Taylor Swift looks beautiful on the latest cover of Vogue February 2012. In the interview with the magazine, the stunning 22-year-old singer talks about school days, fame, ambition, future, and the joys of being on her own. Taylor, who grew up on a Christmas-tree farm in rural Pennsylvania, told Vogue that when she was in fourth grade her family moved to Wyomissing, an affluent suburb of Reading. “So . . . middle school? Awkward. Having a hobby that’s different from everyone else’s? Awkward. Singing the national anthem on weekends instead of going to sleepovers? More awkward. Braces? Awkward. Gain a lot of weight before you hit the growth spurt? Awkward. Frizzy hair, don’t embrace the curls yet? Awkward. Try to straighten it? Awkward! So many phases,” the singer says.
Even though it is rather hard to believe, Swift always felt like an outsider. “I think who you are in school really sticks with you. I don’t ever feel like the cool kid at the party, ever. It’s like, Smile and be nice to everybody, because you were not invited to be here,” Taylor admits. She then adds that, “All of my favorite people — people I really trust — none of them were cool in their younger years. Because if you know how to be cool in middle school, maybe you have skills you shouldn’t. Maybe you know how to be conniving, like, naturally. There’s always that seventh-grade girl who looks like she’s 25. And you’re like, How do you do it? How do you do it, Sarah Jaxheimer?”
Still, Swift stopped caring about being cool. When did that happen? “I think that happened as soon as I left school, when I was sixteen, because then all that mattered was music and this dream that I’d had my whole life. It never mattered to me that people in school didn’t think that country music was cool, and they made fun of me for it — though it did matter to me that I was not wearing the clothes that everybody was wearing at that moment. But at some point, I was just like, I like wearing sundresses and cowboy boots,” the young star recalls.
Today, Taylor is able to fill a stadium of 50,000 people. “I look out at the stadiums full of people and see them all knowing the words to songs I wrote. And curling their hair! I remember straightening my hair because I wanted to be like everybody else, and now the fact that anybody would emulate what I do? It’s just funny. And wonderful,” Taylor says. Asked if she has ever freaked out, the singer admitted that, “This is what I’ve wanted to do my whole life. It never freaks me out. Never. Ever. But you know what does freak me out? When is the other shoe going to drop? I am so happy right now. So I am always living in fear. This can’t be real, right? This can’t really be my life.”
On her next album, Swift told Vogue that, “There’s just been this earth-shattering, not recent, but absolute crash-and-burn heartbreak, and that will turn out to be what the next album is about. The only way that I can feel better about myself—pull myself out of that awful pain of losing someone — is writing songs about it to get some sort of clarity.”
On a question she has heard so many times before, Taylor said that, “Ever since I was sixteen, the question that I get in every single interview is ‘So, all the pop stars right now who are stumbling out of clubs and going crazy — are you going to do that?’ When I was younger, I had to be more insistent with people because they would say, ‘Yeah, they all say that when they’re sixteen, honey. Just wait till you’re nineteen or 20. That’s when it all goes off the tracks!'”.
She continues saying that, “But you know, as time has gone by, I’ve gotten that question less and less. I think, for me, the bigger pitfall is losing your self-awareness. Even though I am at a place where my dresses are really pretty and the red carpets have a lot of bright lights and I get to play to thousands of people . . . you have to take that with a grain of salt. The stakes are really high if you mess up, if you slack off and don’t make a good record, if you make mistakes based on the idea that you are larger than life and you can just coast.”
Speaking about what she frets about, Swift confesses that, “I fret about the future. What my next move should be. What the move after that should be. How I am going to sustain this. How do I evolve. I get so ahead of myself. I’m like, ‘What am I going to be doing at 30?’ But there’s no way to know that! So it’s this endless mind-boggling equation that you’ll never figure out. I overanalyze myself into being a big bag of worries.”
Read Taylor’s full interview in the February 2012 issue of VOGUE magazine.
Photos courtesy of VOGUE