You Look Like Taylor Swift

7 min readApr 23, 2024

As someone who has enjoyed Taylor Swift’s music since before the release of Fearless, there has always been this feeling that we’ve grown up together.

Obviously, I know this isn’t true. The same year I was falling in love with her music, she was becoming a teenage megastar. She had already toured with Faith Hill and Keith Urban, and I was entering the fourth grade in small-town Minnesota. Despite this, I carried the feeling with me throughout my life. She grew beside me. She understood me.

At the Eras Tour, I joked with my friend that about two hours into the show, you start to believe she’s one of your best friends. During “Fearless,” I held up my hand-heart to her as if she could see me in the very top row of Empower Field at Mile High, and waved eagerly to her as I watched her tiny, sparkly speck exit the stage and leave for the night. When she sang “Dear John” in Minneapolis, there was a small part of me convinced, as the rest of me sobbed, that she knew I was there. She sang this for me. A Taylor Swift concert for one.

While I recognize my insanity in this line of thinking, this level of parasociality is normal in Taylor Swift fans. Encouraged, even. However, the types of parasocial relationships among Taylor Swift fans differ immensely. These differentiations have been made even more apparent after the release of The Tortured Poet’s Department, the singer’s controversial 11th studio album.

Any person with even the most minute knowledge of Taylor Swift appears to have a version of…