celebrity

'Shouldn't I have someone to call right now?' The uncomfortable loneliness of Taylor Swift.

“Shouldn’t I have someone that I could call right now?”

This is what ran through Taylor Swift’s mind after she won Album of the Year at the Grammys for the second time in 2016.

We always scoff when a-listers tell us about the loneliness that comes with fame.

WATCH: The trailer to Taylor’s new documentary Miss Americana. Post continues after video.

Video by Netflix

“Pftt. You’ve got money/cars/multiple homes/private jets. How can you be lonely?” We, (the world), reply.

But the age old saying is a saying for a reason: money doesn’t buy happiness.

When celebrities become, in the eyes of society, more caricature than actual flesh and blood human, they enter a new realm of famous.

One where passersby think you’re an object they can take a selfie with, without asking. Or, have the right to take photos of as you get off a long-haul flight because you’re ‘public property’. You become that person who media organisations can write anything about, without you reading or caring because you’re too famous for reading or caring.

Spoiler alert: they care. They are flesh-and-blood-human after all.

Taylor Swift Miss Americana
I think we all forget sometimes that Taylor is a normal 30-year-old with all of the same problems as us. Image: Netflix.
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If Taylor Swift's new documentary Miss Americana teaches us anything, it's that behind her on-stage persona and incredible songwriting talent, she's a normal 30-year-old woman.

READ: 11 things we learned in Taylor Swift's Miss Americana documentary.

A dorky, self conscious, hard-working woman, who - like the rest of us - is just trying to work out what makes her happy.

She doesn't get to escape the inherent desire to be liked by others. In fact, it's worse for her because there's more people to please.

"I became the person everyone wanted me to be," she explains in Miss Americana.

"We're people who got into this line of work because we wanted people to like us. Cause we were intrinsically insecure. Because we liked the sound of people clapping because it made us forget about how we're not good enough."

"I've been doing this for 15 years and I'm tired," an emotional Taylor tells the camera. "It just feels like it's... more than music now. Most days I am like okay, but then sometimes I am like... it just gets loud sometimes."

The opening scenes of the film show Taylor sitting cross-legged in overalls, reading her childhood diary. After you witness Taylor in her own home, doing normal homey things, you watch her experience things later on in the documentary, like the fan meet-and-greets where people propose in front of her, in a new light.

When people propose in front of you so they can have "Taylor Swift witnessed my proposal" in their narrative, you know you're next level famous. Image: Netflix.
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It's like they don't even think she's real.

She could be on stage playing to an entire stadium of fans. But when those shots are juxtaposed by a lone Taylor sipping on a bottle of water in the back of a car, or walking into her hotel room alone with her backpack on - it's jarring.

Is there such a thing as being too famous?

Taylor Swift
We've heard stars tell us this before. But watching Taylor's on-stage life, versus off-stage life. It's jarring. Image: Netflix.

"As your career goes like this [uses hands to signify growing] the magnifying glass goes like that [throws her hands wider]," said Taylor, during an interview shown in the documentary, followed by clips of adults twice her age telling her she "is annoying", "too skinny", and "is going through guys like a train".

Taylor first rose to fame when she was 17.

Pretty soon she became the face plastered on every teenage girl's bedroom. Her name was recognisable worldwide. She has 126 million Instagram followers, and is worth $360 million, according to Business Insider.

But watching Miss Americana through the eyes of Taylor this is what we see:

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Playing to a stadium of 80,000 people who look like nothing but little dots from stage = exhilarating, but lonely.

Having that much pressure on your shoulders, with that many pairs of eyes watching your every move = lonely.

Taylor Swift front yard
This is Taylor Swift's front yard. We can't ever truly understand this level of fame, and what it feels like. Image: Netflix.

Tour life after hours = lonely.

Writing songs (a lot of the time alone) = lonely.

Having the whole world analyse your body = lonely, and damaging.

Standing on stage while Kanye West steals your moment at the VMAS = lonely.

Finding out alone, on the couch, over the phone, that you haven't received a Grammy nomination in 2018 = lonely.

Falling in love with someone, but not being able to do normal falling in love things in the outside world = lovely, but lonely.

Pressing send on an Instagram post declaring (for the first time) your political views knowing you're about to be torn to shreds by the world's media = isolating and lonely.

Having #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty trending on Twitter for something that's out of your control and way too big to shut down = lonely and terrifying and mortifying.

Don't get us wrong. Her life is also privileged, amazing, and one that many people can only ever dream of. She has a wonderful family, and great friends, and a boyfriend who (as far as we know) she's head over heels for. But Taylor Swift's life is also so far beyond the realms of what us normal people can comprehend, it's also hard for us to relate.

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Taylor Swift trending
"Do you know how many people have to be tweeting for that to happen (to be trending worldwide?)" asked Taylor.

It's isolating.

It's lonely.

It's hard.

When it all got too much after the worldwide trending thing, Taylor said, "No one saw me for a year. I thought that's what they wanted".

"I felt really alone, I felt really bitter. I felt like a wounded animal lashing out," she told the documentary.

After picking herself back up, the 30-year-old came back stronger, more opinionated and more carefree. After deconstructing an entire belief system (that her entire worth was based on other's love for her), getting back to the basics of just writing great music, and falling in love with her boyfriend Joe Alwyn, Taylor was able to dim the loneliness that comes with fame.

She decided to care less, and to live her life for herself first and her fans second.

She stopped just being a "good girl" and started taking control.

There's something we can all take from watching Taylor learn that. That it really, really, doesn't matter what other people think/feel/want for you. All that matters is how you feel about yourself.

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