being confident on the outside, but insecure on the inside doesn’t make life easy for anyone. It’s a life of walking on eggshells around the people you love. I think this song teaches any listener, but especially people pleasers, that everyone — and even someone as famous as Taylor Swift — shares similar experiences of longing for acceptance, validation and likeness.
Chase Borland is a freshman studying marketing and journalism at Ohio University. The views and opinions of this columnist do not necessarily reflect those of The Post. If you have any thoughts, questions or concerns then you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.